Duterte on Bonifacio Day: Push for a strong, progressive PH

Lian Buan
Duterte on Bonifacio Day: Push for a strong, progressive PH
The President calls on Filipinos to emulate Bonifacio's love for country, while Vice President Leni Robredo urges the people, especially government leaders, to be as 'courageous and determined' as Bonifacio in protecting Philippine sovereignty

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, November 30, urged Filipinos to emulate Andres Bonifacio and “bring to life the strong and progressive Philippines that he had envisioned for us all.”

November 30 is the 156th birthday of Bonifacio, known as the father of the Philippine revolution, but who was executed in 1897 after being convicted of treason for trying to overthrow the Emilio Aguinaldo government.

“It is through Andres Bonifacio’s courage and selflessness that we have become an independent and vibrant nation that advances ever forward to the future,” Duterte said in a statement on Saturday.

“I urge everyone to emulate his love for country in our endeavors as we bring to life the strong and progressive Philippines that he had envisioned for us all,” the president added.

In a separate message, Vice President Leni Robredo said Bonifacio Day is a reminder for everyone, especially government officials, of the greater challenge to protect Philippine independence and sovereignty.

“Sa gitna ng ating makabagong panahon at ang dala nitong makabagong mga pagsubok, ang parehong tapang at sigasig na ipinamalas ni Bonifacio ang inaasahan sa bawat isa atin, higit lalo na sa mga namumuno sa ating bayan – tapang na protektahan ang ating pambansang kasarinlan; tapang na gampanan ang ating sinumpaang tungkulin at tuparin ang mga ipinangako natin sa taumbayan; at tapang na unahin ang kapakanan ng bayan kaysa sa pansariling interes,” said the Vice President. 

(Amid the challenges brought by modern times, we, and especially out leaders, are expected to have the same courage and determination as Bonifacio – the courage to protect our independence; the courage to fulfill our sworn duties and our promises to the people; the courage to put the peoples’ interests ahead of our own.)

Robredo also urged Filipinos to fight the suppression of rights, as she listed down the persisting challenges to the country like corruption.

“Mahigit isang siglo matapos ang pakikidigma ni Bonifacio at ng Katipunan, patuloy tayong nahaharap sa matitinding mga laban – laban sa kahirapan, kawalang-katarungan, at hindi pagkakapantay-pantay; laban sa krimen at iligal na droga; laban sa katiwalian sa pamahalaan; at laban sa pagsupil sa ating mga karapatan,” said Robredo.

(One century after Bonifacio and the Katipunan’s battle, we continue to face tough fights – fight against poverty; fight against injustice and inequality; fight against crime and illegal drugs; fight against corruption in government, and against suppression of our rights.)

In her usually sharp-toned messages, deated opposition Senator Leila de Lima said Bonifacio should inspire Filipinos to “call out the flawed and oppressive policies of the government.”

“Subukan po nating isipin kung ano ang gagawin ng isang Andres Bonifacio sa nangyayari ngayon sa ating bansa. Kung sasabihin po ba sa kanya na ang pagtuligsa o hindi niya pakikiisa sa maling ginagawa ng pamahalaan ngayon ay kataksilan o isa lamang huwad na nasyonalismo, mananahimik na lang ba siya sa mga katiwalian ng mga mandarambong, at sa pagpatay sa mga inosenteng bata at libo-libong maralita?” said De Lima.

(Let’s try to think what someone line Andres Bonifacio would do to address what’s happening in our country. Will he be told that dissent or opposing the policies of the government is a betrayal, or is that a false sense of nationalism, will he keep quiet amid corruption and the killing of children and thousands of poor Filipinos?) – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.