President Rodrigo Duterte led the commemoration for the 123rd death anniversary of national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal here on Monday, accompanied by daughter, Mayor Sara Z. Duterte.
In his message, President Duterte stressed the importance of remembering Rizal's life, saying, "the hero's life and legacy have inspired countless others for his dedication by offering his own life to the nation".
May his shining example to always think of the greater good be emulated by generations of our youth who looked up to him today, the President said.
Duterte said the freedom gained by Rizal's heroism may be kept thriving through the solidarity in combatting illegal drugs, corruption and criminality.
Let us keep the embers of nationalism alive as we courageously face the challenges of apathy and divisiveness and triumph over them just like what Rizal tenaciously did more than 120 years ago, he added.
Meanwhile, Mayor Sara said that the presence of President Duterte during the commemoration uplifted the spirit of City Hall employees who missed the President. Together with other local officials, President Duterte offered flowers to the monument of the country's National Hero.
The lady mayor also reminded the Dabawenyos to remember what Rizal did for the country, saying everyone should remember how Jose Rizal put the country first before himself and learn from his heroic deeds.
Let us remember his contribution in the country and learn from what he did for the love of our country, for what he did for our fellow men, she added.
On the other hand, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) chief, Major General Erwin Bernard Neri, also stressed that the heroism of Rizal that should be applied by Filipinos in their day to day lives.
Rizal is both an icon and a role model not just for the youth but to every one of us. Rizal symbolizes the united Filipino nation one that helps one another, one that prioritizes the safety and well-being of everyone other than himself and to do that, I know that he sacrificed himself for everyone, he said.
Neri narrated the recent calamities that the country experienced, including the series of earthquakes in Mindanao.
In times like these, we need a hero like Rizal, as a Mindanaoan, I believe in our resiliency on whatever challenges may come our way, he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency