The entire Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) paid homage to Filipino patriot and hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, as the country observed his 123rd martyrdom anniversary at Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park) on Monday.
"The AFP pays homage to our national hero. He epitomizes the AFP's core values of honor, service, and patriotism," said AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a message to reporters.
Aside from these traits, Rizal also exudes the leadership principles of a Filipino trooper.
"He labored tirelessly to improve himself personally and professionally. He led by example. He took care of his people and look out for their welfare," he said.
He added that above all, Rizal played an active role in the fight for nationalism and took responsibility and paid dearly for his heroic actions.
"Thus, every Soldier, Airman, Sailor, and Marine of the AFP emulates Dr. Rizal's selfless devotion to duty to country and people -- offering the ultimate sacrifice like he did 123 years ago in Bagumbayan when duty demands it," Arevalo said.
Rizal Day was first celebrated on December 30, 1898 after General Emilio Aguinaldo issued a decree declaring December 30 as the anniversary of Jose Rizal's death.
This year's celebration is themed Jose Rizal: Huwaran ng Pilipino sa Ikadalawampu't Isang Siglo" (Jose Rizal: Paragon of the Filipinos in the 21st Century).
Source: Philippines News Agency