June 12 - As Filipinos celebrate more than a century of independence, President Aquino says hunger, poverty and corruption still oppress the country. Sunita Rappai reports.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III salutes soldiers at a ceremony to mark the country's 113th founding anniversary. The Philippines gained its independence in 1898 from Spain which ruled the country for more than 400 years. Hundreds of spectators attend the event - and military parade - in Manila's Rizal Park. But in his speech, Aquino focuses on an enemy that cannot be fought with bullets. The country, he says, must now attain freedom from hunger. (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino) PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO III SAYING: "We've come a long way, but it does not mean our fight is over. Our goal is clear: to see that our future is bright, where people will listen to your pleas, where someone will address your needs, and where someone will fight for you when you're abused." Over a third of Filipinos remain under the poverty line with many thousands jobless and living on less than 9 U.S. dollars a day. Sunita Rappai, Reuters