Rizal-like heroes abound amid pandemic, calamities: Army chief

Philippine Army commanding general Maj. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. on Thursday said nationalism akin to those espoused by Dr. Jose Rizal became evident among the Filipinos during the ongoing pandemic and even in times of calamities.

“I acknowledge the Rizal-like personalities of our modern-day heroes, our soldiers, policemen, firemen, and other uniformed personnel and the medical front-liners who do immeasurable deeds, the other front-liners who continue to toil the hours to ensure the safety, survival, and continuing development of our country,” Brawner said during a ceremony celebrating the life and works of the national hero.

He talked about the efforts of many Filipinos in different sectors who helped one another to survive the pandemic and are continuing to lend a hand to areas devastated by Typhoon Odette.

Brawner, a native of Baguio, was the guest speaker during the Rizal Day commemoration program in this city.

“May Dr. Jose Rizal serve as a continuous source of inspiration to all of us. I assure everyone that your Philippine Army will always be at your side to support you,” he said.

Brawner called on the Filipinos, who are partners of the Philippine Army in the peace-building effort, to be united to end all threats in the country as it is through the spirit of Bayanihan (cooperation) that true and lasting peace and sustainable development in the country will be realized.

He also shared Rizal’s belief that can be emulated in the present time — for peace to be achieved without the need for violence.

“Through his writings, he advocated for a non-violent approach, he believed that (the) pen is mightier than the sword and expressed this through writings rather than the use of violence,” Brawner said.

He cited his program during his tenure as Commandant of Cadets at the Philippine Military Academy where they were able to eradicate the dangerous initiation rituals of hazing.

“Just like the beliefs of Jose Rizal, we believe that to make men and women in combat, we do not need to use violence it is better to be a servant leader who is respected by the subordinates rather than be an autocratic leader feared by the subordinates,” Brawner said.

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