Duterte: Triumph over apathy, divisiveness like Jose Rizal did
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno led other officials in raising the Philippine flag during the commemoration of the 123rd death anniversary of martyred hero Jose Rizal at the Luneta Park in Manila on Dec. 30, 2019.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
Duterte: Triumph over apathy, divisiveness like Jose Rizal did
(Philstar.com) - December 30, 2019 - 12:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — As the country commemorated the life of Dr. Jose Rizal, President Rodrigo Duterte urged Filipinos to emulate the hero and triumph over apathy and divisiveness.

The president, in his message for the 123rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Rizal, remembered the hero for his “ardent love of country and unfettered desire” to hone the nation’s intelligence.

Rizal’s life and legacy, Duterte said, inspired others to dedicate their lives in service of the country while his work in cultivating the “intelligence of his countrymen” led to the “reawakening of the Filipinos’ patriotism and sense of responsibility.”

He urged the youth to emulate Rizal and to “always think of the greater good.”

“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,” Duterte added.

“Together, let us strengthen and protect our liberty that our heroes have so unselfishly shed their blood for,” the president also said.

RELATED: Rizal is not a national hero Filipinos believed he was

Filipinos know of Rizal as the country's national hero but the National Commission for Culture and the Arts said that there is “no law, executive order or proclamation” issued to proclaim any Filipino historical figure as a national hero.

Duterte leads ceremonies in Davao

Duterte joined the commemorative rites of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Rizal in Davao City early Monday morning.

The president led in the wreath-laying ceremonies at the Rizal Park in his hometown. He left immediately after, as shown in the stream provided by the Presidential Communications Office.

Duterte was joined by his children, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte.

Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also assisted in the ceremonies.

Meanwhile, at Luneta Park, Manila, Duterte was represented by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

The executive secretary and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno offered flowers to the monument of Rizal at the Luneta Park early Monday morning. — Kristine Joy Patag

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