With DNX Research
Senator Imee Marcos: “The reality is that, officially, we have no heroes.”
The DNX Take: Technically, yes In a bid to recognize and proclaim heroes in the country, President Fidel V. Ramos issued Executive Order No. 75 titled “Creating the National Heroes Committee Under the Office of the President” on March 28, 1993.
The Committee was specifically tasked to “study, evaluate and recommend” Filipinos who are respected for both their character and their achievements.
The Technical Committee of the National Heroes Committee regularly met for more than two years — June 1993 to November 1995 — to brainstorm the qualifications of what it takes to be a hero, including a set of criteria and the definition.
Members of the Committee included Onofre D. Corpuz, Samuel K. Tan, Marcelino Foronda, Alfredo Lagmay, Bernardita R. Churchill, Serafin D. Quiason, Ambeth Ocampo, Dom Ignacio Maria, Prof. Minerva Gonzales and Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil.
The Committee has the following criteria of a hero:
- Those who aspired for freedom in their desire to build unified nation,
- Those who pushed for an orderly form of freedom (meaning under a system and constitution);
- Those who helped improve quality of life, with their actions helping fulfill the country’s destiny.
Among the names submitted were Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, and Gabriela Silang. The list was forwarded in November of 1995 to then Department of Education, Culture, and Sports Secretary Ricardo Gloria of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, but no action has been taken.
Thus, Senator Imee was right when she said that “officially”, the country has no heroes because none have been proclaimed.