MANILA, Philippines – True to his campaign promise, President Rodrigo Duterte created a day to commemorate Visayan hero Lapu-Lapu.
Proclamation No 200 declared April 27 "Lapu-Lapu Day." Duterte signed the proclamation on Wednesday, April 26.
The date was chosen because it was on this day, in 1521, when the Battle of Mactan erupted. In that battle, Lapu-Lapu, a local chieftain, confronted Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
LOOK: Pres. Duterte declares today, April 27, Lapu-Lapu Day through Proclamation No 200. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/agfxidWQuc — Pia Ranada (@piaranada) April 27, 2017
Duterte described Lapu-Lapu as "the first of our forefathers to have fought against foreign domination."
"It is but fitting and proper that Lapu-Lapu be given the highest honor and that his legacy be remembered by all Filipinos through appropriate ceremonies," said the Philippine President.
Duterte, who refers to himself as a Bisaya because his father is from Cebu, spoke during campaign sorties in Visayas about the need for Lapu-Lapu to be recognized as a hero at par with heroes from Luzon like Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio.
He even complained about how Lapu-Lapu is honored only by the use of his name to refer to a fish eaten by Filipinos.
To elevate Lapu-Lapu's status, Duterte signed an Executive Order creating the Order of Lapu-Lapu.
This Order is to be awarded to officials, government personnel, and private citizens "in recognition of invaluable or extraordinary service in relation to a campaign or advocacy of the President." – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.