President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on November 17, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday paid tribute to the sacrifices of Filipinos battling at the front lines of the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his Day of Valor message, Duterte honored “the fortitude displayed by our selfless and dedicated frontliners.”

“[The frontliners’] unrelenting commitment in this fight reflects the heroism of the warriors of Bataan that continues to inspire us in a greater sense of patriotism and solidarity during these trying times,” he said.

He also acknowledged soldiers who died fighting for the country’s liberty.

“May this awareness resonate among us as we strive to become worthy heirs to the nation that they fought and bled for,” Duterte said.

Duterte did not make a public appearance today, which Palace spokesman Harry Roque said was because of community quarantines across the country.

“The president’s critics are asking why President Rodrigo Duterte has no public event to commemorate Araw ng Kagitingan. Lest they forget, we are under community quarantine, where gatherings are not encouraged,” Roque said in a statement.

“In addition, active cases of Covid-19 remain high and we have to ensure not only the safety of the President but also the physical well-being of the staff and the security in charge of the coordination and preparation of the presidential engagement or event.”

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal are under enhanced community quarantine, the most stringent quarantine level, until April 11. John Ezekiel J. Hirro