Libingan ng mga Bayani, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
August 28, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the National Heroes Day celebration with the theme, ‘Taong Bayan: Ang Bagong Bayani ng Bayan’ (The Citizen: The New National Hero), at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

The President commemorated the Killed-in-Action (KIA) soldiers and Killed-in-Police Operations (KIPO) officers in Marawi City by awarding the Order of Lapu-Lapu (Kalasag) to the beneficiaries.

Likewise, he bestowed the Order of Lapu-Lapu (Magalong) Award to P/CInsp. Jovie Espenido (as chief of police of Albuera, Leyte and Ozamiz City) for his meritorious accomplishment in significantly advancing the President’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

In his message, President Duterte discussed the rationale of the Order of Lapu-Lapu Award, saying that the other awards were named after heroes who came from Luzon, and none from Mindanao. As such, it is but proper to recognize Lapu-Lapu, considered as the first Filipino hero for killing a Spanish conqueror, by naming an award in his honor.

He recognized the KIA soldiers and KIPO officers for their deeds, exploits and sacrifices in fighting terrorism, crimes and illegal drugs in Mindanao, stressing that “we shall be forever in debt.”

At the same time, he enjoined the Filipinos to support the government through their own heroic ways in order to build a more stable nation.

The Commander-in-Chief expressed his support for P/CInsp. Jovie Espenido, reminding him to “just follow the rules of engagement.” He then announced that the police officer’s next assignment is in Iloilo.

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