AT least 80 members from militant groups gathered on M.C. Briones Street in Barangay Maguikay, Mandaue City, in the morning of Nov. 30 to commemorate Bonifacio Day.
Meanwhile, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and the city councilors offered flowers at the statue of Andres Bonifacio at the Rizal-Bonifacio memorial stage and urged Mandauehanons to follow the hero’s example.
“Reklamador pud mi ala Bonifacio (We also complain, just like Bonifacio),” said Jaime Paglinawan, head of the militant organization Bayan.
He said the protest was their way to demand from the national government right wages for the workers, land reform for the farmers, safe “balik-eskwela” (back to school) conditions for the youth, and safe housing for the women and the urban poor.
He said that like Bonifacio who was named “reklamador” or complainer during his time, they merely fight through progressive means but are labelled terrorists instead.
During the protest, the Mandaue City Police Office admonished the militants for violating health protocol as there were about 80 of them in attendance.
PLt. Jessie Tañola, deputy chief of the Casuntingan Police Station, said when they went to the assembly place, there were only 30 protesters.
But when they reached the area where the protest was held, they were alarmed because there were already more than 80 people.
Tañola said they allowed the militant groups to finish their program and asked them to leave immediately after the protest.
The protesters complied with their request, he added.
On the other hand, Mayor Cortes during the Bonifacio Day event, urged Mandauehanons to display a Bonifacio-like attitude to help in the development of the country, the city and the barangays, especially during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that without a single piece the puzzle will never be complete. The city needs whatever little help everyone can give, much like the sacrifice our national heroes did,” Cortes said.
For his part, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella encouraged Cebuanos to become heroes in their own little ways amid the pandemic.
Labella delivered this message after he led city officials in a dedication ceremony for Andres Bonifacio during the 157th celebration of Bonifacio Day at the Plaza Independencia on Monday, Nov. 30.
“I would also like to remind the people that there is a hero, and a Bonifacio in us, especially in this pandemic. We should continue wearing masks, observing minimum health standards, social distancing, and complying with the health protocols,” Labella said.
The mayor said that in Bonifacio’s time, heroes like him fought against colonial rule. Modern-day heroes, on the other hand, are called to fight various social ills plaguing today’s society.
“We have to continue other battles, other fights, like the fight against corruption, illegal drugs, cybersex and many other social ills,” Labella said. (KFD, PAC)