Ano Ba Talaga Kuya? History Repeats Itself? Next: Martial Law? | Bagong Pilipinas’ song required in flag ceremonies?

Ano Ba Talaga Kuya? History Repeats Itself? Next: Martial Law? | Bagong Pilipinas’ song required in flag ceremonies?

  • Ano Ba Talaga Kuya?
  • History Repeats Itself?
  • Next: Martial Law?
  • NEW version of ang BAGONG LIPUNAN? Bagong Pilipinas’ Jr.?
  • Palace order reminiscent of martial law – ACT



‘Bagong Pilipinas’ song required in flag ceremonies

Alexis Romero – The Philippine Star

�Bagong Pilipinas� song required in flag ceremonies

Different government agencies and military personnel attend the flag-raising ceremony at Rizal Park in celebration of National Flag Day on May 28, 2024. / The STAR / Ryan Baldemor

Palace order reminiscent of martial law – ACT

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has ordered all national government agencies and instrumentalities to include the recital of the Bagong Pilipinas hymn and pledge in their weekly flag ceremonies – a move reminiscent of a similar requirement to sing the Bagong Lipunan anthem during martial law.

The directive, which also covers government-owned or controlled corporations and educational institutions, is contained in Memorandum Circular 52 signed on June 4 by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin by the authority of President Marcos.

Bagong Pilipinas is the governance brand of the Marcos administration. It aims to achieve a deep transformation in society and emphasizes the government’s commitment to undertake policy reforms.

Malacañang said the campaign is “characterized by a principled, accountable and dependable government, reinforced by unified institutions of society.”

The memorandum directed all national government agencies and instrumentalities and encouraged local governments to “integrate the recital of the Bagong Pilipinas hymn and pledge in the conduct of weekly flag ceremonies, subject to existing laws and rules and regulations.” It aims “to further instill the principles of the Bagong Pilipinas brand of governance and leadership among Filipinos.”

“For this purpose, the heads of all national government agencies and instrumentalities shall ensure that the Bagong Pilipinas hymn and pledge, which are annexed to this circular, are properly disseminated within their respective institutions and offices,” the memorandum read.

Section 18 of the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines required all government offices to hold a flag raising ceremony every Monday morning and flag lowering ceremony every Friday afternoon.

The Presidential Communications Office, the government’s lead communication arm, was tasked to relay and disseminate the Bagong Pilipinas hymn and pledge to all government offices and the public.

A similar directive was issued during the time of the President’s late father and namesake Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who put forward a vision for a “new society” or bagong lipunan.

The elder Marcos’ administration required the singing of “Bagong Lipunan” – an anthem about a new country and a new movement striving for progress – during flag ceremonies. The song was commissioned by then first lady Imelda Marcos shortly after martial law, which has been tied to human rights abuses and suppression of liberties, was declared in 1972.

Its music was composed by National Artist for Music Felipe Padilla de Leon Sr. while its lyrics were written by National Artist for Music and Literature Levi Celerio. A modern version of the song was used during the campaign sorties of the younger Marcos during the 2022 elections.

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Memories of martial law

While Marcos supporters describe the song as a patriotic hymn that calls for a positive transformation, human rights advocates view it as a propaganda that reminds them of the abusive practices during martial law.

Last year, Malacañang directed agencies to adopt the Bagong Pilipinas branding through Memorandum Circular 24. During its kickoff rally in Manila last Jan. 28, the younger Marcos said the campaign is not a “partisan coalition in disguise” but a set of ideals all Filipinos can coalesce around.
“To those whose overheated imagination has been poisoned by toxic politics, Bagong Plipinas is no Trojan horse. It conceals no agenda. It is a program of many workhorses driven by the love of country,” the President said.

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro yesterday said the new memorandum only brings back memories of when the country was under dictatorship.

“Is Pres. Marcos Jr. again imitating his dictator father and bringing back martial rule? His order is reminiscent of Marcos Sr.’s directive then for people to sing praises to the Bagong Lipunan,” Castro noted.

She added that Marcos should rescind “this self-serving and martial law remnant of a memorandum circular.”

“It is yet another way to deodorize the Marcos name brand and revise history. We should just stick with the Lupang Hinirang and Panatang Makabayan,” she said.

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Castro warned that the order “appears to be an attempt to indoctrinate government personnel and the youth with the Marcos administration’s self-styled Bagong Pilipinas branding, reminiscent of the martial law period’s Bagong Lipunan propaganda.”

“Instead of resorting to such gimmicks, the government should spend its time and effort in resolving the problems confronting Filipinos such as low salary, high prices of commodities and to create quality and regular jobs for them,” Castro added.

Bayan president Renato Reyes also criticized Sunday the repeated recitation of the Bagong Pilipinas pledge in schools and offices, calling it superficial and ineffective in addressing the country’s persistent issues.

“It is so superficial and desperately tries to convince the public that things have changed. They have not,” Reyes said.

He argued that significant problems such as poverty, corruption, human rights violations and violations of sovereignty remain unresolved.

“Like the Bagong Lipunan of the Marcos dictatorship, the Bagong Pilipinas mantra of the current Marcos regime is meant to cover up the crisis that besets the country while making the citizenry obedient to an oppressive authority,” Reyes said. — With Sheila Crisostomo, Mark Ernest Villeza



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