Radaza insists on taking Lapu-Lapu statue from Luneta

By Norman V. Mendoza |July 03,2014 - 07:34 AM

OUR HERO. A student photographs the Lapu-Lapu monument at Rizal Park in Manila. (CDN PHOTO/ JUAN CARLO DE VELA)

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz  Radaza is sticking to her request to transfer the the 40-foot brass statue of Datu Lapu-Lapu from  Rizal Park in Manila to barangay Punta Engaño, despite the request of Rep. Raul del Mar to defer the move.

Radaza said the transfer would put the statue in  its “rightful place.”

“We will be making a small island at the tip of barangay Punta Engaño, just like the statue of Liberty in New York” said Radaza.

Del Mar of Cebu City’s north district  oppose the transfer. He and former congresswoman Nerissa Soon-Ruiz had initiated in 2004 the installation of the statue in Luneta to give honor to Lapu-Lapu as a hero not just of Cebu but of the whole country.

“It will be an icon for Lapu-Lapu City and we’ll make it known to the world,” Radaza said  in a press conference after getting negative reactions about the plan.

Del Mar said removing the statue from Manila will downgrade the recognition given to the hero. Radaza disagreed.

People will be more interested and learn to appreciate the heroism of -Lapu-Lapu based on how he was given very much importance in his homeland,” she said.

A two-hectare reclaimed land at tip of barangay Punta Engaño is being prepared  for the 2021 celebration of the  500th year of the Battle of Mactan.

It was Mayor Radaza, in an earlier  conversation with Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez during his visit in Lapu-Lapu City, who brought up the transfer when they  talked about the National Historical Institute’s (NHI) opinion that  the statue “could desecrate” the Luneta park which was meant for heroes who died there.

Upon hearing this, Radaza formally asked the DOT to bring the statue to Mactan. The agency is arranging for its transfer.


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