MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday paid tribute to past and modern heroes for fighting for the country's democracy and battling the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively.
"With pride and joy, we honor the noble sacrifices of our ancestors who fought to celebrate our country and establish the thriving democracy that we are today," he said in a taped message on National Heroes Day.
Duterte urged the public to acknowledge "modern-day heroes," the medical frontliners and essential workers "who sacrifice their lives, comfort and security to serve our fellow Filipinos" during the COVID-19 crisis.
"Their names will not be etched on any edifice, statues will not be erected in their honor, banknotes will not be graced by their portraits, and their individual explores will not be immortalized on the pages of history books," he said in a separate statement.
"Yet, for selflessly risking their lives to ensure the survival of our society, I can confidently say that they have more than earned their rightful place in the pedestal of heroes."
The President urged the public, "May we all learn from the valiant example of the past and present heroes and build on them to achieve a stronger future for all."
"This year, let us consecrate this day not just as a memorial to their extraordinary heroism, but as an enduring testament to our inherent capacity to rise above self-interest to fight for a cause far greater than our own," he added.
National Heroes Day, a regular holiday, marks the anniversary of the 1896 Cry of Pugad Lawin, the beginning of the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonizers.
Video courtesy of PTV