Thursday, June 13, 2024

Can You Finish The Lyrics To “Bagong Pilipinas”?


Can You Finish The Lyrics To “Bagong Pilipinas”?


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Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III says Malacañang needs a law to include the “Bagong Pilipinas” hymn and pledge in the weekly flag ceremonies of national government agencies.

The Malacañang Palace has mandated national government agencies and entities and has urged local government units (LGUs) to incorporate the singing and recitation of the “Bagong Pilipinas” hymn and pledge into their weekly flag-raising ceremonies.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin signed Memorandum Circular 52, which aims to “further instill the principles of the ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ brand of governance and leadership among Filipinos.”

The directive instructs the leaders of all national government agencies and entities, including government-owned and controlled corporations and educational institutions, to ensure that the “Bagong Pilipinas” hymn and pledge are effectively disseminated within their organizations and offices.

The Presidential Communications Office was assigned the responsibility of executing actions to disseminate and provide access to the national hymn and pledge across all government bodies and to the general populace.

Pimentel emphasized that this directive pertains to the mindset of the populace. Therefore, it is crucial that such a mandate originates from the elected representatives of the people—their legislators.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Memorandum Circular (MC) involves State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), where the students are not government employees but are required to participate in the established flag ceremony as per current legislation,” he emphasized.

Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino raised concerns about whether the mandate in the MC applies solely to the executive branch or extends to all branches of government, considering the separation of powers among the judiciary, legislature, and executive.

Senate Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada clarified that the protocol for singing and playing the Philippine National Anthem is governed by Republic Act 8491. Section 38 of this law mandates that the anthem must be played with Julian Felipe’s musical arrangement at public gatherings, and attendees are expected to sing it with enthusiasm.

Estrada emphasized that MC 52 aims to promote a culture of good governance and progressive leadership at all government levels, stressing that it parallels the tradition of singing Senate, school, and university hymns to evoke patriotism and unity among Filipinos.

Contrary to this perspective, Far Eastern University law professor Mel Sta. Maria argued that the memorandum on the “Bagong Pilipinas” hymn and pledge exceeds the boundaries set by RA 8491, the Flag and Heraldic Code. He criticized the Office of the President for allegedly violating a law it claims to implement, labeling MC 32 as a “coercive memo.”

CONTEND, the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, voiced its opposition to the recent directive from Malacañang, suggesting it might breach the constitution.

Additionally, legal experts have pointed out that RA 8491, also known as the Flag Law, does not grant the President’s Office the power to institute a new anthem or pledge for flag ceremonies in the nation.

CONTEND remarked that the implementation of the “Bagong Pilipinas” anthem and pledge evokes memories of a troubled past, glorifying a period marked by widespread suffering among the populace.