Radio message of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, on the occasion of the second monthly commemoration of the founding of the Republic, December 14, 1943

FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN :

Our Republic is two months old today, and we are indeed happy that in those sixty short days we have managed to accomplish what we possibly could. How long we may be permitted to continue enjoying the suspense which allows us to reconstruct our country and to minister to our immediate needs of every-day life only our God in heaven knows. At any rate, for this boon of tranquility to remain indefinitely ours we have to depend, to a large extent, upon our courage and the firmness of our collective will, no less than upon the skill and bravery and resourcefulness of the Imperial Japanese Forces who are defending so valiantly the far-flung frontiers of Greater East Asia,—our region and home.

These, therefore, are not days for boasting or vainglory, or self-congratulations; they are not days for telling the world what we have done, or how good we are. Rather, these are days for solemn thinking, for honest self-appraisal, for patient endurance, for courageous resolves; they are days for humble praying for guidance, for closer understanding, for love and compassion and ready helpfulness toward one another; for silent hard work and feat-less deeds. For recognition of debts, for manifestations of gratitude, for honorable and manly discharge of duty.

Two months in an individual’s life is very brief indeed; two months in the life of a nation is even shorter than a flash of thought in the eternity of mind. But in the Empire of the Spirit to which, in the bitterness of our disillusionment over the materialistic way of life, we have reaffirmed our allegiance, things are measured not for length and size, but for depth and intensity and significance. It is by such measure that we may say the first two months of our independent Republic have been worthwhile and meaningful, for we can truthfully say that in the things of the spirit we are richer and fuller today than we were sometime ago.

Your government—our government—is reconstructing the entire principle and the practices of public service, the whole purpose being to make it more completely yours, more completely every citizen’s, than at any time in our previous political experience; in all its actions and decisions and undertaking, the government is, and shall always be, guided by the spirit of benevolence and loving solicitude for the people’s welfare. Everything humanly possible, and within the means of our resources, is being done, and will be done,—not merely out of a sense of duty and gratitude to our countrymen, but out of a deep, abiding love for them,—to relieve their distress and suffering, to help them attain their worthy aims and ambitions, to resolve their fears and allay their doubts, to make it practicable for them to secure their essential needs, to assist them in the difficult and complicated processes of readjustment, reorientation, spiritual rebirth; in short, nothing will be left undone, as far as this is humanly possible, to secure for all of us, for our people, relative contentment and happiness.

But in this worthy resolve and loving desire to do the utmost good, the government would be helpless and ineffectual indeed, without the cooperation, loyalty and faith, and loving interest of the people. The citizen must tender his share of solicitous regard for the common good; the citizens, collectively, must offer, in a spirit of reciprocity, the best that they can do in the way of aiding the unceasing efforts of their government to promote the well-being of all. Closer and closer, the government and the people must come together, in mutual trust, in mutual helpfulness, in a common determination to meet the problems of everyday squarely and honestly. Closer and closer, too, the citizens must bind themselves together, with sincere interest in one another’s good, in a keen desire to share equally the woes and the joys of living, the pains and the glory, the tears and the laughter of common day-today experience.

The days of selfish individualism are over for the world. Self-centered striving and the passion for personal gain at the expense of one’s fellowmen have no place in the new order that is being born amidst so much blood and suffering and destruction. Self-indulgence, the tendency to slothfulness, the thoughtless gratification of personal whims and desires at the expense of social strength and racial hardihood are out of place in the new society that is being forged in the fires of war. Under such a society, everyone must learn to live simply and diligently, under the principle of each a brother to all, and all brothers together, so that the usual heavy toll in human life and happiness levied by greed avarice, cruelty and selfishness will diminish and disappear.

Your government henceforth will be closer and closer to you, and you should come closer to it, too, so that with perfect understanding and collaboration, we shall mould our Republic with loving hands and steadfast wills nearer to our hearts’ desire.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library