By Angie M. Rosales | The Daily Tribune
Sen. Ferdinand “Bong-bong” Marcos Jr. has renewed his proposal to change the date of the national holiday commemorating the life and works of Jose Rizal from Dec. 30 to June 19, his birth anniversary.
“It is fitting then that Filipinos commemorate Rizal Day on June 19 as a day of triumph of his nationalism and patriotic ideals,” he said, mindful that Dec. 30 is an official national holiday that commemorates a hero’s death.
“The birthday of our national hero should always be a day of celebration of his life and of his great contribution to the country’s independence from foreign domination,” he added.
The proposal of the neophyte member of the upper chamber contained in Senate Bill 2743, seeks to amend Executive Order 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987 specifically stating Dec. 30 as among the legal or regular holidays.
Marcos said he believes that this year’s national observance of Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary is the more appropriate time to set historical records and significance by which we should pay tribute to our national hero.
Malacañang through the Proclamation 154 declared June 20 as a special non-working holiday throughout the country in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of national hero Rizal.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) requested that Monday, June 20, be declared as a special non-working holiday instead of June 19 which falls on a Sunday to give all Filipinos the oportunity to commemorate Rizal’s partiotic deeds and sacrifices for the country and to celebrate this milestone with appropriate ceremonies,
Marcos repeated his call just as when the country observes this year’s 150th birth anniversary of the national hero.
Rizal was born on June 19, 1861 in Calamba, Laguna. He was executed by firing squad on Dec. 30, 1896.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have deployed more than a thousand of police and military personnel to man the 150th birth anniversary celebrations Rizal that will be held in Manila’s Rizal Park and in Calamba, Laguna.
The PNP said more than a thousand police personnel will secure Rizal Park to ensure that no untoward incident would take place during the event while AFP said more than 500 soldiers will provide support to the PNP.
In a statement, AFP chief of Staff Eduardo Oban Jr. disclosed that the military will deploy soldiers “to ensure a peaceful and orderly celebration of our national hero’s 150th birthday in two engagements in Laguna and in Rizal Park in Manila.”
The Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion will secure the event which will be held at the Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna.
During the event in Calamba, the local government is set to inaugurate the tallest monument of Rizal wherein President Aquino is expected to grace the occasion.
Prior to the inauguration, Aquino will first raise the Philippine flag at Rizal’s house in Calamba.
Based on the Calamba local government, the new Rizal monument, which stands 22 feet tall on a 6.7-hectare property in front of Calamba City Hall complex, represents the 22 different languages used by Rizal, such as English, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish.