Lawmaker apologizes for writing notes during national anthem after video went viral

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 2) - Rep. Jesus Crisipin Remulla (7th District, Cavite) apologized on Wednesday after he was caught by the camera scribbling notes while the Philippine national anthem “Lupang Hinirang” was being played.

Known for his close scrutiny on the legislative franchise of broadcast network ABS-CBN, Remulla blamed “ABS-CBN people” for spreading the video online.

"I’d like to apologize for an earlier incident na ako po’y may ’sinusulat na note nung nag-flag ceremony tayo (I’d like to apologize for an earlier incident where I was caught writing notes during the flag ceremony),” said Remulla during the continuation of the inquiry on the media giant’s franchise.

“As usual, the ABS-CBN people are the ones playing it up now on social media," he said. "But I will forgive them."

Remulla claimed that he was just preparing questions that he would ask during the hearing.

“Ang sa akin ho, I wrote the note - hindi ho excuse ’to- (For me, I wrote the note, -this is not an excuse-) because something went into my mind for the questions I will askß..," he said. "Ako ay humihingi ng dispensa sa ating mga kababayan (I’m very sorry to our fellow citizens)."

Section 38 of the Republic Act 8491 or the “Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines” states that everyone should stand at attention and sing with fervor the national anthem.

Anyone who fails to observe the provisions of the law shall be fined with P5,000 to P20,000 and/or imprisonment of up to a year.

Remulla said he is willing to pay the penalty if asked to do so.

“Magbabayad tayo kung kinakailangan po [We will pay if necessary],” he said.