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On Rizal Day, Duterte urges Filipinos to embody hero's patriotism, idealism

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On Rizal Day, Duterte urges Filipinos to embody hero's patriotism, idealism
President Rodrigo Duterte leads a ceremony commemorating the martyrdom of the national hero at the Rizal National Monument in Rizal Park on December 30, 2022.
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MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos to embody the patriotism and idealism of Jose Rizal as he urged them to honor COVID-19 frontliners on the national hero’s 125th death anniversary on Thursday.

“As we commemorate Rizal’s contribution to our freedom and self-determination, may we continue to honor him by exemplifying patriotism and idealism in all our endeavors as well as by fostering a greater sense of nationalism among the Filipino youth,” Duterte said.

The chief executive lauded those working at the COVID-19 frontlines for their heroism.

“People of unmatched boldness and compassion stood and fought against the odds brought by the disease in order to help save lives, even while risking their own,” Duterte said.

“Today, as we celebrate the life and works of Dr. Jose Rizal, let us also honor our modern-day heroes who are at the frontlines. Let us emulate his wisdom and courage in our own simple ways as we pursue a better and brighter future for all,” he added.

Duterte led a ceremony commemorating the martyrdom of the national hero at the Rizal National Monument in Rizal Park.

This year’s commemoration carries the theme “Rizal: Para sa Agham, Katotohanan at Buhay (Rizal: For Science, Truth, and Life).

Robredo: Be a true Filipino like Rizal

In a separate statement, Vice President Leni Robredo called on the public to live out the “true meaning of being a Filipino” as shown in the works of the national hero.

“We are called today to live out the true meaning of being a Filipino, as heralded and written by Rizal: Filipinos who are united, who share in communal responsibility, and who always draw strength from one another; Filipinos who always hold on to hope, because they respond with compassion to the needs of their countrymen,” Robredo said.

“May we all be reminded of Elias’ final words in 'Noli Me Tangere', to always welcome the dawn without ever forgetting those who suffered in the dark of night,” she added.

Rizal, whose works inspired Filipinos to resist Spain's colonial rule, was executed by firing squad in Manila on December 30, 1896. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

JOSE RIZAL

LENI ROBREDO

RIZAL DAY

RODRIGO DUTERTE

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