Revolutionaries and other heroes | Investigator’s opinion

Highly placed scoundrels have so dominated these regions, shamelessly promoting themselves, snatching taxpayers’ money or wreaking havoc in public life, that the women and men we should honor today in commemoration of the National Heroes Day stand out in austere dimensions.

Filipino schoolchildren learn that August 31 officially marks the anniversary of the Cry of Pugad Lawin (or Balintawak – historians disagree on the location) of 1896), the start of the Filipino Revolution against Spanish colonial rule.

The virtues of the supremo Katipunan Andres Bonifacio and the intellectual José Rizal and the major and minor lights of the Revolution regularly come out of the mouths of babies, attached to the memory of old-fashioned annals.

It is extremely important that children not only know but also understand their history Рincluding the circumstances that led to the Cry, when the revolutionaries came together to harden their plan of action and tore up their c̩dulas (tax certificates) in contempt. parish leaders Рfor them, the children, to become responsible adults able to take charge of their future.

But this day is also reserved for other Filipinos, past and present, that children and even their elders should become familiar with beyond the often fanatical (because orchestrated) presentations on social media – like, say, the surprising bashing. by Vice-President Leni. Robredo pour elle deals with his speech rallying Filipinos to take courage in their abilities despite rudderless leadership.

In the formulation of the National Committee of Heroes organized in the 1990s during the tenure of President Fidel V. Ramos, heroes are those who define and contribute to the freedom, order, quality of life and destiny of the nation. According to the Official Gazette, the “lack of detail” in the commemoration of National Heroes Day “provides an opportunity to celebrate the bravery, not of one, not of a few, but of all the Filipino heroes who have braved death or persecution for home, nation, justice and liberty.

There is therefore no need to insist on lighting candles for the heroes whose names are engraved on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Wall of Remembrance, which bears witness to the brutality of Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship and the continuing impunity. and the lack of remorse with which his heirs claim a place in the democratic project.

Also nowadays, if being a hero means taking the reins of others, then heroes are those who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, risking their lives daily for or contributing in various ways to the common good; those who teach our children and guide them on the paths of citizenship; those who work abroad in hostile conditions and devastating loneliness to keep their families and their country afloat; and those who are committed to lifting their fellow Filipinos from the grip of poverty and, necessarily, to struggle to prevent the erasure of democratic space – a struggle so arduous, so hard, that many have been killed for it .

They all deserve recognition and honor, as well as encouragement and other expressions of support. Yet it is in this very aspect that the administration has been lacking, in word or in deed, as shown by the glaring affair of such low salaries (for health personnel, for teachers, even for those who are brought in to work abroad) prohibit beneficiaries and their families from living and living in dignity.

The administration certainly needs all the help it can get. But quite often, despite the enormous resources at its disposal, despite the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases unofficially calling the shots since day one of the pandemic, the administration has apparently lived up to its obligations, allowing the heavy bureaucracy to gain the upper hand to the point of handing over the initiative to individuals.

Like actor Angel Locsin and his colleagues, whose efforts have put them at the forefront of helping Filipinos slaughtered by the coronavirus. Starting from the (correct) idea that many people wanted to help but were unsure how, Locsin et al. managed to raise funds which gave them leeway to quickly come to the aid of, for example, jeepney drivers for whom hunger became a grim reality during the long confinement, and to whom the administration did not couldn’t even give the time of day.

You don’t need a reason to help others, Locsin recently told Marinel Cruz de l’Inquirer. This is “actually our obligation as a human being, as a citizen of this country, as a Filipino,” she said.

Similar examples of humanity, of heroism, have been demonstrated by activists who have sought to banish the blinding ignorance of many Filipinos impoverished to the root causes of their condition. For showing what is, and what can and should be, they paid the ultimate price. Remember Randall Echanis. Remember Zara Alvarez. Remember Nelly Bagasala and many others. Remember.

For more information on the novel coronavirus, click here.

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Thelma J. Longworth

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