Press Release
December 1, 2021

Bong Go calls for unity, continued bayanihan as country commemorates 158th Bonifacio Day

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte in San Juan City on Tuesday, November 30, to celebrate the 158th birth anniversary of the revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio.

The officials honored Bonifacio with a wreath-laying ceremony, themed "Bonifacio 2021: Pagbubuklod para sa Kaligtasan at Kalusugan ng Bayan (Uniting for the Safety and Wellness of the Nation)" at the Spirit of Pinaglabanan Monument in Pinaglabanan Shrine.

In an issued statement, Senator Go recognized the ultimate sacrifice that Bonifacio paid in the fight to secure freedom and a better future for the Filipino people. Amid the ongoing global struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, he called on the nation to emulate the "courage and patriotism" that the hero had embodied.

"Andres Bonifacio's legacy of fighting for our freedom remains alive in us as we continue to overcome the trials we face as a nation... May this day remind all of us to demonstrate our love for the country and do our best to help our fellow Filipinos especially during these extraordinary times," said the lawmaker.

"I believe it is through Bonifacio's spirit that we can become heroes in our own right as we move forward and emerge stronger amidst our present challenges. Let his ideals guide us as we usher in a better and brighter future for the Philippines," he continued.

Despite his recent decision to drop out of the presidential race, Go assured on his part that he would continue to serve the Filipino people by fulfilling his role as a bridge for the poor, hopeless and helpless and connecting them to the government so that their concerns are addressed during these trying times.

"Many times in our life, we are called upon to serve others but destiny has a way of turning things around. Just like the great Andres Bonifacio — the President who never was. (He) had every great opportunity to lead our country after leading a revolutionary movement but destiny had something different for him," said Go.

"Sa ngayon, handa akong magsakripisyo alang-alang sa kapakanan ng ating bayan at ni Pangulong Duterte ... Kung saan man ako dadalhin ng aking tadhana, makakaasa kayo na patuloy akong magseserbisyo sa aking kapwa dahil mahal ko ang mga kababayan ko," he promised.

During the ceremony, President Duterte posthumously awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Magalong, to the revolutionary. Bonifacio's great granddaughter, Buena Grace Casanova, received the award on his behalf.

The ceremony also featured the opening of the El Deposito Underground Reservoir, a 19th century underground water reservoir located beneath the Shrine, at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Museo El Deposito, and an exhibit of the Battle of San Juan Del Monte at the NHCP-Museo ng Katipunan in San Juan City.

"The bravery and patriotism of Gat Andres Bonifacio and many of our forebears who fought against foreign dominators must serve as our guiding post in beating the odds that hinder our progress as a people and as a nation," President Duterte told the small crowd that gathered to attend the hour-long ceremony.

"May this event be a constant reminder of (the) invaluable contributions and selfless sacrifice of our heroes... in paving the way for the liberty and independence that we enjoy today... As we commemorate these events, I invite every Filipino to become a hero like Bonifacio by participating actively.... to secure our nation's health, safety and wellness," he added.

The holiday falls within the ongoing nationwide event dubbed the "Bayanihan, Bakunahan National COVID-19 Vaccination Days". The event, which runs from November 29 to December 1, aims to vaccinate a total of nine million individuals to help the country achieve population protection by the end of 2021. It is being implemented in some 8,000 vaccination sites in all regions outside Metro Manila.

"Patuloy po na sinisiguro ng ating gobyerno na pangalagaan ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng bawat Pilipino. Dahil sa ating bayanihan, unti-unti na tayong nakakabangon mula sa epekto ng pandemya upang tuluyan ng manumbalik ang sigla ng ating bayan," explained Go, who serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.

"Ipakita natin ang kooperasyon, disiplina at malasakit sa kapwa sa pamamagitan ng pagtulong at pagbabakuna. Ipagpatuloy din natin ang pagsunod sa mga health and safety protocols at pangalangaan natin ang atin kalusugan. Magkaisa at magtulungan tayo upang talunin ang COVID-19 para sa isang mas ligtas na Pasko at bagong taon," he urged.

The ceremony was also attended by Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, His Excellency Archbishop Charles Brown; National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; Cabinet Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles; Public Works and Highways Acting Secretary Roger Mercado; Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr.; Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Andres Centino; Philippine National Police Chief, Police General Dionardo Carlos; Mayor Francisco Zamora; Vice Mayor Jose Villa; and NHCP Chairman Rene Escalante.

Later in the day, the senator led the distribution of assistance to indigent families, displaced workers and other vulnerable residents at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.

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