English version of the message of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, to the people of Bulacan in connection win the distribution of cloth fabrics to the indigent population of the province, May 24, 1944, read by the Honorable Emiliano T. Tirona, Minister of State tor Health, Labor, and Public Welfare.

FRIENDS AND BROTHERS:

A government gains strength only; when the citizenry helps it and supports it. The citizens, in turn, attain peace and happiness when their Government looks after their welfare and extends them all the aid they need. When the Government ignores the interests of the people it cannot expect public contentment; and when the people lose faith in the government, the government can expect, not loyalty, but rebelliousness, cold-blooded indifference and disorder.

This is my conviction, which has crystallized since I came to occupy the Presidency of the Republic of the Philippines. Frankly and openly, I tell you that I have striven, every moment of every day, to tighten the bonds between the people and the Government, ever urged by that conviction.

This distribution of clothing today is one of the acts that will testify to my carrying out the Government program of alleviating the living conditions of the masses. The clothing you will now receive comes as a little gift from your President. It may not be a thing of value; but, I ask of you accept it with your whole heart, cherish it, and graciously overlook its smallness. It is a little thing, of course, an inexpensive gift; but, I beg you, consider not the cost of the material but the act and the impulse behind it. Heart in hand, I make this personal gift to each of you.

I need not tell you that, because of the war still going on in many parts of the world, we are living through a. very trying period. All of us are facing hardships and want. The Government of our Republic itself is experiencing want and hardships. I tell you honestly that, if the Government were only rich enough, I would personally give away not only cash but also other prime necessities of life; for it is my earnest desire that, if your President is enjoying comfort and security, everyone also should enjoy comfort and security. No man has the right to want ease for himself alone while his fellows are in the throes of suffering and privation.

I ask of you nothing save that you continue preserving peace. I ask you to help the Government of our Republic, because this Republic is our very own—yours as well as mine. If you help it, the Government cannot but succeed in its aims and purposes. And it can, in turn, give you more than just these gifts that you are to receive today. There are other tomorrows. If, with your cooperation, Peace and order are secured and the Republic Prospers, each and all of us will have cause for personal pride, seeing that the stability of Republic is the fruit of the cooperative labors of Filipino brothers, and not of outside help. Let us not rely on outsiders. Let us depends on ourselves. I beg you, then, again and again, keep on maintaining peace, and collaborate with the Government.

Finally, I repeat, be pleased to accept my humble gift. Then, when our Republic becomes prosperous after overcoming the problems of the present crisis, I shall personally, perhaps, go among you to give away not only clothing such as you will now receive, but the real blessings of security and happiness. All of us are children of but one mother, the Philippines. It is but proper and fitting, therefore, that we fraternize and unite, in days of scarcity as well as plenty, in sorrow as well as in joy, in death as well as in life.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library