MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte honored COVID-19 frontliners who are risking their lives to keep the nation safe during the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan, calling them ��worthy heirs” of the legacy of Philippine hero Lapulapu.
In a recorded video message aired during the quincentennial commemorations of the Victory of Mactan in Cebu, Duterte said Lapulapu and his fellow warriors “fearlessly fought foreign invaders who threatened their cherished way of life.”
He added that Lapulapu and his companions “never cowered against the might of the enemy” and “bled in defense of their homeland” five centuries ago.
“Today, we remember their gallantry by honoring the worthy heirs of Lapulapu’s legacy. Our medical and essential frontliners who, in the face of danger caused by COVID-19 pandemic, continue to risk their lives, their own lives to ensure the safety of their fellow Filipinos,” Duterte said.
In a separate message for Lapulapu Day, the President called for unity as the Philippines grapples with the pandemic.
“Now, more than ever, we must show our resiliency, strengthen our commitment, and espouse the bayanihan spirit as we collectively strive to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The Chief Executive also described pandemic frontliners as “contemporary heroes that we must emulate.”