Editorial: Conflicting views

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Monday, July 14, 2014


GOV. Hilario Davide III is one with Rep. Raul del Mar on the issue of the transfer of the 40-foot brass statue of Lapulapu from the Rizal Park in Manila to Punta Engaño in Mactan island. They are opposing the move initiated by Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and approved by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

“For me, of course, no doubt Lapulapu deserves recognition because (he is) the first Filipino who repelled the Spaniards. It’s only proper that the statue remains in Manila,” Davide said in a recent presscon. Davide did not say, however, what he will do to stop the transfer.

Del Mar and former sixth district congresswoman Nerissa Soon-Ruiz were among the Cebuano lawmakers who authored a resolution in Congress supporting the initiative of former tourism secretary Richard Gordon to place the statue at the Rizal Park despite the opposition of the National Historical Institute. It is now called “The Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom,” a fitting recognition for the Cebuano hero.

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In opposing Radaza’s move, del Mar said he will talk with Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. obviously to dissuade him from going ahead with the plan to ship the statue to Cebu.

“Ang akong posisyon is still the same. Maayo man ni iyang plano og magbutang og statue ni Lapulapu didto sa Punta Engaño. Pero maayo unta dili kadto maoy ibalhin,” he had said earlier.

This should place Jimenez in a bind because Radaza seems determined to push through with her proposal. She considers the transfer of the statue to Punta Engaño as an important part of what should be a grand celebration of 500th anniversary in 2021 of the Battle of Mactan.

The best way to resolve the conflict is for Radaza, del Mar, Davide and other concerned Cebuano leaders to first talk with each other before going to Jimenez. It now looks like the transfer is no longer just a concern of Lapu-Lapu City but also of the Cebuanos in other parts of Cebu and the country.

The 500th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan is a good seven years away. There is still enough time, therefore, to look into the logic of the statue’s transfer or the sculpting of another statue if ever the transfer won’t push through.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 15, 2014.

Opinion

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