3,768 Corruption-Fighters Sprinted Their Way to Better Governance

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex turned bright yellow as 3,768 participants took part in the fourth national Freedom Run on October 19, 2014 in Pasay City. 33 government agencies, 8 groups from the private sector and over 1000 individuals from all over Metro Manila and nearby provinces gathered to continue the journey to fight corruption.

The Freedom runners were pumped up by the welcome speech of Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) Country Director, Jules Maaten, who also led the 3,768 runners to the biggest freedom selfie in the world. "We know that there are so many Filipinos who want to show how much they are against corruption and this fun run proves a fantastic way to show it in a friendly and fun way," Mr. Maaten said.

The morning guests delivered inspirational messages-- that included Integrity Initiative's Henry Schumacher, Pasay Youth Development Councilors Lesley Anne Calixto-Rubiano and Joey Calixto-Isidro. Now in his second year to run against corruption, National Youth Commissioner-At-Large, YesPinoy Founder and esteemed actor Dingdong Dantes wooed the crowd, especially the youth, to take a more active role in anti-corruption campaigns in their groups, schools or communities. "It is clear that we Filipinos are one in this fight against corruption; and today, this is manifested through this sport. We want to declare that we are free from corruption," said Commissioner Dantes. After his speech, Comm. Dantes led the gun start of the 10 kilometer runners, while Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection, Secretary Neric Acosta led the 3 kilometer gun start.

The Freedom Run featured 3 kilometer and 10 kilometer runs that start at the historic Cultural Center of Philippines down to the picturesque race course with a view of Manila Bay.

FNF Philippines, a German liberal foundation that promotes good governance, co-organized the Freedom Run with the Local Government of Pasay City and the Pasay Youth Development Council. Pizza Hut, Brooks, Toby's, Maynilad, Pocari Sweat, King Sue, The Spa, Axeia, 7-11, Nash Coffee, Chowking, JB Music and Megamobile sponsored the event.

Now on its fourth year, the Freedom Run has had close to 20,000 participants, and was organized in different parts of the Philippines. This year, it capped off the Freedom Week celebration of FNF South East and East Asia Offices. The freedom runners joined the symbolic balloon-flying to express their solidarity in promoting freedom with the other FNF offices in Asia. The Freedom Run is part of FNF Philippines' "It's All About Freedom" Campaign that aims to translate the complex concept of freedom into everyday language.

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