Duterte's Bonifacio Day message: 'Dedicate our lives to a worthy cause'
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos to "live up to the spirit" of Andres Bonifacio, the national hero whose birth 153 years ago was commemorated by the country on Wednesday, November 30.
"Every waking day is an invitation to dedicate our lives [to] a worthy cause; to uplift the quality of life of our countrymen; and to bring back the pride and honor in our identity as a people," the President said.
He said Filipinos today should emulate Bonifacio for being "patriotic, unfettered, and independent."
Below is the full text of President Duterte's statement on Bonifacio Day:
Today is an important day to commemorate and to honor the father of the Katipunan and the Great Plebeian from Tondo, Andres Bonifacio, whose life and legacy have inspired countless generations and whose actions have shaped the course of our nation’s history.
It was Bonifacio who dared to lead a mass action that defied the colonial rule and quelled the hunger of a people longing for change.
He belongs to the league of heroes willing to lay down his life and put aside his own interests to honor the nation and defend it from its enemies. His courage and love of country served as a guiding torch in the midst of darkness.
May this occasion serve as a reminder for us to live up to the spirit of Bonifacio, whose spirit remains patriotic, unfettered, and independent.
Every waking day is an invitation to dedicate our lives [to] a worthy cause; to uplift the quality of life of our countrymen; and to bring back the pride and honor in our identity as a people.
Our government calls on the public to get involved in community and national issues that affect our lives. May we all find strength to tap in our collective voice so that we can know ourselves better and understand our struggles in history.
Let us cultivate our capacity to act united and share common aspirations for a peaceful, just, prosperous, and truly free nation.
The President spent Bonifacio Day visiting troops who had been fighting the ISIS-linked Maute terror group in Lanao del Sur.
The hero's birth anniversary was also an occasion for protesters to gather at the People Power Monument on EDSA and in key cities across the country to hold Duterte directly accountable for the surreptitious burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. (READ: November 30 rallies: What protesters demand of Duterte) – Rappler.com