On the 154th anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, around 300 youth leaders in the country pledged their commitment to uphold, protect, and promote human rights.
The youth gathered Thursday during the "Heroes Hub: Youth Empowerment Summit", which paid tribute to the heroism of Bonifacio who is considered as the "Father of Philippine Revolution."
Active Vista Executive Director Leni Velasco said the event served as an opportunity for the youth "to respond for the call of the times."
"It is time for the youth to reclaim heroism, to reclaim humanity amidst the attacks on human rights and dignity. We do not need a revolutionary government; we need a revolution in the minds and hearts of our people," she said.
In her speech, Velasco also emphasized that "genuine national development is built on the recognition and realization of freedom, human rights, and human dignity."
"Do not let the pretense of the seeming calmness that surround us deceive us from the perils of destruction this may bring to our country. We urge the youth to resist the culture of apathy and violence perpetuated and to stand up for human rights, for humanity," she added.
The summit featured discussions on the history of human rights struggles in the country, understanding rule of law, equality, war on drugs, and women's rights.
Television host Lourd de Veyra, photojournalist Raffy Lerma, and actress Chai Fonacier were among the featured speakers.
The summit is part of Activa Vista Human Rights Festival. The festival will run until Dec. 10 and will hold screenings of Mike de Leon's remastered classic, "Batch '81."