MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has made good on his promise to issue a decree banning the display of portraits of public officials in government offices and replacing them with portraits of Filipino heroes instead.
Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 25, which was signed September 15 by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by authority of the President, directed all government agencies, instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), state universities and colleges (SUCs) and public schools at all levels to display or exhibit the photographs, paintings, or other forms of visual representations of Philippine heroes in lieu of the photographs and visual representations of elected or appointed government officials.
The MC takes effect immediately.
A list of 14 recognized Philippine heroes, as identified by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines was attached for reference and guidance.
The list includes Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, Gabriela Silang, Lapu-Lapu, Father Jose Burgos, Father Mariano Gomes, Father Jacinto Zamora, Emilio Jacinto and Jose Abad Santos.
Duterte earlier vowed to issue such a decree last July 19 during an event at the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
“I intend to issue a decree. Ipatanggal ko ‘yung mga litrato namin (I will have our pictures removed),” he said.
He said that he prohibited the display of his image in the Davao City Hall when he was still mayor, saying that photos of public officials belong in their family living rooms and not in government offices.
“Doon mo ilagay ‘yan sa mga pamilya ninyo, doon sa sala,” he said.
The President said he wants the portraits of heroes hung in government offices, especially in schools, so that children could emulate them
“Gusto ko ‘yung mga heroes natin ma-emulate ng mga bata. Eh ‘yung iba diyan sa picture limang beses na dumaan ng graft and corruption sa kaso eh (I want the children to emulate our heroes and not those who have been charged with graft several times),” Duterte said.