In his Freedom Speech addressing the state of freedom in the Philippines, Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino recognized the "more than usual number" of challenges the country has experienced this year, but expressed optimism that Filipinos will be able to rise again and move forward. "I am certain that our resilience will be able to carry us through," he said.
Aquino requested a moment of silence for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda that landed in the Visayas region two days before Aquino delivered his Freedom Speech on 10 November 2013. The young senator, who is a nephew of Ninoy Aquino who was assassinated for leading the opposition against martial rule, also described Filipinos as "freedom-loving people." "This time we have to make sure that as we fight for freedom, we fight for the freedom from poverty that many of our countrymen want and many of countrymen deserve," expressed Aquino.
"The Freedom Speech is not just any event. It is a moment when we all are able to take stock of the state of freedom in our countries and in the world. It is a moment of contemplation, when we see through the vagaries of day to day politics and look at freedom from a long term perspective," announced Prof. Dr. Jürgen Morlok, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF).
FNF is a German liberal foundation that promotes individual freedom, good governance, human rights and free trade. It launched its campaign It's All About Freedom in 2011, part of which is the annual Freedom Speech.
Freedom Flames and Freedom Sparks were presented to icons of freedom and good governance, and Diskarte, which won The Freedom Project 2013, was awarded on the same evening.
2011 Freedom Speech: Sec. Butch Abad
2012 Freedom Speech: Comm. Grace Padaca