The life and heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal remains a symbol of freedom and an inspiration for protecting the nation’s sovereignty.
Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro stressed this in his message during the 127th anniversary of the martyrdom of Rizal at the Rizal monument at Burnham Park in Baguio City on Dec. 30.
“Nawa’y manatiling simbolo ng ating kalayaan, ng ating bansa si Gat Jose Rizal. Ang kanyang kamatayan o sa ating paggunita ng kanyang kabayanihan ay nagsisilbing tanglaw natin sa pagganap ng ating mga tungkulin na maprotektahan at mapangalagaan ang soberanya ng ating minamahal na Pilipinas. Nawa’y magsilbing gabay ang mga sakripisyo ni Gat Jose Rizal sa pangangalaga ng ating Inang Bayan sa anumang aspeto,” Teodoro said in his message which was read for him by Defense Undersecretary Pablo Lorenzo.
Honor guards from the Philippine Military Academy kicked off the ceremony with the raising of the Philippine flag and the singing of the national anthem.
City officials led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, with Lorenzo and Baguio Rep. Mark Go led the laying of flowers at the Rizal shrine.
Other groups, including the Filipino war veterans, the Police Regional Office Cordillera and Baguio City Police Office, the Joint Task Group Baguio, the Kapatirang Rizalista, Baguio Masonic Lodge, and the Barangay Rizal Monument, also laid flowers during the ceremony.
The traditional sounding of the four ruffles, the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, and the presentation of completion honors were also performed by the PMA.
Delegates from Goyang City, South Korea, led by Kim Young Sik, also participated in the 127th Rizal Day commemoration in Baguio City. – Redjie Melvic Cawis