Screenshot of internet personality Maria Sofia Love Sanchez's viral video. Huli Cam, Facebook

Solon slams Maria Sofia Love for viral sexy dance cover of 'Lupang Hinirang'
Artemio Dumlao (philstar.com) - September 12, 2017 - 2:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker on Tuesday criticized a viral video of internet personality Maria Sofia Love Sanchez dancing to the tune of the Philippine national anthem "Lupang Hinirang" clad in a scanty one-piece suit.

Abra Rep. Joseph Bernos said Maria Sofia's video has disrespected the Filipinos' nationalistic spirit.

"This video disrespects not only the national anthem, but also the nationalistic spirit behind the 'Lupang Hinirang’s' lyrics and music," Bernos, also the vice-chair of the House committee on public order and safety said.

Bernos also considered Maria Sofia's video as a violation of the Constitution.

“This is a violation of section 38 of Republic Act 491, also known as the ‘Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines’ enacted on July 28, 1997,” Bernos said.

Citing the law, the solon said that the Philippine national anthem should not be played and sung for mere recreation, amusement or entertainment purposes except during international competitions where the Philippines is the host or has a representative; local competitions; during “signing off” and “signing on” of radio broadcasting and television stations; before the initial and last screening of films or before the opening of theater performances; and, other occasions as may be allowed.

“During these times when we are striving to reinforce our national identity as Filipinos to the whole world,” the Abra lawmaker stressed.

Maria Sofia recently posted a Facebook live of herself sexy dancing to the tune of the national anthem. The video became viral and earned several criticisms.

The solon then warned the public “that a person or juridical entity found guilty of violating any provision of the ‘Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines’ would be punished by a fine of not less than P5,000 and not more than P20,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.”

Bernos explained the incident showed the need for Filipinos to be "constantly informed and reminded of the national anthem and other national symbols in the creation of the Filipino identity.”

The solon called on government officials to continue reminding citizens the laws in place to maintain order in our society.

"Whether the individual (in the video) is fully aware of the consequences of her actions or not, we must raise a finger to show that we are indeed serious in fulfilling our responsibilities as government officials where the law must apply to everybody and must exclude no one," Bernos said.

Meanwhile, a report from Unang Hirit said that the National Historical Commission of the Philippines has gotten in touch with the embassy of the Philippines in Los Angeles, California, where Maria Sofia is said to be currently residing. — Rosette Adel

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