Free education ‘most meaningful tribute’ to Rizal — Aquino
MANILA, Philippines — Senators remembered Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s 122nd death anniversary on Sunday with one saying the efficient implementation of the free higher education law would be the “most meaningful tribute” to the national hero.
“Ang mahusay na pagpapatupad ng ating batas sa Libreng Kolehiyo ang pinakamakahulugang parangal kay Gat Jose Rizal,” Senator Bam Aquino said in a statement.
Aquino said Rizal reflected his vision of a free and education for Filipinos in his novel Noli Me Tangere which was first published in 1887 in Berlin.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed on August 3, 2017, the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (Republic Act 10931) that provides for free education in 112 state colleges and universities.
The national hero was executed at Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park) in Manila in 1896 for the crime of rebellion after inspiring a revolution against the Spanish colonial government.
Detained Senator Leila de Lima meanwhile called on the public to speak up and shed one’s apathy just like how Rizal stood against the oppressors.
“Sa harap ng mga banta, pananakot at panggigipit, pinili pa rin ni Rizal ang isaboses ang hinaing ng kapwa Pilipino, lalo na ng mga biktima ng karahasan at paglabag sa karapatang pantao,” the opposition senator said.
“During this dark chapter in our history, when there is a prevailing culture of impunity and blatant attempts to desensitize us to violence and corruption, we are called upon to speak up, stand up and fight back,” she also said.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, for his part, noted how Rizal was a “great influencer.”
“If social media was present then, and defintely not a troll,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senator Loren Legarda renewed her call for Filipinos to “respect and preserve the nation’s heritage,” stressing that Rizal himself had expressed the need to embrace one’s roots.
“We must all strive to know our heritage, appreciate it and preserve it for future generations,” she added. /cbb
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