Message of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, read by Commissioner for the Visayas Paulino Gullas before the convention of Provincial Governors, Constabulary Inspectors, Municipal Mayors and Kalibapi leaders of the Visayan provinces held in the City of Cebu, April 13, 1944:

Today the Republic is faced with the recurrent problem of peace and order and the problem of food. Foodstuffs we must produce if we are to save our people from possible starvation, if we want our Republic to survive its severest test of fitness. Every piece of land must be cultivated. We have enough land to make us self-sufficient. Our salvation lies in our ability to produce. Determined as the Filipino people are to survive as a nation, I have no doubt that our countrymen will not fail their fatherland in the supreme hour of need. As Head of the Republic, I appeal to every Filipino worthy of his race to exert his utmost to make his soil productive, to render himself useful to the community. Let us all stick together as one people happen what may. That is the true Filipino spirit—the spirit that animates us all today. It is the spirit that wills to succeed whatever be the obstacles— the spirit that rises superior to every adversity.

Another important problem is unification. A house divided against itself cannot long stand. After having fought so long for independence, freely shedding the blood of heroes and martyrs, the Filipino people should stand united now that we are independent. Both duty and loyalty demand that we work for the uplift of our people and devote everything to the up building of a strong, great, progressive and enduring Republic. Before we can be true to others we must be true to ourselves. I ask each and all members of the convention and those under them to help their Government in uniting our people, in restoring peace and order, and in producing all foodstuffs our country needs. Let us all be one in our national aspiration and endeavor whatever political differences we may have had or now have.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library