Solon wants national heroes to be proclaimed

MANILA A bill seeking to establish a National Heroes Council to accomplish the unfinished task of proclaiming the country's national heroes has been filed at the Senate.

Senator Imee Marcos has filed Senate Bill 999, which proposes to create a National Heroes Council within the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to select and study exceptional Filipino personages as national heroes, in recognition of their personal accomplishments and invaluable contribution to the nation.

A nation that does not recognize its heroes loses hope for heroism in the future, Marcos said in a statement on Friday.

Under the bill, the proposed council shall use the following guidelines in the selection and declaration of national heroes: has made a significant and lasting contribution to the country; has enriched the lives of others; has contributed to the quality of life of the people; considered as outstanding in their area of activity; and whose biography inspired the country.

Marcos proposed that history professors and academic researchers be involved in the selection process.

The senator noted that a government committee in 1995 had an unfinished task of naming national heroes with some recommendations such as Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, and Gabriela Silang.

She said the task was abandoned due to protracted debates on who else should be added to the list, how to accommodate regional sensitivities, and how to address historical controversies involving the nominees.

We must look beyond the present. Let an official proclamation of heroes today be an anchor of patriotism for Filipinos of the future, she said.

Our youth need heroes to inspire them and for them to emulate, she added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency