President Rodrigo Duterte was a no-show in the Rizal Day ceremony here in Davao City.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte instead represented the President who was said to have been advised to rest.
Below is President Duterte’s message read by Mayor Inday Sara:
I recognize the efforts of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and its partners for successfully organizing this year’s commemoration of the 122nd anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal.
Today, as we remember the sacrifice of Dr. Rizal and the other patriots of the Philippine Revolution, we look back into our past and learn from the life and legacy of our national hero.
It is my sincere hope that this year’s commemoration will inspire everyone to emulate Rizal’s patriotism in their own ways, by supporting the government’s development agenda and our campaign against corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.
Let us all do our part in nation-building and become productive citizens who can contribute to the overall advancement of our nation.
True to this year’s theme, I enjoin everyone to focus on developing one’s self for the benefit of our countrymen.
Let this be the foundation of a truly free and progressive country.
Intelligence must indeed always go hand in hand with compassion. And it is by having genuine concern for our kababayans that we can truly show the goodness of our character, just like our national hero.
Let our love of country, genuine service for others – which are innately Filipino – fuel our desire to aid in addressing the plight of our countrymen.
I encourage everyone to dedicate your skills and talents to love and serve our country just as Rizal did more than a hundred years ago.
We need to free ourselves from the shackles of poverty, criminality and corruption. And we can only do so if we give primacy to education and hard work as the means to improve one’s lot in life.
May Rizal’s courage and patriotic fervor inspire us all to develop compassion for our fellowmen, as well as foster a greater desire to always think of the common good so that we may be able to progress as a people and as a nation.