PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will commemorate the 122nd anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal’s martyrdom in Davao City’s Rizal Park.
The President is set to lead the ceremony at 4 p.m. today in his hometown.
This will be the first time the President will commemorate Rizal’s martyrdom outside Manila’s historic Luneta, where the country’s national hero was executed in 1896.
In his first two years as Chief Executive, the President led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony at the Luneta.
According to Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the “more important thing on a celebration is the celebration itself and not the venue.”
“The presence of the President in any place of celebration adds color to the event. It is the memory of Jose Rizal’s martyrdom that is immortalized by its commemoration and not where a monument of his is built,” Panelo said.
Davao City’s Rizal Park is where locals usually gather for events such as concerts and other civic events.
This year’s theme is “Rizal 2018: Wisdom and Compassion, Foundation of a Free and Progressive Nation.” (Rizal 2018: Talino at Malasakit sa Isa’t Isa, Pundasyon ng Isang Malaya at Maunlad na Bansa)
Duterte will be joined by National Historical Commission of the Philippines acting executive director Ludovico Badoy, AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and other local officials in Davao City.
Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo will lead the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the Rizal National Monument, Rizal Park, Manila at 7 a.m. today. She will be joined by NHCP chairman Rene Escalante and other officials from various government agencies and civic organizations.
The commemorative program will be replicated at the Rizal Shrine in Calamba and Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, with Mayor Justin Marc SB. Chipeco and Mayor Rosalina Jalosjos as guests of honor, respectively.
LRT and MRT will be having free rides today from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.