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Philippine flag pledge slammed as ‘repugnant’ with links to Japanese occupation

The new pledge and hymn called Bagong Pilipinas, or New Philippines, will be recited during weekly flag-raising ceremonies in schools and government agencies, according to a presidential memorandum dated June 4 and released on Saturday.

The memorandum said the pledge characterised a “principled, accountable and dependable government, reinforced by unified institutions of society”.

Marcos Jnr has previously called Bagong Pilipinas his “administration’s brand of governance and leadership”.

Political risk analyst Victor “Dindo” Manhit said there was no reason to oppose the requirement for government employees and students in state schools to recite the pledge.

Manhit, the founder and managing director of advisory and research consultancy group Stratbase, told ABS-CBN News Network on Monday that Bagong Pilipinas underscored Manila’s expectations for the public sector to be “accountable” and “principled”.

“I believe it is within the right of the government to define it for those who work [for it],” Manhit said.

Civil libertarians, however, oppose the pledge with former Far Eastern University law dean Mel Sta. Maria lambasting it on social media as “coercive”, “constitutionally repugnant” and “polarising”.

He said only congress could mandate such a move through Republic Act 8491, the law covering the proper use and display of national symbols.

Citing the memorandum, Sta. Maria pointed out that anyone who refused to recite the pledge could be fined up to 20,000 Philippine pesos (US$340) or jailed for up to one year.


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The pledge would apparently require Filipinos to support Marcos Jnr’s social and economic measures without questioning their merit, he said.

“If he will