Duterte orders gov’t agencies, public schools to display photos and paintings of heroes instead of officials

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Malacañang Palace has ordered all government offices and public schools to display paintings or photos of Philippine heroes instead of appointed or elected government officials.

The directive contained in Memorandum Circular No. 25 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last September 15 said: “The state shall provide the means to strengthen the people’s nationalism, love of country, and respect for its heroes by emphasizing the importance of Philippine national and local history jn the daily life of the Filipinos, with the objective of raising social consciousness and patriotism.”

All government agencies and instrumentalities including state-run or controlled firms, state colleges, universities, and public schools, are covered by the order.
The memorandum contains a list of Philippine heroes identified by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines:
  • Jose Rizal
  • Andres Bonifacio
  • Emilio Aguinaldo
  • Apolinario Mabini
  • Marcelo del Pilar
  • Juan Luna
  • Melchora Aquino
  • Gabriela Silang
  • Lapu-Lapu
  • F. Jose Burgos
  • Fr. Mariano Gomez
  • Fr. Jacinto Zamora
  • Emilio Jacinto
  • Jose Abad Santos
Duterte said on July 18 in an interview in Malacañang that displaying of his photos and those of other incumbent officials in government offices was “silly.” “I intend to also issue a decree, ipatanggal ko iyong mga litrato namin [I will have our photos removed].” “Nabuang man iyong mga ganoon na tao [Those people are silly].” “Put your family photos in your living room,” he said.

He also said that when he was still the mayor of Davao City, he never liked the idea of displaying his portraits. Instead, he had the portraits of heroes placed.

The president has also instructed state agencies not to use “your excellency” when addressing him in official communications, events or materials.