President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday paid homage to the country’s national heroes and urged Filipino people to follow their nationalism to help the government in building a stronger country.
In his speech during the commemoration of the National Heroes’ Day, Duterte said the heroes’ courage, leadership, and wisdom headed the country’s democracy and the Filipino people should participate on the government’s efforts in creating “a stronger, peaceful, and more secure nation” by emulating the patriotism of heroes.
“As we further our efforts to build a stronger, peaceful, and more secure nation, we count on our people to emulate the patriotism of our heroes so that we may all prevail against the looming threats of criminality, terrorism and drugs,” Duterte said.
“Today, we pay homage to the men and women who helped lay the foundations of this nation. Their courage, leadership and wisdom paved the way for us to enjoy the blessings of freedom, independence and democracy…They have dedicated their lives to ensure that future generations will have a life that is full and comfortable,” the President added.
Duterte also called on the public to honor the heroes by “upholding the rule of law, protecting our nation and fostering goodwill.”
“We will harness the same virtues as we continue to fight against lawlessness, criminality and poverty that hinder us from achieving our full potential,” the president added.
Duterte honored nameless heroes whose exploits are never published in history books or whose death anniversaries are not celebrated as public holidays.
“So every Filipino who actually done something for our country, must be recognized, living or dead. Every year, we come together every last Monday of August to celebrate the bravery of all Filipino heroes, named or unnamed,” Duterte said.
“We thank them still for their deeds and remember their exploits forever,” he added.
Duterte also led the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“In these trying times, when our people are in need of heroes to look up to, we pay tribute to those whose heroism made our nation what today,” the president said.
Duterte conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu Medal of Kalasag on 129 soldiers and policemen slain in the war against local terrorists Maute group in Marawi City and to Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido.
“Today, we confer the Order of Lapu-Lapu on individuals who rendered extraordinary service to our country… I cannot thank them enough for their valuable service to our nation, and we shall forever be in debt,” the president said.