MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, December 30, called on Filipinos to emulate Jose Rizal and become heroes in their own way by effecting change in society in line with his war on poverty, crime, and corruption.
“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 Mother land,” Duterte said in a message issued on the 120th death anniversary of the national hero.
The Philippines, Duterte said, is also battling with independence just like in Rizal’s time when the country was under Spanish colonial rule.
“Our country is still fighting for independence. But today, we are fighting freedom from the bondage of poverty, crime, illegal drugs, and corruption,” he said.
He described Rizal as a “beacon and moral compass in challenging and perilous times.”
“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,” he added.
The President also reiterated his call to Filipinos to help him bring about the kind of “genuine change” he envisions for the country.
“The government needs the act of involvement of all sectors to help us in this war, to bring about the genuine change in our society.”
Duterte led the flag-raising ceremony at the Rizal Shrine in Luneta to commemorate the event, his first as Chief Executive. With him were Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and a few Cabinet offcials led by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. – Rappler.com