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Palace directs gov’t offices, public schools to display portraits of heroes not officials

The Andres Bonifacio monument in Liwasang Bonifacio. Edd Gumban, File

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 8:08 p.m.) — Malacañang has ordered all government offices and public schools to display photos or paintings of Philippine heroes instead of elected or appointed government officials.

The directive is contained in Memorandum Circular No. 25 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last September 15.

Medialdea said the order was issued to "strengthen" the people's nationalism, love of country and respect for heroes and to raise "social consciousness and patriotism."
The order covers all government agencies and instrumentalities including state-run or controlled firms, state universities and colleges and public schools.
The memorandum contained a list of Philippine heroes identified by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
The heroes on the list were Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo del Pilar, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, Gabriela Silang, Lapu-Lapu, F. Jose Burgos, Fr. Mariano Gomez, Fr. Jacinto Zamora, Emilio Jacinto and Jose Abad Santos.
Last July, Duterte described as “silly” the displaying of his photos and those of other incumbent officials in government offices.
"I intend to also issue a decree, ipatanggal ko iyong mga litrato namin (I will have our photos removed)," the president said in an interview in Malacañang last July 18.
"Nabuang man iyong mga ganoon na tao (These people are silly). Put your family photos in your living room," he added.

READ: Duterte: I find extra adulation corny

He said he never liked the idea of displaying his portraits even when he was still the mayor of Davao City.

"Sa Davao, when I was mayor, I prohibited the display of my picture and I told the decks there to display instead the pictures of our heroes," he said.

The president has also instructed state agencies not to use “your excellency” when addressing him in official communications, events or materials.

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