On Rizal Day, Duterte urges Filipinos to be like heroes for genuine change MANILA, Dec
30 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday urged the Filipino nation to emulate heroes like National Hero Jose Rizal to bring genuine change in the society.
In his message marking the 120th death anniversary and martyrdom of Rizal, Duterte said the National Hero fought and sacrificed a lot for the freedom and self-identity Filipinos enjoy today.
“We are the fortunate recipient of the fruits of Rizal’s sacrifices, the freedom that he fought for, and the self-identity and honor that he strongly believed we ought to defend. Beyond his prodigious and various talents, Rizal is best honored when we regard him as a beacon and moral compass in these challenging and perilous times,” he said.
But he proposed that Filipinos are still fighting for independence from other forms of oppression.
“As in his time, our country is still fighting for independence. But today, we are fighting for freedom from the bondage of poverty, crime, illegal drugs, and corruption. Indeed, they are our present enemies; they are the modern invaders that subjugate our people’s hearts, minds, and spirits. The government needs the active involvement of all sectors to help us in this war to bring about genuine change in our society,” Duterte said.
The President then urged his countrymen to be a nationalist for the sake of the Filipino people.
“As our nation undergoes a significant phase of social development and economic growth, a period of national unity that calls for the cooperation, patience, and sacrifice of our people is necessary. Each of us should manifest the same fervor and dedication that moved and motivated Jose Rizal to action. Let us therefore emulate the traits of Rizal; let us be willing heroes—patriotic, faithful, and loyal to our Motherland,” he said.
“This day of commemoration is a day of grateful remembrance of his martyrdom so that we may also awaken and become our own heroes—committed to advocate good governance and uphold the rule of law; steadfast to end criminality and all forms of government corruption and compassionate to the plight of the poor and less privileged,” he added.
“So ngalan ni Rizal, ituloy natin ang sinimulang pagbabago. Mabuhay ang ating Inang Bayan!”
Also on Rizal Day, Duterte led the commemoration rites for the National Hero’s 120th death anniversary at the RizalPark in the City of Manila.
Former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada joined Duterte at the Rizal Day rites. (MNS)