President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called for a “period of national unity” as the country faced a “significant phase” of social development and economic growth.
In his message during the country’s commemoration of Jose Rizal’s martyrdom, Duterte also sought the “active involvement” of all sectors to help bring about genuine change in society.
“We are the fortunate recipient of the fruits of Rizal’s sacrifices, the freedom that he fought for, and the self-identity and honor that he strongly believed we ought to defend. Beyond his prodigious and various talents, Rizal is best honored when we regard him as a beacon and moral compass in these challenging and perilous times,” he said.
Until now, however, Duterte said, the country is still fighting for independence. Only this time, he said, the nation is fighting for freedom from the “bondage of poverty, crime, illegal drugs and corruption.”
“Indeed, they are our present enemies. They are the modern invaders that subjugate our people’s hearts, minds and spirits,” he said.
The President then called “active involvement of all sectors to help us in this war to bring about genuine change in our society.”
“As the nation undergoes a significant phase of social development and economic growth, a period of national unity that calls for the cooperation, patience, and sacrifice of our people is necessary,” he said.
Duterte urged everyone “to manifest the same fervor and dedication” that moved and motivated Rizal to action.
“Let us therefore emulate the traits of Rizal. Let us be willing heroes—patriotic, faithful, and loyal to our Motherland,” he said.
He also expressed hope that Filipinos would become their own heroes by being committed to advocate good governance and uphold the rule of law, steadfast to end criminality and all forms of government corruption, and compassionate to the plight of the poor and less privileged. CBB