On Rizal Day, De Lima calls on fellow Filipinos to fight tyranny, reclaim our national honor and dignity


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima encouraged Filipinos to exert concerted efforts to protect people’s right to live with freedom and dignity and take inspiration from the sacrifices of Philippine National Hero, Dr. Gat Jose Rizal.

As the nation commemorates Rizal Day today (Dec. 30), De Lima said Filipinos should emulate the courage and patriotism of Rizal who fought against the then abusive Spanish regime in the Philippines.

“Dr. Jose Rizal could have lived comfortably in silence but he chose to fight for our rights as a people and country against colonial oppression,” she said.

“More importantly, he recognized that the so called ‘indolence’ of the Filipino people is brought about by the unjust social structures that deprived the people of their right to live in freedom and with dignity,” she added.

De Lima said that, as an exile, Rizal worked closely with the people of Dapitan to improve much-needed basic services and taught people the beautiful lesson: “that dismantling those repressive structures should always be a collective struggle, an inclusive undertaking that should involve the concerned community or sector.”

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, stressed that genuine change is only possible with people’s collective action.

“We are now being presented once again with a historical opportunity to collectively fight and topple a common enemy:  tyranny – the return of one, and the perverse determination of another to remain in power.

“In this crucial juncture, Gat Jose Rizal once again reminds us: ‘The tyranny of some is possible only through the cowardice of others’. Laban lang!” she said.

“Sa harap din ng lantarang panghihimasok sa ating teritoryo, pagyurak sa ating likas na yaman, pang-aagaw sa kabuhayan at pang-aalipusta sa Pilipino sa sariling bayan, kailangan nating sama-samang tumindig at ipaglaban ang ating mga karapatan at pambansang dangal,” she added. (30)

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