After Spain’s Congreso de los Diputados' historic parliamentary declaration last year, its Senado has also formally expressed its gratitude toward the Philippines for 10 successful years of celebrating the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day every 30th of June.
Spain’s Senate President Pio Garcia-Escudero Marquez read the institutional declaration unanimously promulgated by the chamber during its session on June 19.
Present to witness it were Ambassador Carlos Salinas and Senator Edgardo J. Angara, who authored the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act (RA 9187) together with Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara.
The declaration reads, “The Senate of Spain would like to show its gratitude for the approval of this Law, which reminds us, each year, of the profound historical and cultural bonds, the ties of friendship and cooperation that exist between Spain and the Philippines.
Angara, Chairman of the Philippines-Spain Parliamentary Friendship Group, said, "The Senado’s unprecedented move was made in response to an equally unprecedented initiative of the Philippines to proclaim its friendship with its former colonizer by law.
"This is not the first time Spain has acknowledged our efforts to revitalize bilateral ties. They have reciprocated by approving bilateral agreements, billions worth of grants, investments and educational opportunities which have been immensely beneficial to the Philippines," he added.
The Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act marks that act of benevolence in June 30, 1899 when President Emilio Aguinaldo issued a decree stating that the 35 soldiers who survived the legendary Siege of Baler be treated as friends, not as prisoners.
In June last year, the Congreso de los Diputados, the lower house of Spain's Cortes Generales, also passed a parliamentary declaration expressing its gratitude to the Philippines. In addition, it stated Spain's intention to be the Philippines' gateway to Europe and the Ibero-American community and its wish for the Philippines to serve as its premier launching pad in Southeast Asia.
“Our deep-rooted ties with Spain give us an enormous advantage over other countries in terms of potential trade and investment opportunities. There is no better time to capitalize on our centuries-old friendship than now,” stressed Angara. (30)