Duterte to Filipinos: Become a hero like Bonifacio

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday urged Filipinos to emulate Andres Bonifacio’s “strong sense of civic duty, courage, love of country” as he joined the nation in commemorating the 158th birth anniversary of the revolutionary hero.

In his speech during the Bonifacio Day rites in San Juan City, Duterte encouraged every Filipino to “become a hero like Bonifacio” by participating actively in nation-building efforts, such as activities that respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“As we commemorate these events, I invite every Filipino to become a hero like Bonifacio by participating actively in our nation-building efforts, especially those challenging times when we have to secure our nation’s health, safety and wellness,” Duterte said.

“In this light I call on our kababayans to emulate Gat Andres Bonifacio’s strong sense of civic duty, courage, love of country in our daily lives even in the simplest ways,” he added.

The President said that “remembering the heroism of our gallant forebear which Bonifacio provided the sense of hope, determination and optimism for today’s generation of Filipinos, especially as we surmount difficult challenges in our time including the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“The bravery and patriotism of Gat Andres Bonifacio and many of our forebears who fought against foreign dominators must serve as our guiding post in beating the odds that hinder our progress as a people and as a nation,” he said.

Bonifacio led the clandestine revolutionary movement Katipunan in 1896 to fight Spanish colonial rulers.

He, however, died in 1897 not in battle but upon the order of another Katipunero, Emilio Aguinaldo.

Meanwhile, Duterte thanked the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for the restoration of the 19th century underground water reservoir of “El Deposito” as this gives the new generation of Filipinos a glimpse of the country’s long and colorful history and heritage.

“May this event be a constant reminder of our invaluable contribution and selfless sacrifice of our heroes especially Gat Andres in paving the way for the liberty and independence that we enjoy today. Indeed, remembering historical events such as these are vital to enriching our understanding and appreciation for our nation’s culture,” he said.

“I believe that by visiting and honoring our past we will be able to impart a stronger sense of nationhood to the present and future generations of Filipinos… May we be challenged to give our very best to the benefit of our people and nation,” the President added.

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