Gordon Sponsors Bill Proposing To Add A Ninth Ray To The Flag's Sun To Represent The Muslims Who Fought Against The Spanish Invaders
Senator Richard J. Gordon sponsored a bill that he authored which proposes to rectify the omission of the Muslims from the group of Filipinos given due recognition in the Philippine flag for their heroic struggle against the colonial invaders from the West.
Gordon sponsored Committee Report 393, from Proposed Senate Bill No. 102 entitled "An Act Increasing the Number of Rays of the Sun on the Philippine Flag from Eight to Nine, amending for this Purpose Republic Act No. 8491, otherwise known as the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines."
"With their bravery, our Muslim heroes left an imprint on national history that, at the very least, must be given due recognition in the most heraldic item of national importance--the Philippine flag," he said.
Gordon noted that the flag does not only represent the principles of sovereignty and solidarity of the Philippine nation but it also embodies the ideals and traditions of the Filipino people developed over the course of national history, which refers to the period before the arrival of the Spanish up to the present, centuries replete with stories of struggles for independence and victory against colonizers.
"It cannot be denied that the Muslims have been here and they precipitated the first defeat of the colonial invader from the West. It was established that no commanding presence by the Spanish colonial power were ever established in Mindanao. Yet, our Muslim heroes are forgotten. Muslim Mindanao is part and parcel of the Philippines and we should not remove them from our history. We must be inclusive, not exclusive...," he added.
The senator also said that with the enactment into law of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which aims to end decades of conflict in Mindanao by creating a political entity that would enjoy greater autonomy than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the bill he authored would also further foster unity in the country.
"We seek to inculcate in the minds and hearts of our people a just pride in their native Muslim brothers and sisters who sacrificed their lives for the country's freedom... So that every day that it is raised, every day that every young person or a Filipino raises his hand to pledge allegiance to the flag, we are pledging to inclusion of our Muslim brothers and sisters and we are pledging towards a nation which values history," he said.