By: Elena Grace Flores
Senator Imee Marcos’ online critics misunderstood the purpose of Senator Imee Marcos’ heroes’ bill. In reality, it only seeks to establish a National Heroes Council to accomplish the unfinished task. This is to proclaim the country’s national heroes. Anti-Marcos bashers suspect that her plea aims to make her father a hero.
Contribution to the Nation
Senator Marcos files Senate Bill 999. It proposes to create a National Heroes Council within the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. It is tasks to select and study exceptional Filipino personages as national heroes. This is in recognition of their personal accomplishments and invaluable contribution to the nation.
Under the bill, the council shall use the following guidelines in the selection and declaration of national heroes.
1. has made a significant and lasting contribution to the country;
2. has enriched the lives of others; has contributed to the quality of life of the people;
3. considered as outstanding in their area of activity;
4. and whose biography inspired the country.
Marcos also proposes that history professors and academic researchers must be in the selection process.
The Countries Heroes are Not Yet Official
The senator notes that a government committee in 1995 onely named the national heroes recommendations such as Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, and Gabriela Silang. Some debates on who else should be added to the list hinders their confirmation. How to accommodate regional sensitivities, and how to address historical controversies involving the nominees were also some of the issues.
Patriotism is Essential for Nation Building
“A nation that does not recognize its heroes loses hope for heroism in the future,” said Marcos. “We must look beyond the present. Let an official proclamation of heroes today be an anchor of patriotism for Filipinos of the future,” she said. “Our youth need heroes to inspire them and for them to emulate,” she added.