MANY of the ills that existed during Rizal’s time continue to plague society today, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech to be delivered Saturday to mark the 121st anniversary of national hero Jose Rizal’s death by firing squad.
“As an author and as a scholar, he denounced the corruption, greed and other social ills that up to this day continue to plague our society,” Duterte said.
“Even in death, he imparted upon us his aspirations for a nation that is free from the scourge of injustice, tyranny and suffering,” he added.
Rizal’s life and works has “inspired a movement that gave rise to the Filipino national identity,” Duterte said.
“During that dark chapter in nation’s history, his writings served as the light that guided our forebears in the fight for genuine equality and independence,” he said.
“May we take this occasion as an opportunity to recognize Dr. Rizal’s ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our country.”
“Let us reflect on his patriotism as we strive to continue his work of building a more united, peaceful and prosperous Philippines,” Duterte said.
Dec. 30 is marked as a national holiday.