3 Pakistani nationals, Romanian nabbed for destroying PH flag

CAMP BGEN. VICENTE LIM, Calamba City, Laguna – Four foreign nationals were arrested for destroying a Philippine flag at the Marine Base Gregorio Lim in Sitio Calumpang, Bgy. Sapang 1, Ternate, Cavite.

Arrested were  Sharoon Manzoor, 29; Shahid Manzoor, 45; and Shamail Jalal, 36, all Pakistani nationals of Pasig City, and their Romanian companion Ioan Emil Oprescu, 35, of Taguig City.

According to a report submitted to Police Regional Office 4A (Calabarzon) Director Brig. Gen. Carlito Gaces, prior to the arrest, the suspects were on their way to Puerto Azul, but apparently got upset after spending several hours in the middle of a traffic jam.

After reaching the vicinity of the Marine Base, the suspects alighted from their vehicle and for no apparent reason suddenly took the flag from the pole and took turns tearing it.

A Marine soldier at the base saw the incident and immediately sought the help of the police.

Gaces strongly condemned the act, which he said undermines the values of cultural sensitivity, cooperation, and harmony between nations.

 “The act of these foreign nationals is not only disrespectful but also a breach of the national symbol’s dignity. The flag, a revered representation of national identity and sovereignty of the country, deserves utmost respect from all individuals regardless of their nationality,” Gaces said.

Under Section 34 of Republic Act 8491, it is unlawful to mutilate, deface, defile, trample on, or cast contempt any act or omission casting dishonor or ridicule upon the flag over its surface.

A case for violation of Section 34 (i) Paragraph (a) of Republic Act 8491 or An Act Prescribing The Code of the National Flag was filed against the arrested foreign nationals.