âEmulate Bonifacio to fight illsâ
Duterte stopped by the Bonifacio Monument before heading to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan for the opening rites of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

‘Emulate Bonifacio to fight ills’

Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte yesterday urged Filipinos to emulate Philippine revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio in fighting modern-day issues that continue to plague the nation and hinder its progress.

“In this day and age, we look to the Supremo for the inspiration to face the many adversities that befall us  illegal drugs, criminality, corruption, terrorism, poverty, environmental degradation and other societal (problems) that continue to hinder our progress,” Duterte said in his speech during the commemoration rites for Bonifacio’s 156th birth anniversary at the Monumento Circle in Caloocan City the first time that the President attended such ceremony.

Duterte stopped by the Bonifacio Monument before heading to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan for the opening rites of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

The President gave thanks to Caloocan for giving him the votes to win the last elections and called on the people to emulate the example of the Katipunan’s founding leader.

Duterte veered away from his speech to repeat his rants about critics of extrajudicial killings and the complaint for crimes against humanity lodged against him before the International Criminal Court, saying the ICC has no jurisdiction to prosecute him for his war on drugs.

“Instead of counting the criminals, they begin to shout the extrajudicial killings. How about the innocent, how many innocents were killed by these drug addicts? Sabihin ko sa inyo, mas marami at (I’m telling you, there are more and it is) more brutal,” he said.

The Chief Executive also slammed Vice President Leni Robredo anew since firing her from the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, and Sen. Francis Pangilinan for authoring the law that set the minimum age of criminal responsibility at 15 years old.

“She wasn’t solving any problems at all. (She said), what are you afraid of? Me, afraid of you? I’m afraid if you stay longer, you will just… That office does not require you to fight criminals,” Duterte said of Robredo.

Repeating his call to fight illegal drugs, the President vowed to train his guns on illegal human traffickers and pirates at sea.

“There are so many vultures in the illegal recruitment. One of these days, I will raise you to the level of a drug problem, and I will take care of you… ’Pag naubus pasyensya ko, patayin ko kayo (If I lose my patience, I will kill you),” he said.

Duterte added that he has met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to form a task force to patrol the seas against pirates.

“I will do my share in the Sulu seas and the sea near Jolo. And my orders for the Navy is that if they are positive that they are pirates, you blow them to kingdom come. Patayin mo na ang lahat at matapos na ang problema ko at ng Pilipino (Just kill all so that my problem and the Filipinos’ problem would end),” he said.

The President vowed to continue his brutal war on drugs to fullfill his campaign promise of fighting criminality.

“With the war on drugs, I had an occasion to say, and I will repeat it, I do not have the patience… If you will destroy my country, I will just have to kill you,” he added, eliciting rousing applause.

In a statement sent by Malacañang yesterday, Duterte said it is time to reflect on Bonifacio’s legacy of “awakening the Filipino consciousness to fight for our freedom and build an entire nation.”

“Even in death, his great sacrifice persists to ignite the spark of meaningful change so that we can bring this nation he had left behind to greater heights,” he added.

The Chief Executive also recognized how Bonifacio’s courage and selflessness brought the Philippines to independence.

“I urge everyone to emulate his love for country in our endeavors as we bring to life the strong and progressive Philippines that he had envisioned for us all,” he said.

In a separate statement, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo also paid tribute to Bonifacio’s heroism.

“As we pay tribute to the ‘Father of the Philippine Revolution,’ let us be inspired by his life and his bravery as the remnants of society’s ills in his time continue to haunt us, even as they remain an obstacle to unchain us from the bondage of poverty and corruption plus the evolved modern twin evil of illegal drugs and terrorism,” Panelo said yesterday.

Bonifacio’s trait should be emulated by the youth these days, according to the Palace spokesman.

“Our identity as a people is rooted in the revolution the Great Plebeian started in his younger years. As heirs to this worthy cause, it is but fitting that we emulate his revolutionary fervor and continue with the struggle he pursued, together with the other heroes, for the emancipation of our countrymen from foreign dominion,” he said.

‘Pinoys continue to face firce battles’

For Vice President Leni Robredo, Filipinos continue to face fierce battles against modern-day challenges over a century after Bonifacio led the revolution against the Spanish colonizers.

In her message for the commemoration of Bonifacio’s 156th birth anniversary yesterday, Robredo urged Filipinos to emulate the hero known as the “Father of the Philippine Revolution.”

“More than a century after the struggle led by Bonifacio and the Katipunan, we continue to face fierce battles – against poverty, injustice and inequality; against crime and illegal drugs; against corruption in government; and against the suppression of our rights,” Robredo said in Filipino.

“In the midst of the modern age and the challenges that come with it, everyone, especially those leading our nation, are expected to have the same courage and fervor as Bonifacio – the courage to protect our national independence; courage to fulfill our sworn office and fulfill the promises we make to the people; and courage to put the welfare of the people ahead of personal interests,” she added.

The Vice President expressed hope that the life and heroism of Bonifacio would serve as inspiration for Filipinos to face the greatest challenges of the time.

“(Bonifacio) is proof that true patriotism is reflected in standing up for what is right and good, especially in times of need,” she added. – With Christina Mendez, Janvic Mateo, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Edu Punay, Edith Regalado

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