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Commentary

Recommitting to our heroes’ example

/ 05:18 AM November 29, 2018

Such brave men who liberated our country from the bondage of colonialism and war, to try to wrest peace and progress for their fellow Filipinos. They were heroes who shed their own blood for the love of country and freedom.

Failing to recall their sacrifices on a day meant to commemorate their valor, such as tomorrow’s National Heroes Day (also Andres Bonifacio’s 155th birthday), would be ungrateful.

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Gat Andres Bonifacio led the Katipuneros against the tyranny of Spanish invaders and died on May 10, 1897. Our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal faced the Spanish firing squad in Bagumbayan on Dec. 30, 1896, with undying hope in the Filipino youth. And the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr. fell to his death at the tarmac of the then Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983, believing to his last breath that the Filipino is worth dying for.

Rizal’s martyrdom galvanized the filibusters, under the command of Bonifacio, to rise up in arms against the Spanish colonizers, leading to our country’s early liberty. Similarly, Ninoy’s assassination set on fire the cowed, much-robbed spirit of the Filipinos to finally fight back and undo the evil rule of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

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But extolling the bravest men and women of our race on special occasions such as tomorrow’s National Heroes Day is incomplete by itself. We must also render a commitment to live by their example every day, and not only on the day they are remembered.

We must not dread joining forces with soldiers, officers, leaders, activists and pundits who defend our duly constituted democracy when they are trampled by high officials of the land who serve only their selfish ends. These self-besotted rulers who play and control the power game will fall off the end of the stick once righteous citizens wise up to their ploys.

As we take our hats off to our brave heroes, we must keep an eye on the crooks and thieves who live rich while making the poor more miserable—such polar opposites of how our heroes suffered for the oppressed! We must come face to face with criminals and enemies in high places who  try to fool us by redefining heroism and revising the nation’s history.

We must commit without end to prosecute  the evils and falsehoods of the fake heroes of today; to shout in protest in schools, in parks, in streets, in public places, and call for the observance of the rule of law in governance, politics and

society.

Many committed citizens agreed when Philippine Information Agency Director General Harold Clavite said this some time ago: “We have been sitting idly for too long, and it is about time that someone speaks up and holds erring officials accountable for repeatedly tarnishing the reputation of the government.”

Indeed, holding erring officials accountable is our foremost duty as citizens, in the manner of our national heroes’ commitment to sacrifice and love for country above all. It’s a commitment that, every day, should inspire us to speak up, stand our ground and hold the line.

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Pit M. Maliksi is an alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas and Central Texas College, and an English teacher of Liceo de San Pablo and La Consolacion College Tanauan. He was the most outstanding professor for 12 years of PUP-STB (Sto. Tomas, Batangas) campus, where he is the educational program officer of Kiwanis International STB-Chapter, and the founder of Mga Apo ni Tomas, a civic society of STB young professionals, and the newly formed Philippine Axiologists Association.

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TAGS: andres bonifacio, Benigno Aquino Jr., Filipino heroes, Inquirer Commentary, Jose Rizal, National Heroes Day, Ninoy Aquino, Pit M. Maliksi
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