President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday hailed Filipino medical frontliners leading the country’s fight against Covid-19 as the country celebrated National Heroes’ Day.

“Today, we honor not only the valor of our forebears who fought for our motherland’s freedom but also the heroism of those who risk their lives fighting a different kind of enemy,” Duterte said in a recorded address.

The medical workers, Duterte said, have displayed a new brand of heroism amid the pandemic.

“The current global health crisis we are facing today demands of us a new expression of heroism- the kind that has been shown us by our selfless Filipino frontliners in various settings,” the president said in a statement.

The Covid-19 pandemic has afflicted 135,101 Filipinos as of Aug. 30.

Duterte urged Filipinos to emulate past and present Filipino heroes and become “everyday heroes” themselves.

“I hope that the bravery of our Filipino heroes, past and present, will inspire us all to face and overcome even the most unfavorable situations. Together, let us become everyday heroes as we pursue a better future for everyone,” he said.

“In honor of our heroes, let us strengthen our resolve in overcoming the challenges ahead guided by the virtues and standards set by the stalwarts of our nation,” he added.

National Heroes’ Day is celebrated in the country every last Monday of every August. It marks the anniversary of the Cry of Pugad Lawin, the start of the Philippine Revolution by the Katipunan and Andres Bonifacio in 1896. John Ezekiel J. Hirro