COVID-19 frontliners remembered, hailed as country commemorates Rizal's birth anniversary
This undated photo shows a health worker in San Juan City wears a personal protective gear.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
COVID-19 frontliners remembered, hailed as country commemorates Rizal's birth anniversary
(Philstar.com) - June 19, 2020 - 12:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — On the commemoration of the 159th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, Malacañang urged the Filipino youth to emulate his values especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.

“The life of our greatest hero is a testament of [sic] how a single person’s deep love for his country could spark the re-awakening of our forefathers’ desire for freedom and change,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Remembering Rizal’s life and dedication to service, Roque also paid tribute to frontliners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as the country’s “modern-day heroes.”

Our frontliners “rise up to the challenge and serve as beacons of hope to a people weary and fearful of the present health scare,” Roque said.

He urged the Filipino people, especially the young and was referred to by Rizal as “hope for our future,” to “take inspiration from his life and emulate his principles to be agents of genuine transformation for a better Philippines.”

At the Luneta Park, where Rizal was executed in 1986, officials of the Manila City local government held a short program and laid wreath to Rizal monument.

The Manila Public Information Office said Mayor Isko Moreno led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony at the Luneta Park on Friday morning.

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto also paid tribute to frontliners in his message for the birth anniversary of Rizal.

Sotto contemplated on what is the meaning of being a hero and how can heroism be shown in this time of pandemic.

“We see this heroism in our community kitchen, our volunteers who work in the wee hours of the morning even though no one asked them to, to prepare food for our frontliners,” he said in Filipino.

Sotto also said medical frontliners, police and peace and order officers exhibit heroism even amid the fear of contracting the deadly coronavirus.

“I hope the spirit of Rizal continues to live in our everyday acts,” the young mayor also said. — Kristine Joy Patag

HARRY ROQUE ISKO MORENO JOSE RIZAL VICO SOTTO
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