Message of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, read by the Honorable Arsenio N. Luz, Chairman of the Board of Information, before the graduates of the Commissioned Officers’ Class. Philippine Constabulary Academy, Manila, April 12, 1944:

It is a great pleasure to felicitate the graduating members of the commissioned officers class. Graduation signifies the close of a period of intensive training, and I presume you are now properly prepared to meet with effectiveness, courage, loyalty and sacrifice the new duties into which you will enter under the exigencies of the present situation.

I wish to impress upon you all that as recipients of a special training for service under the Republic, you are honored with a privilege that is not given to every citizen. It is a privilege to embody directly before the people the lofty ideals for which the government of our Republic stands. It is presumed you have within you the attributes of character and your special training that will enable you to stand the tests of your privileged position. And I can safely say that no public servant carries a neater and higher opportunity to impress upon the people what the Republic means, than does every member of the Philippine Constabulary, notably every officer charged with the duty of maintaining peace and order.

All that the Republic is trying to do today in the way of enforcing the orderly procedures of peaceful community life and enabling all citizens to conduct their routine pursuits in a manner most fruitful to them and helpful to their neighbors depends on a large measure on the effectiveness of the members of the Philippine Constabulary in the discharge of their obligations.

We have assigned a generous portion of our public income for the use of the Constabulary in recognition of the importance and the urgency of its role in the present period of our Republic. The people, accordingly, are fully entitled to expect from every member and officer of the Constabulary just understanding and appreciation of its corresponding responsibility. I am certain that every member of this graduating class will enter into his duties fully conscious of this fact, and will discharge his duties to the highest measure of his ability.

Every so often we hear wild reports of officers and men who turned unfaithful to what they had learned in their period of training, and to what they swore to do when they received their commission. I am confident that every member of this graduating class will give the lie to these reports, and in the performance of his functions will justify his integrity as member of the Constabulary and his manhood as a Filipino, as an Oriental proud of the heroic heritage received from ancestors and forebears who demonstrated their worth as the equal of the best of any other race in the world.

It is opportune to remember and to remind you that today is the second anniversary of the end of the battle of Bataan. A generous proportion of the best flower of youth fell in Bataan in defense of a glorious vision. Their Hood was freely shed to enrich the fields and forests of Bataan in the belief that by so doing they were being worthy of their fathers and that they were clearing the way for a richer and nobler life for their contemporaries and their children.

The Battle of Bataan which ended on this day was a deathless testimony to the power and beauty of the heroic tradition which is our glorious inheritance. It was proof beyond dispute that Filipinos know not only how to live but also how to die so that the present and succeeding generations may live in honor and in fruitful fulfillment of their creative genius. The Battle of Bataan was an incontrovertible demonstration of Filipino capacity to live and appreciate a life of dignity and freedom. Finally it was a splendid witness to the immortal faith of the Filipino in himself and in his destiny.

And so to every member of this class who graduates on this day, I would enjoin his solemn consecration to the spirit of those brave and heroic Filipinos who fought and died in Bataan to insure life and freedom for their families and posterity. I would enjoin every member of this class to pledge today complete loyalty to the memory of this sacrifice in Bataan so that as he enters into his duties he will be profoundly fortified by an inspiration that will enable him likewise to know how to live and even die for the young Republic.

Let me wish you godspeed. Let it be your prayer that rather than be spared difficulties and dangers, you will always have the strength, the courage and the faith to meet these difficulties and dangers and illustrate in your own life the dignity and power of the Filipino race and of the Philippine Republic.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library