The Order of the Knights of Rizal is an order of knighthood chartered under Philippine law. The Order was created to honor and uphold the ideals of Philippine national hero José Rizal. The Order was established in 1911 by Colonel Antonio C. Torres, who later served as the first Filipino chief of police of Manila. The Order was granted a legislative charter by President Elpidio Quirino as a non-sectarian, non-partisan, civic, patriotic, and cultural organization under Republic Act 646 on June 14, 1951. While knighthood in the Order of the Knights of Rizal are official awards of the republic, the Order is very much an active organisation with its members expected to carry out year-long activities in support of the Order’s goals. Since its founding, the Order has grown to more than 25,000 members belonging to 131 active chapters in the Philippines and 61 active chapters around the world.
History of the Order of the Knights of Rizal
Aside from leading or taking an active part in official and diplomatic ceremonies commemorating important dates in Dr. José Rizal’s life and the Philippine Independence Day, the Knights of Rizal also focus on youth empowerment programs, promotion of Filipino culture, and community outreach programmes. Members of the Order have included the majority of the Presidents of the Philippines, Supreme Court justices, senators, congressmen, local government officials, business leaders, diplomats and community leaders.
Speech of H.E. Sir Benigno Aquino III, KGCR, President of the Philippines Receiving his Knight Grand Cross of Rizal at the 2011 International Assembly.
Speech of H.E. Sir Rodrigo Duterte, KGCR, President of the Philippines Receiving his Knight Grand Cross of Rizal at the 2017 International Assembly