Congressman ignores national anthem, blames ABS-CBN reporters after catching flak

Remulla taking notes while the national anthem plays at the start of the House Committee hearing on ABS-CBN franchise. <i>Video grab via YouTube</i>
Remulla taking notes while the national anthem plays at the start of the House Committee hearing on ABS-CBN franchise. Video grab via YouTube

While most people are forced to cough up an apology when caught red-handed for doing something wrong, Congressman Jesus Crispin Remulla took things a step further by pinning the blame on ABS-CBN’s reporters for his mistake.

Remulla yesterday apologized when he was seen on camera working at his desk while the national anthem was being played at the House of Representatives, insisting that it was the media giant’s staff who were responsible for making a big fuss about it online.

“As usual the ABS-CBN people are the ones playing it up now on social media, but I will forgive them,” Remulla said later at the hearing.

The congressman said he was taking notes in preparation for the hearing. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

“For my part, and this is not an excuse, I wrote the note because something went into my mind for the questions I will ask tonight…I apologize to our countrymen,” the congressman said in English and Filipino.

Some Filipinos, like a certain @AgbanlogJohn, called the lawmaker out for “disrespecting the national anthem.”

Republic Act 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, states that everyone should stand up and “sing with fervor” when the national anthem is played in public. Those who violate the law will have to pay a fine of up to PHP20,000 (US$400), and could even be imprisoned for up to a year.

Remulla said that he’s willing to cough up the penalty if asked to do so.

“I will pay if necessary,” he said.

Read: ABS-CBN owner told to recite PH oath of allegiance to prove nationalism

Since the resumption of ABS-CBN’s franchise hearings early this week, congressmen have been skewering the company for a slew of unrelated issues. This includes government ally Rodante Marcoleta, who ordered ABS-CBN’s Chairman Emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez to recite the country’s oath of allegiance to prove that he is a real Filipino, despite Lopez saying that he is a dual citizen only because he was born in the United States.

Marcoleta’s antics didn’t sit well with the public, many of whom have said that they could hardly remember the oath because it was recited only during school assemblies.

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