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Palace Orders Gov’t Agencies and Public Schools to Display Paintings of Heroes instead of Officials

This was to emphasize the importance of Philippine national and local history in the daily life of the Filipinos.

In the Philippines, it is but normal to see paintings and photos of local officials hanging in the hallways of many public schools and government agencies. But today, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte ordered to change that ‘pratice’ and replace it with something more deserving instead: paintings of our many national heroes.

The directive contained in Memorandum Circular No. 25 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last September 15 said: “The state shall provide the means to strengthen the people’s nationalism, love of country, and respect for its heroes by emphasizing the importance of Philippine national and local history in the daily life of the Filipinos, with the objective of raising social consciousness and patriotism.”

All government agencies and instrumentalities including state-run or controlled firms, state colleges, universities, and public schools, are covered by the order.

The memorandum contains a list of Philippine heroes identified by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines:

  • Jose Rizal
  • Andres Bonifacio
  • Emilio Aguinaldo
  • Apolinario Mabini
  • Marcelo del Pilar
  • Juan Luna
  • Melchora Aquino
  • Gabriela Silang
  • Lapu-Lapu
  • Jose Burgos
  • Mariano Gomez
  • Jacinto Zamora
  • Emilio Jacinto
  • Jose Abad Santos

Duterte said on July 18 in an interview in Malacañang that displaying of his photos and those of other incumbent officials in government offices was “silly.” “I intend to also issue a decree, ipatanggal ko iyong mga litrato namin [I will have our photos removed].” “Nabuang man iyong mga ganoon na tao [Those people are silly].” “Put your family photos in your living room,” he said.

Duterte also claims that he never really like photos of officials being hung in public agencies and schools, even when he was the mayor of Davao city. He believes that these photos should be hung on each official’s home instead, to be viewed by their own families only.


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