Officials from the Palawan provincial government led the celebration of the 126th Philippine Independence Day on June 12, on Pag-asa Island, situated in the West Philippine Sea within Kalayaan town’s jurisdiction, resonating with unwavering support for the nation’s claim to this strategically important territory.

A flag-raising ceremony took place before the brief program, featuring a rendition of the Philippine national anthem joined by residents and uniformed personnel stationed on the island town.

Provincial Information Officer Atty. Christian Jay Cojamco and Provincial Engineer Aireen Laguisma delivered messages emphasizing the important role Kalayaan plays in the political geography in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and in proving that the Philippines is the rightful owner of the Kalayaan Island Group.

Cojamco emphasized that both Kalayaan and its residents in Barangay Pag-asa, along with every element of the islands’ natural landscape—from the lush vegetation to the encompassing sands—stand as unmistakable testimony to the Philippines’ rightful sovereignty over the region.

“Ang bawat isang mamamayan at residente ng Barangay Pag-asa ng munisipyo ng Kalayaan ang pinakamatibay na patunay na ang mga isla ng Kalayaan Island Group, bawat dahon ng mga puno at halaman na nabubuhay dito bawat butil ng buhangin sa palibot nito, ay pagmamay-ari ng bansang Pilipinas,” said Cojamco.

Laguisma expressed the continuous strong support of the provincial government of Palawan to the municipality of Kalayaan, especially in infrastructure projects that help advance the country’s sovereignty.

“Mula sa provincial government, patuloy kayong makakaasa na katulong niyo kami upang maisakatuparan ang mga pangangailangan ninyo lalo na sa infrastructure. Malapit na pong matapos ang sheltered port at may mga uumpisahan na naman tayong iba pang proyekto sa tulong at suporta ng ating national government,” Laguisma stated.

Cojamco said the visit to the municipality was driven by the provincial government’s desire, under the leadership of Governor Dennis Socrates, to unite in commemorating the anniversary of Independence Day and to further strengthen the protection of the nation’s sovereignty by continuing to support Kalayaan, which is also celebrating its 46th year of civil government establishment.

Aside from Cojamco and Laguisma, Karl Fernandez Legazpi, executive assistant for Special Concerns of the Office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez, was also with them.

They were welcomed on the island by the residents, Kalayaan Mayor Roberto del Mundo, Vice Mayor Beltzasar Alindogan, and Sangguniang Bayan members.