Rizal Park, Manila
December 30, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies in commemoration of the 120th anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s martyrdom and nationalism held at the Rizal National Monument in Rizal Park, Manila.

The President was given full military honors upon his arrival and was joined in the raising of the Philippine flag by National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Acting Chairman and Commissioner Dr. Rene R. Escalante, NHCP Executive Director Ludovico D. Badoy, Manila City Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Supreme Commander of the Order of the Knights of Rizal Reynaldo S. Puno, and National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) Executive Director Penelope D. Belmonte.

The flag raising was done simultaneously with other historical sites in the country such as the Museo ni Jose Rizal in Calamba City, Laguna; the Museo ni Jose Rizal in Dapitan City, Zamboanga; and the Rizal Monument in Quezon City.

Thereafter, President Duterte offered a wreath at the monument and greeted some of the descendants of Rizal. He also visited the ongoing distribution of five wheelchairs donated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) at the Noli Me Tangere area.

On December 30, 1896, Rizal was shot at the age of 35 in Bagumbayan, now the Luneta National Park, after he was convicted of sedition, rebellion and conspiracy by the Spanish colonial government, and was sentenced to death by firing squad.

On December 20, 1898, General Emilio Aguinaldo declared December 30 as Rizal Day and a national day of mourning through a presidential decree that was written in Filipino and Spanish. The first celebration of Rizal Day was held at Club Filipino in San Juan City on 1898.

Rizal was declared the country’s national hero in 1901 by American Governor General William Howard Taft, who was then appointed as chairman of the Second Philippine Commission, also known as the Taft Commission, by former American President William McKinley.

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