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Davao City, Philippines

Duterte pushes education, hard work as tool vs poverty, crime, corruption

December 30, 2018 - Sunday 7:12 PM by Funny Pearl A. Gajunera

COMMEMORATION. Mayor Sara Duterte represents her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, in the commemoration of the 122nd anniversary of the martyrdom of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal in Davao City. At left is National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Executive Director III Ludovico Badoy while at right is Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Benjamin Madrigal. ARJOY . CENIZA

DAVAO CITY -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday pushed education and hard work at the forefront in the fight against poverty, crime, and corruption.

“We need to free ourselves from the shackles of poverty, criminality, and corruption and we can only do so if we give primacy to education and hand work as a means to improve one’s lot in life,” the President said in a speech read for him by his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, during the commemoration of the 122nd anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal in this city.

Duterte had been scheduled to lead the ceremonies but was unable to make it. Malacañang has so far not given a reason for his absence.

It was Sara who led the program, representing the President in the flag raising ceremony and the offering of flowers together with Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Benjamin Madrigal, among others.

In his prepared speech read by the mayor, Duterte said he hopes the teachings of Rizal would inspire every Filipino to do better when it comes to nation building.

“It is my sincere hope that this year’s commemoration will inspire everyone to emulate Rizal’s patriotism in their own ways by supporting the government’s agenda and our campaign against corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs,” he said.

“I enjoin everyone to focus on developing oneself for the benefit of our countrymen. Let this be a foundation of a truly free and progressive country,” the President added.

But while education is important, Duterte said intelligence “must always go hand-in-hand with compassion.”

“May Rizal’s courage and patriotic fervour inspire us all to develop compassion for our fellow men, as well as foster a greater desire to always think of the common good so that we may be able to progress as a people and as a nation,” he said.