Duterte challenges Filipinos to push change Dr. Jose Rizal had started

Duterte challenges Filipinos to push change Dr. Jose Rizal had started

MANILA, Dec. 30 (PNA) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called on the Filipino people to emulate the traits of Dr. Jose Rizal and push the true change that the national hero had unselfishly started for the country.

President Duterte made this challenge as he led the commemoration of the 120th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Rizal National Monument Rizal Park in Manila.

”This day of commemoration is a day of grateful remembrance of his martyrdom so that we may also awaken and become our own heroes,” the President said in his message.

President Duterte said the Filipinos could be heroes on their own little way by committing to advocate good governance and uphold the rule of law, steadfast to end criminality and all of forms of government corruption, and compassionate to the plight of the poor and less privileged.

The President said the Filipino people are fortunate recipients of the fruits of Dr. Jose Rizal’s sacrifices, freedom he fought for, and the self-identity and honor that he strongly believed the Filipinos ought to defend.

”Beyond his prodigious and various talents, Rizal is best honored when we regard him as a beacon and moral compass in these challenging and perilous times,” he said.

President Duterte emphasized that the country is still fighting for independence from bondage of poverty, crime, illegal drugs and corruption.

”Indeed, they are our present enemies; they are the modern invaders that subjugate our people’s hearts, minds and spirits. The government needs the active involvement of all sectors to help us in this war to bring about genuine change in our society,” the President said.

The President said the national unity that calls for cooperation, patience and sacrifice is necessary as the nation undergoes a significant phase of social development and economic growth.

”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 tour motherland,” Pres. Duterte said.

”Sa ngalan ni Rizal, ituloy natin ang sinimulang pagbabago. Mabuhay ang ating Inang Bayan. (In the name of Rizal, let us continue the change he had started. Long live to our mother nation),” the President said.

Commemorating Dr. Jose Rizal’s martyrdom for the first time as President, Duterte arrived at the Rizal Park five minutes ahead of the 7a.m. program.

Accompanied by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo Ano, the President received arrival military honor before joining other officials including former President and now Manila mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada in raising the national flag.

The President then spearheaded the traditional wreath-laying ceremonies in front of Dr. Jose Rizal’s monument.

Before leaving, President Duterte spent at least 30 minutes greeting, talking and even gamely posing for photo opportunity with hundreds of well-wishers including Jose Rizal’s descendants and foreign diplomats.

”It’s my honor to meet you guys. Our country is okay now. I will finish my fight against illegal drugs even if it cost my life, my presidency and my honor,” the President told the well-wishers.

He said six years of his presidency will be “kind of adjustment for everybody” but assured that it will be a comfortable life.

The President said he will proceed to Leyte to visit the victims of the last Wednesday’s bombing that injured 34 people during Hilongos town’s fiesta before flying back home in Davao City to spend New Year with his family. (PNA)

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