Malolos City, Bulacan
June 12, 2021

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the entire Filipino nation in celebrating the 123rd Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, urging his ‘kababayans’ to honor the heroes of the past who bled and fought for our freedom through small acts of heroism, especially as the world is facing a global crisis.

“Our continued progress will only be possible if we have a strong understanding and appreciation of the liberties that we enjoy today,” the President said.

He also recognized and lauded the heroic efforts of modern-day heroes such as the healthcare workers, law enforcement officers and other frontliners as they proved to be instrumental in the country’s fight against the pandemic.

“In the past year, they have risked their own lives and sacrificed their own comfort and security to ensure that our society will continue to function despite this crisis,” said President Duterte, further citing that, with the consent of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), a Wall of Heroes will be built inside the Heroes’ Cemetery to honor the medical frontliners and healthcare workers who have died in the line of duty.

Likewise, the Chief Executive bestowed posthumously the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the Rank of Magalong to two (2) heroes who hailed from the Province of Bulacan — Marcelo H. Del Pilar and General Gregorio Del Pilar.

“It is just fitting that, more than a century since their exploits, these two sons of Bulacan continue to inspire succeeding generations of Filipinos to cherish the liberties and freedoms that they bled and fought for,” said the President.

He called Marcelo H. Del Pilar a “genius in the realm of arts and letters” and described General Del Pilar “a true patriot who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our young Republic.”

“On behalf of the Filipino people, allow me to convey our heartfelt gratitude to General Gregorio del Pilar and Gat Marcelo H. del Pilar. Marami pong salamat sa inyong dalawa!,” said President Duterte, garnering a warm of applause from the audience.

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