MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday morning led the annual commemoration of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Luneta Park in the City of Manila.
This year’s ceremony, which carried the theme “Rizal 2014: Dunong at Pusong Pilipino,” marked the 118th anniversary of Rizal’s death.
Upon his arrival at 7:04 a.m., the President was greeted by Vice President Jejomar Binay, Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada, Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr., Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
He was then given full military honors with a 21-gun salute.
Joining the President at the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony was National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno.
After the program, President Aquino greeted eight descendants of Dr. Rizal through his siblings, namely Mia Syquia Faustman (from sister Maria); Amelia Garcia Yulo (from sister Narcisa); Victor Reyes, Lisa Bayot and Malou Villaroman (from sister Saturnina); Ester Lopez Azurin and Marlene Jacinto (from brother Paciano); and Joel Noel Mendoza (from sister Soledad).
Also present during the ceremony were NHCP Executive Director Ludovico Badoy, Supreme Commander of the Order of Knights of Rizal Sir Jeremias Singson and fellow members of the Freemasonry, and members of the diplomatic corps. (MNS)