Feature: Rizal Day echoes call for justice
By Jean D. Abangan
Davao City (5 January) -- The strong call for justice and its swift enforcement has been as strong during the time of Filipino national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal as it is today.
The public indignation and condemnation along with the call for justice for those brutally killed in the Ampatuan massacre has brought back words of Dr. Jose Rizal.
Giving a keynote speech during the Davao City's 113th commemoration of Dr. Rizal's martyrdome, retired judge Renato A. Fuentes reminded audience of Dr. Rizal's aspiration that justice should be delivered and enforced swiftly.
Fuentes quoted Rizal's words taken from "Rizalism in The New Millennium" by Peter P. Pluechebaum from the Hamburg Chapter of the Knights of Rizal, saying "We protest when we read that might is placed before right, yet we applaud when in practice, we see might pay the hypocrite…"
Fuentes not only echoed Rizal's teaching about justice but also of Christian brotherhood, good governance, patriotism, love, unity and cooperation-rolled in one creating a Filipino tradition inspired by Dr. Rizal.
He said such tradition "integrates love of country and love of humanity."
In the same occasion, Fuentes aired his views regarding this year's Rizal's Day theme, "Kabayanihan ni Rizal, Daluyan ng Kagitingan at Pagkakaisa" which he translated as "The Herois of Rizal: pipeline of Patriotism and Solidarity."
He said the theme bought back the "strong optimistic ideals" of Dr. Rizal and underlined "how priceless it is to have Rizal for a mentor and exemplar particularly in stirring us to rise above economic pessimism of the contemporary world."
Fuentes is currently the Mindanao Area regional commander of the Order of the Knights of Rizal, a major sponsor of Davao City's Rizal's Day celebration on December 30 at the Rizal Park.
The Davao City government spearheaded the celebration along with other sponsors, among which were the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines, the Davao Historical Society Foundation, Inc., the Fourth Degree Assembly Knights of Columbus, the Veterans Federation of the Philippines and the Sons and Daughters Association, Inc., Department of Education, Boys Scouts of the Philippines, Girls Scout of the Philippines in coordination with the National Historical Institute.
Among the diplomatic corps members who witnessed the event were Malaysian Consul General Mohammad Azhar Mazlan, Indonesia Consul General Lalu Malik Partawana, and Japanese Consul General Yoshiyuki Isoda.
The celebration which was made festive yet educational was highlighted with wreath-laying by honored guests, sponsoring organizations, and other Rizalista groups.
There was also a volley of fire and taps, and a re-enactment of the martyrdome of Dr. Jose Rizal as he walked to his death from Fort Santiago to Bagumbayan Field now called Luneta. (PIA XI/JDA) [top]