On Rizal Day, De Lima urges Filipinos to stand up vs despotic regime

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has recalled the patriotic deeds and sacrifices of national hero Dr. Gat Jose Rizal who stood up and defended the country and the Filipinos against the then abusive Spanish government in the Philippines.

In her message on Rizal Day today (Dec. 30), De Lima urged her countrymen to emulate Rizal’s courage and loyalty to the country by fulfilling their obligation to stand up against a despotic regime and uphold our democratic principles for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Taon-taon, ginugunita natin ang Araw ni Gat Jose Rizal. Subalit ang pagdiriwang na ito ay hindi lang tungkol kay Rizal bilang indibidwal, kundi sa dangal at husay ng lahing Pilipino na ipinamalas niya sa buong mundo, pati na sa pagkamulat ng sambayanan at sama-samang pakikipaglaban para sa ating kasarinlan,” she said.

“As Rizal said, ‘The tyranny of some is possible only through the cowardice of others.’ [So] Instead of siding with those who continue to ruin our people and country, let us once again strengthen our solidarity in bringing back the glory of our nation that is committed in promoting human rights, social justice and democracy,” she added.

Celebrated annually every Dec. 30, Rizal Day commemorates the life of Rizal who is widely known for being a Filipino nationalist and revolutionary. He was executed by firing squad at Bagumbayan field, now Rizal Park, in Manila on Dec. 30, 1896.

While some people tried to discredit his efforts during his time, De Lima said that the respect and honor given to Rizal until today are strong proof that history judges what one did for his country and countrymen.

Isandaan at dalawampu’t tatlong taon na mula nang pinaslang si Rizal matapos siyang hatulan ng kamatayan mula sa mga gawa-gawang kaso laban sa kanya. Pilit mang siniraan noon ang kanyang reputasyon, malinaw naman hanggang ngayon na patuloy na tinitingala ang kadakilaan ng paglaban niya para sa katotohanan at katarungan,” she said. 

The lady Senator from Bicol maintained that the people should continue valuing Rizal’s principles by calling out and speaking out against abusive leaders who promote and tolerate inequality, injustices and treason.

Kung tutuusin, puwede sanang palampasin na lang kung ang isang naturingang pinuno ng bansa ay tinatamad o nagpapalusot lang kung ayaw niyang dumalo sa mga tradisyon ng paggunita sa ating mga bayani,” she said.

“Pero ang hindi katanggap-tanggap sa atin ay ang kawalan mismo ng pagpapahalaga ng isang pinuno sa mga ipinaglabang prinsipyo ng ating mga bayani—ang pagtatanggol sa ating teritoryo, paggalang sa karapatang pantao, malayang pamamahayag at pagkakapantay-pantay,” she added.

In highlighting what Filipinos can do for the country, De Lima said each person should ask his or herself questions such as, “Bilang Pilipino, ano ang nagagawa ko para sa aking kapwa Pilipino?”, “Sa harap ng lantarang karahasan at pagpatay sa mga maralita, umimik ba tayo o nanahimik?”

Among the questions De Lima believes people should also ask themselves include, “Sa paglapastangan sa mga institusyon na may mandatong itaguyod ang hustisya, tumutol ba tayo o nagpagamit lang sa mga mapang-abuso?”, “Sa panggigipit sa malayang pamamahayag at pagpapakalat ng fake news, pumanig ba tayo sa tama at nararapat o nagwalang kibo lamang at nagpakaduwag?” (30)

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619

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