Defense ministry of Ukraine quotes Jose Rizal in update about Russia’s ‘combat losses’

October 7, 2022 - 1:55 PM
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Composite photo of a rendition of Jose Rizal and an image of the Ukraine flag (PNA/Released, Pexels)

“I don’t see why I should bow my head when I could hold it high, or place it in the hands of my enemies when I can defeat them.”

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine cited this quote from Jose Rizal in its tweet updating the public about the losses of Russian occupiers in Ukraine.

Russia launched the formal invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The Ukraine institution tweeted this on Wednesday, October 5.

Based on Ukraine’s data, Russia has lost thousands of military personnel, tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery, and other equipment in nearly eight months since the conflict.

The numbers were sourced from reports of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The quote in the tweet, meanwhile, came from Rizal’s acclaimed novel “Noli Me Tangere” (“Touch Me Not”). It was originally published in 1887 during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines.

Rizal’s main character Crisostomo Ibarra uttered these lines to Sage Tacio during a conversation inside the latter’s house.

This scene can be read in the English-translated version of Leon Ma. Guerrero.

The citation to Rizal’s work soon caught the attention of several Filipinos who were familiar with the national hero’s works.

Meanwhile, the Defense of Ukraine’s tweet garnered 2,226 retweets, 384 quote-retweets and 13,300 likes so far.

Ruben Carranza, the former commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, said that this was a “fitting” quote of Ukraine against Russia.

“A great quote from Jose Rizal, fitting in Ukraine’s fight against a fascist,” Carranza said.

However, the lawyer also quoted another line from Ibarra that could also relate to Ukraine’s situation.

“BUT THEN there’s also this warning from Rizal a few lines later that might be about those now backing Ukraine: ‘Can they not feign friendship, pretend to protect me, while undermining me in the dark?’”, Carranza said.

Other online users were also impressed that Rizal was referenced in a tweet from a foreign country’s government agency.

The Philippines previously took a stand against Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine’s territory at the emergency session at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City last March.

The country voted in favor of the UNGA resolution raised during the meeting.

RELATED: Not neutral: Why the Philippines chose to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 

The Department of Foreign Affairs also released a statement that expressed condemnation of Russia’s actions.

“Mr. President, the Philippines votes Yes to the UNGA resolution and expresses explicit condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine,” the DFA said.

The department also appealed for the protection of Filipino citizens that were caught in the conflict at that time.

“We appeal for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructures. We strongly urge the cessation of hostilities; but while an offense can be stopped at will the defense cannot rest until the offense stops,” DFA said.

Meanwhile, according to the latest reports about the war, Ukraine troops managed to break through Russia’s defenses in the southern Kherson region of the country.

The latter, meanwhile, is set to annex four more regions of Ukraine—Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.