February 27, 1945

Department of Information and Public Relations of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

More than three years have elapsed-years of bitterness, struggle, and sacrifice-since I withdrew our forces and installations from this beautiful city that over and under fire, its churches, monuments, and cultural centers might, in accordance with the rules of warfare, be spared the violence of military ravage. The enemy would not have it so. And much that I sought to preserve has been unnecessarily destroyed by his desperate action at bay. By these actions he has wantonly fixed the future pattern of his own doom. Then we were but a small force struggling to stem the advance of overwhelming hordes treacherously hurled against us behind the masks of professed friendship and international good will. That struggle was not in vain. God has indeed blessed our arms.

The girded and unleashed power of America supported by our Allies turned the tide of battle in the Pacific and resulted in an unbroken series of crushing defeats upon the enemy, culminating in the redemption of your soil and the liberation of your people.

My country has kept the faith. Its soldiers come here as an army of free men dedicated with your people to the cause of human liberty, and committed to the task of destroying those evil forces that have fought to suppress it by brutality of the sword.

An army of free men has brought your people once again under democracy's banner to rededicate their churches, long desecrated, to the glory of God and public worship; to reopen their schools to liberal education; to till the soil and reap its harvest without fear of confiscation; to re-establish their industries that they may again enjoy the profit from their sweat and enjoy their homes unafraid of violent intrusion.

Thus to millions of your now liberated people comes the opportunity to pledge themselves, their hearts, their minds, and their hands to the task of building a new and stronger nation, a nation consecrated in the blood nobly shed that this might be a nation dedicated to making imperishable those sacred liberties for which we have fought and for which many have died.

On behalf of my Government, I now solemnly declare, Mr. President, the full powers and responsibilities under the Constitution restored to the Commonwealth, whose seat is here re-established as provided by law. Your country is once again at liberty to pursue its destiny to an honored position in the family of free nations. Your capital city, severely punished though it be, has regained its rightful place as a symbol of democracy.

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