Panelo: Duterte thinking of honoring Del Pilar on Rizal Day
President Rodrigo Duterte will be skipping the ceremonies honoring national hero Jose Rizal on Dec. 30.
Instead, he will pay tribute to Gregorio del Pilar, the infamous boy general of the Philippine-American War, according to Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
“He will not be attending the Rizal Day rites. I think he mentioned that he will go to a place where General Del Pilar hailed from. Something like that. I think he wants to give the same treatment to Del Pilar,” Panelo told reporters on Friday.
Should the President push through with his plan, it will mark the second time he skipped the traditional Rizal Day rites on Dec. 30 at Rizal Park. Panelo said Mr. Duterte wanted to pay tribute to the country’s other heroes as well.
“He said he always goes to Luneta. So he wanted something different. We have many other heroes. The other heroes are not being honored and we seem to be forgetting them. It’s not just Jose Rizal (that we should pay tribute to),” he added.
According to Panelo, the President’s choice should not be perceived as a slight on Rizal’s memory, since the President and Malacañang would be issuing statements to honor the national hero on that day.
“On Rizal Day, (Mr. Duterte) has a statement, I also have a statement. There’s a lot. And all of the monuments are all for Rizal,” Panelo said. —Julie M. Aurelio
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