President Duterte has called on Filipinos to “be a hero” like Andres Bonifacio whose 158th birth anniversary the nation commemorated by way of a non -working holiday on Tuesday, November 30.
“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 his speech at the Spirit of Pinaglabanan Monument in Pinaglabanan Shrine, San Juan City.
Before this, the Chief Executive led a wreath-offering at the monument to commemorate Bonifacio Day. The event carried the theme, ‘Bonifacio 2021: Pagbubuklod para sa Kaligtasan at Kalusugan ng Bayan’ (Uniting for the Safety and Wellness of the Nation’).
“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. May we be challenged to give our very best to the benefit of our people and nation,” he said.
Bonifacio Day was made part of the national government’s three-day national vaccination drive dubbed “Bayanihan, Bakunahan”. The vaccination campaign began Monday and is the single biggest push of the government to have Filipinos inoculated from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In the main program of the Pinaglabanan event, the Chief Executive confered posthumously the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the Rank of Magalong to Gat Andres Bonifacio. The great granddaughter of the hero, Buena Grace Distrito Casanova, received the award.
“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,” Duterte said.
“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 added.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar echoed Duterte’s call in a statement Tuesday.
“Let us all pay tribute to the Father of Philippine Revolution by emulating his patriotism, bravery, and sense of camaraderie, that helped awaken in our forefathers’ the desire for liberation and self-determination,” Andanar said, referring to Bonifacio.
“May it also ignite in our hearts the collective will to respond to societal ills and challenges, such as poverty, insurgency, terrorism, corruption, illegal drugs, and the COVID-19 pandemic for our nation’s progress and development,” he said.
Bonifacio was one of the founders of the Katipunan.