September 23, 2023

On Aug. 28, the Filipino nation will commemorate the country’s National Heroes Day.
We are to celebrate the courage of our heroes, Dr Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, Gabriela Silang, among others, who fought for the country’s freedom – freedom from colonialism, political repression, and oppression.
We know them to have fought hard for our independence and having enjoyed such a sense of liberation, we owe it to them to protect their legacy.
They are not to be used as representation or models for malicious publicity by groups that have no other intention but to sow distrust and hate among Filipinos and eventually destroy what our true heroes have worked hard for.
The struggles of our heroes should not in any way be used as reason to push the youth to participate in political activities with the end goal of recruiting them into a rebel-turned-terrorist group that seeks to overthrow the government.
These youth are made to believe they are reliving the ways of Rizal and Bonifacio by joining this rebel-terrorist group, and often end up dying for a lost cause.
This group, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front, then portrays the dead youth they deceived into joining their organization, as martyrs who died serving the nation.
Certainly, our heroes will not agree with this. Their struggles are supposed to inspire us to promote love of country. But not in such a way that the underground movement and its allies engrave in the minds of our idealistic, aggressive and vulnerable youth.
To honor our true Filipino heroes, let us therefore put into action what we swore to deliver every time we sing the national anthem and recite the oath of loyalty to the flag.
Salute to the true Filipino heroes. — MA. LOUISA FOLIGAN, spokesperson, Samahan ng Mamayang Nagkakaisa Kontra Terorismo