MANILA — Senator Francis Tolentino on Sunday said he did not violate any law when he wore the Philippine flag as part of his toga during his graduation from Columbia Law School in New York City last May 16.
Tolentino drew flak online for wearing a Philippine-flag inspired sash when he received his third Master of Laws degree from the Ivy League school.
A netizen cited Section 34 of Republic Act 8491, or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, which prohibits the wearing of the Philippine flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform.
But during a National Flag Day celebration in Cavite on Saturday, Tolentino argued that Philippine laws are not applicable outside of the country.
He also noted how athletes representing the country would incorporate the Philippine flag into their clothing.
“Karangalan ko pong dalhin at ibahagi ang karangalan ng watawat sa ibang bansa. Karangalan ko po yun. Kahit sa maliit na bagay, kahit sa mga atleta natin na nakalagay sa short pants ang bandera, kahit sa mga boksingero natin na nakalagay sa ngipin bilang mouthpiece ang bandera, iyon po ay karangalan,” said Tolentino.
(It is my honor to bring the glory of our flag abroad. It is really my honor. It is also an honor when our athletes put our flag in their short pants, and even when boxers put a part of the flag on their mouthpieces.)
Tolentino led the flag-raising ceremony in celebration of National Flag Day at the Heritage Park in Barangay Alapan in Imus, Cavite.
National Flag Day is celebrated on May 28 to commemorate the first public appearance of the Philippine flag 125 years ago, 15 days ahead of the celebration of Independence Day on June 12.
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