President Rodrigo Duterte urged the Filipinos on Monday to emulate Dr. Jose Rizal and fight “apathy and division,” as the nation celebrated the 123rd anniversary of his death.
Announcement “Let’s keep the embers of nationalism alive as we bravely face the challenges of apathy and divisiveness, and triumph over them just as Rizal did more than 120 years ago,” Duterte said in his Rizal Day message.
Duterte said that Rizal’s passionate love of the land and his unfettered desire to nurture not only his intellect but also the wisdom of his countrymen led to a reawakening of the patriotism and sense of responsibility of the Filipinos.
He expressed the hope that the independence now enjoyed by the Filipinos would be cherished, reinforced and preserved by the unity shown by the people in the battle against the ills of illegal drugs, corruption, and crime.
The President also appealed to the people to reinforce and protect the freedom for which the heroes unselfishly shed their blood.
Earlier in the day, Duterte celebrated the 123rd anniversary of Rizal’s martyrdom at Rizal Park in Davao City. He was accompanied by his aunt, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, and AFP Chief of Staff Noel Clement