Duterte, Robredo to Filipinos: Emulate Bonifacio's courage amid pandemic

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 30) — President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday both called on Filipinos to emulate Andres Bonifacio's courage and determination amid the pandemic crisis as the country commemorates the 157th birth anniversary of the father of the Philippine revolution.

In a taped speech aired during the wreath-laying ceremony at the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City, Duterte urged the public to look back at Bonifacio's life, deeds, and values that once helped secure the country into its "rightful place in the community of nations."

"Now, more than ever, as we overcome the challenges of 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," the President said.

Taking from Bonifacio's "extraordinary courage and determination," Duterte also urged Filipinos to "surmount the many challenges ahead and secure a much better and brighter future" for everyone.

'Courage of compassion'

In a statement, Robredo expressed a similar sentiment and noted that what Bonifacio exemplified was "the courage of compassion," and not the "cosmetic courage of bluster, or power, or brute strength."

She added that Bonifacio's courage was rooted in love for fellow Filipinos and conviction that no one must be left behind.

"Hindi pakitang-tao ang tapang na ito," the Vice President noted. "Ito ang tapang na hindi basta-basta tumitiklop dahil mahirap ang landas na hinaharap."

[Translation: This courage is not just for show. This is the kind of courage that will not be cowed no matter how difficult it gets.]

Robredo urged the public to live by this example in following protocols to ensure the health and safety of others amid the pandemic, in helping typhoon-hit victims, and in standing up against oppression and injustice.

According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, simultaneous flag-raising and wreath laying rites were scheduled for the day to commemorate Bonifacio's birth anniversary.

Aside from the ceremony in Caloocan led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, simple rites were conducted in Bonifacio monuments in Maragondon and Kawit, Cavite; as well as Manila and San Juan City to honor the Supremo of the Katipunan.