By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has declared April 27 of every year as Lapu-Lapu Day in honor of first Filipino hero who defended the country from Spanish invasion.
Proclamation No. 200 honoring the legendary Mactan ruler was signed by President last Wednesday but released only late Thursday afternoon by the Palace.
“On April 27, 1521, the Battle of Mactan was fought and won by Lapu-Lapu and his men to repulse the Spanish invaders,” the the proclamation read. “It is but fitting and proper that Lapu-Lapu be given the highest honor and that his legacy be remembered by all Filipinos through appropriate ceremonies,” it added.
The proclamation noted that Lapu-Lapu is among the first of the Filipino forefathers who fought against foreign domination. His heroism has been recognized as a representation of the Filipino people’s love of freedom and capability to rise above adversity, according to the Palace.
“Lapu-Lapu left us a legacy of freedom through his leadership, extraordinary bravery, courage and love for his own land,” the proclamation read.
It was President Duterte who broke the news about declaring Lapu-Lapu a hero during an interview with reporters at the Palace on Thursday (April 27). The proclamation was released to the media more than an hour later.
The President has often taken pride of Lapu-Lapu in his public speeches, saying he should be given the proper tribute he rightfully deserves.
Duterte said Lapu-Lapu stood for Filipinos against the Spanish colonizers but has not been given recognition by local historians. His memory has even been demoted to a fish, he lamented.