Our national flag is the symbol of our independence so we must treat it with respect, with or without supervision as a simple way to give thanks to our heroes who fought and risked their lives for our freedom.
If you could remember way back in pre-school to high school during the flag ceremony, we are instructed to stand straight and put our right hand on our left chest and sing the National Anthem “Lupang Hinirang” loud and proud. However, it seems that not all Filipinos are aware that we must do this even if we are in public places without supervision from our teachers or superiors.
Bayle Einstein Gonzales, 20, from Clark, Pampanga was arrested for not standing even when he was told to do so by Charge D’Affaires to Iraq Elmer Cato in a cinema.
According to GMA News Online, Cato told Gonzales to stand up twice but he just ignored the warning and continued eating popcorn. So Cato approached some police officials and asked help to arrest Gonzales who denied the allegations.
House Bill 5224 mandates stricter compliance with the rules on showing reverence to national symbols was approved earlier this year on third and final reading, and was transmitted to the State.
Gonzales will be facing charges of violating the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines. He could be fined from 5,000 to 20,000 pesos and be put behind bars for as long as a year.
Let us learn from Gonzales’ mistake and keep in mind that we need to stand up and stop what we’re doing and pay our respect to our flag, whenever and wherever.