Proclamation of the independence of the Philippines (1943)

Proclamation No. 2695  (1946) 
by Jose P. Laurel




Love of freedom has always been the dominating impulse which has given the historical evolution of the Filipino race a meaning and a purpose. In war and in peace, the Filipinos have ceaselessly fought and labored for their freedom ever since they were brought under foreign yoke, first under Spain for three hundred years or more and later under America for the last forty years. Their incessant and arduous quest for liberation has been hallowed by the blood and suffering of countless Filipino heroes and martyrs.

As a consequence of the Greater East Asia War, the great Nipponese Empire, true to its altruistic mission in waging that war, has enabled the Filipino people to realize at last their dream of freedom by allowing them to form a Preparatory Commission for Philippine Independence, to adopt a Constitution for an independent Philippines, and to take all other requisite steps for the establishment of the Republic of the Philippines.

The Filipino people value their independence as the blessed fruit of the sacrifices of their heroic forefathers and brothers who fought and died in far-flung battlefields, from Mactan to Bataan, in their persistent struggle for freedom.

They glory in it as the fulfillment of the Will of Divine Providence which has given to all nations of the earth the inalienable right to be free and independent.

This is the moment they have long awaited. This is the bright morning after the long night of their colonial subjection. With heads erect and brows serene they now stand in the sun even as once, more than four hundred years ago, their forefathers stood as freemen beholden to none. For the ancient honor of their nation is redeemed at last. For the rich and unbounded opportunities that freedom offers are now within their grasp—

The opportunity to govern themselves and to run their affairs without intervention of any foreign power;

The opportunity to develop their natural resources and thus insure their economic self-sufficiency under the principle of the Philippines for the Filipinos;

The opportunity to discover and develop their individual and national potentialities uninhibited by the force of political subjection or by the blight of racial prejudice;

The opportunity to rehabilitate themselves in mind and spirit in accordance with the best that man has thought and said and done through the ages;

The opportunity to find themselves anew learn the ways they have forgotten and make themselves into the nation that God and Nature intended they should be;

The opportunity to establish a sovereign republic dedicated to the ideal of peace, liberty and moral justice;

The opportunity to contribute their share in the common prosperity of the nations of Greater East Asia and of all mankind; and

The opportunity to cherish their independence in order that it may endure forever as an inexhaustible fountain of blessings for this and for future generations of their race.

The Filipino people, through the Preparatory Commission for Philippine Independence, invoking the aid of Divine Providence, and the hallowed spirits of Filipino patriots and martyrs who gave their lives for the freedom of their fatherland, hereby proclaim to the world that they are, as of right they ought to be, a free and independent nation; that they no longer owe allegiance to any foreign nation; that henceforth they shall exercise all the powers and enjoy all the privileges to which they are entitled as a free and independent state; and that for the defense of their territorial integrity and the preservation of their independent existence, they pledge their fortune, their lives, and their sacred honor.