By Leslie Ann Aquino
As the nation marks the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence on Wednesday, an official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) remembered those who fought for the country’s freedom.
“The greatness of our heroes who fought for our independence should always be hailed and commemorated,” CBCP Public Affairs Committee Executive Secretary Jerome Secillano said in an interview.
“Without revising history, churchmen, in the person of Frs. Gomez, Burgos and Zamora (GOMBURZA), should remind us that the Philippine Church was also in the thick of the fight for our country’s independence,” he added.
Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora were Catholic priests, who were executed on February 17, 1872 at Bagumbayan, Philippines by Spanish colonial authorities. Their execution inspired Jose Rizal.
However, the CBCP official said it is lamentable that the church and the Christian religion were often blamed for the ills in the country.
“It is, therefore, lamentable that the church and the Christian religion should be blamed for the ills besetting our country today,” said Secillano.
“It is misleading and a misreading of our fate as a nation,” he added.
Instead of finger-pointing, Secillano said the country’s leaders should man-up and be more responsible in performing their mandate to serve our country well.
“Our country’s leaders should better ask themselves how they can better utilize the power and financial resources entrusted to them by the Filipino people,” Secillano said.
Earlier, President Duterte said he has no plans of celebrating the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the country in 2021 saying the event also marks the start of the subjugation of the Philippines under the Spaniards.