Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday, June 19, called on a “new generation” of Filipinos to fight for what is right and just as the country commemorates the 160th birth anniversary of its national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.
“Magsilbi nawang huwaran si Rizal sa bagong henerasyon ng mga Pilipino upang ipaglaban nila ang tama at nararapat, at magsilbing bayaning sumasalamin sa pinakamatatayog na prinsipyo at adhikain ng ating bayan (May Rizal stand as a guide to the new generation of Filipinos so they may fight for what is right and just, and may he serve as a hero who symbolizes the highest principles and motivations of our nation),” she said in her message.
Calling Rizal a “doctor, writer, philanthropist, hero, and Filipino,” Robredo said his example is calling everyone to be sources of hope and to respond to the challenges of the times.
She mentioned among the challenges are “ang paglutas ng pandemya, ang pag-ahon sa kahirapan, ang pagtaguyod ng ating dignidad at karapatan (solving the pandemic, ascending from poverty, and standing up for our dignity and rights).”
The vice president quoted Rizal on an editorial he wrote for the revolutionary paper La Solidaridad in 1890.
In it, the national hero said: “Let the Filipino people, without losing trust in men, place their confidence on something higher, on one with better memory, on one who knows better the value of justice and a sacred promise.”
Saying that Rizal words are still relevant today, Robredo said that “we are being called to be strong and brave in our faith.”
A medical doctor, Rizal was born on June 19, 1861 in Calamba, Laguna. With his writings, he drew attention to the abuses of the Spanish colonizers. This led to his deportation from Spain and later on, his execution at Luneta on December 30, 1896.