Press Release
February 18, 2018


The regional legislative assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has expressed support for Senator Richard J. Gordon's Senate Bill No. 108 which seeks to honor Lapu-Lapu as the first Asian to beat a colonial invader by declaring April 27 as Lapu-Lapu Day.

Members of the assembly stayed in the Senate Plenary during the deliberation on the bill until it was passed on second reading to show their support and commended Gordon for giving importance to the Visayan-Muslim hero.

"We deeply appreciate Sen. Gordon's act of giving recognition to Muslims' contributions to Philippine history. The good senator has always been supportive of us, Muslims. As chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, we can also count on him for assistance whenever disasters, both natural and man-made, strike. We are really very grateful to him," they said.

Those who attended included, assemblymen from Sulu : Hanibal Tulawie, Mashruper Daud, Nedra Burahan, Rizal Tingkahan, Rudjia Anni, Irene Tillag; and assemblymen from Basilan:. Rhonie Hantian, Ali Ismael, and. Haber Asarul.

Senate Bill No. 108 seeks to declare April 27 of every year as a special working public holiday throughout the country to commemorate the victory of Lapu-Lapu and his men over the Spaniards led by Ferdinand Magellan in the historic Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521.

Gordon explained that Lapu-Lapu embodies the line in the Philippine National Anthem, "sa manlulupig, 'di kapasisiil," because Lapu-Lapu was the first successful defender of the Philippine shores. He was a native Muslim of Mactan and the earliest known indigenous Visayan Muslim chieftain and datu in the island of Mactan.

Unlike Rajah Humabon of Cebu and other chiefs of the neighboring islands, Lapu-Lapu refused to acknowledge the Spanish sovereignty over the islands and convert to Christianity.

"Lapu-Lapu had strong principles and was a peaceful leader until invaded, possessing the qualities of courage, bravery, strength, honor, and integrity, which should be emulated by every Filipino. Thus, in keeping with the Filipino tradition of commemorating momentous events in national history, this bill proposes the declaration of April 27 as a special working public holiday to be known as Lapu-Lapu Day or Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu, as a fitting tribute to the courage displayed by Lapu-Lapu and his men in the Battle of Mactan," the senator said.

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