MANILA - Senator Pia Cayetano slammed Destileria Limtuaco, Inc. (DLI) for allegedly desecrating and trivializing the names of historical figures and places, including Tacloban.
Cayetano also twitted the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) for giving the firm the go-signal.
The senator, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, said DLI’s plan to register as its own trademarks the names of “Rizal,” “Bonifacio,” and “Gomburza” only "threatens to desecrate, misappropriate and trivialize their national and historic significance.”
“Dr. Jose Rizal, Gat Andres Bonifacio and the three martyred priests (Padre Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora) all laid their lives for the freedom and rights we enjoy today, and this is how Destileria Limtuaco intends to honor them? Or are they simply taking advantage of their good names to reap the benefits by having their names and images emblazoned on their bottles of whisky, gin, brandy and rhum?” the senator asked.
She said the company is so “un-Filipino” to link the names of heroes to products that are known vices.
Cayetano also said she could not comprehend why the IPO, a government office, initially approved the DLI’s application to register “Intramuros” as a liquor brand.
“I cannot understand how the IPO, a government agency that is tasked to uphold the law and the national interest, would allow the name of a national heritage site to be reduced into a brand of an intoxicating beverage? The IPO could have used its authority instead to reject the application outright.”
She noted that the Intellectual Property Code sets strict guidelines in registering marks associated with national symbols.
She cited, among others, Sec. 123.1.a which states: “A mark cannot be registered if it consists of immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter, or MATTER WHICH MAY DISPARAGE OR FALSELY SUGGEST A CONNECTION WITH PERSONS, LIVING OR DEAD, INSTITUTIONS, beliefs, or NATIONAL SYMBOLS, OR BRING THEM INTO CONTEMPT OR DISREPUTE.”
She also noted DLI registered with the IPO the name “Tacloban” last March 31, or four months after super typhoon Yolanda wrought havoc there.
“Tacloban has become a global symbol of Filipino resilience, hope, recovery and cooperation. And this liquor company has the gall to misappropriate it for selfish ends and corporate profits,” she said.
She added IPO should rectify its glaring oversight on the matter.