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MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged Filipinos emulate the patriotism of Jose Rizal , as he led festivities to commemorate the death of the national hero on Saturday, December 30.
“On the 127th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal, I thus enjoin all of you to keep emulating the timeless values we can learn from his life and works,” Marcos said is his message.
“With our meaningful commemoration, may the ideals and spirit of Dr. Jose Rizal live on as we fully realize the Philippines that he and his contemporaries fought hard for,” he added.
Marcos attended the flag and wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Memorial Park with FIrst Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and their three children, including Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Sandro Marcos.
The other attendees were Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Emmanuel Calairo, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Romeo Brawner, and Knights of Rizal Supreme Commander Raymundo del Rosario.
Rizal was executed by the Spanish colonial rulers after his writings – novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo – sparked rebellion. He was executed in Bagumbayan, now Luneta, in Manila on December 30, 1896.
“More than a century after his demise and heroism, his influence continues to be felt in a world that is still affected by greed, oppression, and injustice in various forms,” Marcos said in his message.
In a separate statement, House Speaker Martin Romualdez called on Filipinos to live by Rizal’s ideals “in an era where our sovereignty and national identity face new challenges.”
In her Rizal Day message, Vice President Sara Duterte said: “Let us not confine Rizal’s legacy to history books…. Let us continue the vision that Rizal ignited and expand his legacy through the causes and dreams we champion in our time. We must be brave in work for reforms and innovations, even if it means making significant sacrifices.” – Kaycee Valmonte/Rappler.com