Man arrested for not standing for national anthem at cinema

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2017 12:54 PM

Bayle Einstein Gonzales, 20, was arrested after he refused to stand during the singing of the national anthem at a movie theater in Pampanga. Photo by Jay Pelayo IV

MANILA - A man was arrested on Saturday after refusing to stand while the national anthem was sung inside a movie theater in Angeles, Pampanga.

Bayle Einstein Gonzales, 20, was seated in front of Chargé d'Affaires Elmer Cato when the anthem was sung, but he declined to stand up despite being asked to show respect twice.

In a Facebook post, Cato said he "confronted" Gonzales "for not bothering to rise for the Philippine national anthem" while the rest of the audience did, including foreigners.

"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," he said.

"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," Cato added.

Chief Inspector Aris Gonzales, commander of Angeles City Police Station 4, said the 20-year old 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.

He could be fined from P5,000 to P20,000 and/or be imprisoned up to a year.