Cebu News

Labella: Don’t let Rizal die in vain

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Amid the ongoing supplemental budget row in Cebu City, acting mayor Edgardo Labella has called on everyone to be united and set aside differences to free the city from the continuing dilemma of poverty, corruption, illegal drug trade and negative politicking.

Labella made the call on the occasion of the 119th anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal’s martyrdom. The present issues that the city government is being confronted, Labella stressed, has to be addressed “to give justice, to give meaning to the sacrifices of our national hero” on his act of nationalism and martyrdom.

“It is our hope that his death wouldn’t be in vain. Although at present we are now breathing the air of freedom but there are still many issues that we have to address, this generation would have to tackle the challenges,” said Labella, chairman of the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission.

The city government commemorated the death anniversary of Rizal yesterday morning at the Plaza Sugbo grounds. A floral offering was done at the monument of Rizal.

“We are breathing the air of freedom of democracy because of the sacrifices of our national heroes including Dr. Jose Rizal… but there are very important (issues that we need to address) otherwise Rizal would have died in vain,” Labella told reporters.

He counted the campaign against poverty on which the city government has to focus.

“For example poverty, the political and social imbalance that too many have too little while too few have too much of the good things in life. That there are people wallowing in luxury and comfort, a very few of them compared to the people living under sub-human condition,” he added.

Labella also mentioned corruption in the different branches of government.

“The deeply-rooted culture of corruption in the bureaucracy not only in the executive and legislative but even in the judiciary, these should be addressed so that Rizal would not just die in vain,” he said.

The continuing politicking and drug peddling are also among the many concerns that should be addressed in the city, according to Labella.

“The never ending post-political posturing to the extent of mud-slinging and character assassination even if the election is too far away,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Loren Legarda called on the Filipinos to follow the example of Rizal and emulate his philosophy and commitment to environmental care and management.

Legarda, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and a known environmentalist, said that Rizal was known to be a man of incredible intellectual power who fought for freedom through his pen, books, and knowledge.

According to Legarda, Rizal also had a keen devotion to environmental planning.

Legarda cited accounts about Rizal’s helping the people in Zamboanga City to build fish pens, constructing an aqueduct that provided people with clean water, using coconut oil lamps to light up streets and planting numerous trees, turning the town into a green space, among others, during his exile in Dapitan.

Legarda said these are just some of the many but unknown contributions of Rizal to the environment that are worth emulating.

The most fitting tribute to this distinguished man is to continue his work of caring for the environment by introducing innovative solutions to environmental problems. We have many of the best environmental laws but most of them are not being fully implemented,” Legarda said.

Legarda, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, has introduced general and special provisions in the 2016 national budget that would ensure the integration of disaster and climate resilience, environmental and heritage conservation, and sustainability in the programs of various government agencies.

“Every Filipino must strive to follow the good example of our national hero, not just in the aspect of protecting our rights and sovereignty but also with regard to preserving our environment, which is essential as it is the source of our vital needs for continuous existence,” Legarda added. — May B. Miasco and Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon/FPL (FREEMAN)













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