Published: Monday 20 November, 2017

Can You be Arrested for Not Standing Up During National Anthem? YES!

A man in Clark, Pampanga just proved to every Filipino that, yes, you can be arrested for disrespecting the national anthem. In his case, he didn’t stand up when the Pambansang Awit was played inside a movie theater.

Philippine national anthem

Filipinos should stand when the national anthem is played or face arrest. (YouTube screen grab)

The man, identified as Bayle Einstein Gonzales, 20, now faces the possibility of jail time or a penalty, or both. This after he ignored a government official seated behind him who told him twice to stand up for the national anthem.

According to Charge D’Affaires to Iraq Elmer Cato, he told Bayle Einstein Gonzales twice to stand up when the Pambansang Awit started playing. However, the latter ignored him and continued eating his popcorn. Big mistake!

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“I asked him twice to stand up but he just would not. I just could not let the disrespect of the flag and the national anthem by someone I initially thought was a foreign national pass,” Cato wrote of the incident on his Facebook.

“I was so agitated I was not really able to enjoy the movie. I had to do something to teach this Filipino a lesson. And I did,” he added.

Bayle Einstein Gonzales violated the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, which prescribed that “all persons shall stand at attention and face the Philippine flag” when the national anthem is played at a public gathering. As a result of his arrest, he could be fined from P5,000 to P20,000 and jailed for as long as a year.

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He’s not such an Einstein after all!

national anthem violation

The suspect, Bayle Einstein Gonzales, after his arrest. (Jay Pelayo IV/ABS CBN News image)