The Philippine Government and the UNESCO

The Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City is considered by many Filipinos to be the greatest monument to valor and to love of freedom on earth honoring as it does the Philippines' greatest revolutionary hero, Andres Bonifacio, and the brave band of selfless men and women who joined him in igniting the firestorm of the Philippine Revolution in August 1896.

Its creation was mandated by Act No. 2760 of the Philippine Legislature on February 23, 1918 to be a lasting monument to the memory of Gat Andres Bonifacio and to the Katipuneros he led in 1896 in Asia's first national uprising against European colonial misrule. Act No. 2760 predated by three years the passage of Act No. 2946 by the Philippine Legislature on February 16, 1921 making November 30 of each year a legal holiday to commemorate the birth of Andres Bonifacio. Aside from Dr. Jose Rizal, Bonifacio is the only national hero to have a legal holiday marked in his honor. The passage in 1918 of Act No. 2760 is that much more remarkable and historic because, at that time, the Flag Law which forbade the display of the Philippine flag (and even emblems of the Katipunan) was still in effect and would be lifted only on October 22, 1919 when the Flag Law was repealed by Act No. 2871.

The Monumento World Heritage Global Campaign and this online petition signing effort are part of the year-long commemoration of the diamond jubilee (75th anniversary) of the Monumento which was completed by renowned Filipino national artist Guillermo Tolentino in 1933.

Today, the integrity of the Monumento, as the Bonifacio Monument is fondly called, is under threat with the closing of the loop of the LRT and MRT. It is ironic but the greatest monument to freedom faces the risk of being imprisoned by the light rail ring of concrete and steel that is steadily going up around it. Today, giant billboards have sprung up around the Bonifacio Monument thereby unduly diminishing its stature and importance.

The Bonifacio Monument with Big Billboards at Araneta Square

Filipinos everywhere are called upon to appeal to the government of the Philippines and the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to save the Monumento from further desecration. The best way this can be done is by having the Monumento enshrined in its rightful place among the UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites. Andres Bonifacio gave us our freedom. The least that we can do is to defend the integrity of the monument that is the enduring symbol of our nation's honor and dignity.

We call upon the Philippine government and its various instrumentalities and the UNESCO together with its parent organization, the United Nations, to take every step necessary to ensure the eventual inclusion of the Bonifacio Monument in the UNESCO list of World Heritage cultural sites.

Rolando G. Ocampo
Founding Member, Caloocan City People's Council
Lead Convenor, Monumento World Heritage Global Campaign

This petition is supported by the Caloocan City People's Council and its component organizations, among them SAMATRIP and the PD 1517 Coalition, primary defender of the Heroes del 96 community. Heroes del 96 is the largest urban community nearest the Bonifacio Monument. The history of this locality is closely interlinked with that of the Monumento and its people are the proud bearers of a magnificent cultural heritage and identity. Host convenor of the Caloocan City People's Council is Mrs. Luz Ambre of Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, Philippines.

We, the undersigned, call on the Philippine government to support the campaign to have the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

We likewise call upon the UNESCO including its Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Committee to assist the Philippine government and the entire Filipino people in achieving the dream of having the Bonifacio Monument recognized and included among the UNESCO World Heritage List of Cultural Sites.

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The Monumento World Heritage Global Campaign petition to The Philippine Government and the UNESCO was written by Rolando G. Ocampo and is in the category Culture at GoPetition.