MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he favors a proposal from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to rename the Mactan International Airport in Cebu to Lapu-Lapu, after the first Filipino hero.
During the commemoration of National Heroes Day in Taguig City, NHCP Chairperson Rene Escalante said the commission would propose to the President the renaming of the Cebu airport into one after Lapu-Lapu “so that his name will be popularized and immortalized.”
Asked to react to Escalante’s proposal, Duterte said: “Yes. Bakit mo ipangalan sa mga hindi natin kadugo? (Yes. Why name it after those who are not our blood relative?)”
“Lapu Lapu fought for our country… After that battle he was able to kill the supremo of the expeditionary,” Duterte added, referring to the battle against Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.
Escalante said Lapu-Lapu deserves acclaim for his heroic acts, which is why the NHCP is also proposing that a national monument and park be built in honor of him in Cebu. The agency has also proposed that April 27, 2021, the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan, be declared a national holiday.
Duterte has always admired Lapu-Lapu, as the latter embodies a Filipino resisting the dictates of foreigners.
The President had even created the Order of Lapu Lapu, which is given to individuals who rendered “invaluable or extraordinary service in relation to a campaign or advocacy of the President.”
The President has also made April 27 Lapu-Lapu day in honor of the Filipino hero.