MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday hailed front-liners in the fight against the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) by comparing their courage to that of Filipino and American soldiers who battled the Japanese in World War II.
In his Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) message, he recognized front-liners for who risked their lives in the service of their fellow citizens.
“Today, as our generation is tested by a global health crisis, we see the rise of present-day heroes hardworking medical professionals and health workers, military, police and law enforcement personnel, firefighters, security guards, and front-liners in the foodservice, transport, waste disposal and other essential industries – who despite great personal risk, continue to work so that we may all survive,” he said.
He urged them to be inspired by how the battlefields of Bataan produced heroes that defined their generation.
“As we face this unprecedented public health emergency that threatens the very survival of our society, let us all draw strength from the heroism of the veterans of Bataan and the unnamed heroes in the fight against Covid-19,” he added.
The President also enjoined the nation to commemorate the patriotism of Filipino and American troops.
“We have set aside this day to honor our valiant troops who made their last stand in Bataan in defense of our democratic way of life,” he said.
He said Filipinos enjoy the liberties of today because of heroes of the past.
“Their patriotism continues to fuel our enduring pursuit of genuine self-determination,” he said.
He also expressed hope that their example would help Filipinos endure this pandemic and rise as a stronger and more resilient nation.
Earlier, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles urged the public to go to their doorsteps or windows at 5 p.m. on April 9 (Thursday) to honor front-liners with a “gesture of gratitude” such as applause.
He said they can also take pictures and videos of themselves singing and post them on Facebook and other social media platforms.
Day of Valor celebrated every 9th of April, marks the annual commemoration of the Fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942, and the bravery shown by the Filipino and American soldiers against invading Japanese forces during World War II.
The date also commemorates the Bataan Death March, where exhausted Filipino and American prisoners of war (POW) were forced by their Japanese captors to walk some 112 kilometers from Mariveles, Bataan to Capas, Tarlac under the scorching sun with no food and water for days. (PNA)