BY JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR and WENDELL VIGILIA
PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday urged Filipinos to draw inspiration from the courage and determination of hero and Katipunan leader Andres Bonifacio in overcoming challenges such as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and in securing a better future for every Filipino.
Vice President Leni Robredo rallied Filipinos to follow Bonifacio’s example and be courageous in demanding accountability from government.
The country’s top two officials issued the statements on the commemoration of Bonifacio’s 157th birth anniversary.
A wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila.
Bonifacio led the Katipunan in fighting oppression from Spanish colonizers.
The President, in a taped message, said Bonifacio’s love for the country prodded Filipinos to fight for their freedom and secure their place in the community of nations.
“Now, more than ever, as we overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, as we remember his life and deeds, may the values he fought for inspire us all to become worthy heirs of a just, progressive and inclusive society that he envisioned more than a century ago. Fueled by Bonifacio’s extraordinary courage and determination, let us surmount the many challenges ahead and secure a much better and brighter future for every Filipino,” Duterte said.
The Vice President, who was the subject of Duterte’s recent attacks as she was working to provide relief to typhoon victims, urged Filipinos to emulate Bonifacio in their daily lives, saying he exemplified the true essence of courage in the face of adversity.
In rallying Filipinos to be courageous in demanding accountability from the government, she said, “Sa paghahatid man ng tulong sa kababayang nasalanta, sa pagsunod sa mga patakaran para mapanatiling ligtas ang kapwa ngayong may pandemya, o sa paninindigan laban sa anumang kapabayaan o pang-aapi (Be it in helping calamity victims, following protocols to ensure the safety of everyone during this pandemic or even in standing up against neglect or oppression).”
Obviously taking a dig at the trash-talking President, the opposition leader said what Bonifacio exemplified “is not the cosmetic courage of bluster, or power, or brute strength; it is the courage of compassion.”
“Hindi pakitang-tao ang tapang na ito. Ito ang tapang na hindi basta-basta tumitiklop dahil mahirap ang landas na hinaharap. Nakaugat ito sa pagmamahal sa kapwa Pilipino, sa paninindigan na wala dapat naaapi o napapabayaan sa lipunan (This courage isn’t for show.
This is the kind of courage that does not relent no matter how difficult the situation is. It is rooted in love for fellow Filipinos, in the belief that no one should be oppressed or left behind),” Robredo said.