Four foreigners in the Philippines have been put behind bars by local police after they reportedly committed disrespectful actions towards the counrty's national flag.
According to a statement by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the foreigners were identified to be three Pakistani nationals—Sharoon Manzoor, 29, Shahid Manzoor, 45, and Shamail Jalal, 36—and one Romanian national: Ioan Oprescu y Emil, 36.
The incident, which happened at Marine Base Gregorio Lim in Sitio Calumpang, Cavite, involved the foreigners pulling and damaging the flag before discarding it in a grassy area near the camp.
After they were caught, the four offenders were promptly arrested in violation of Sec 34 (I) Paragraph (a) of Republic Act 8491, which states that it is prohibited "to mutilate, deface, defile, trample, on or cast contempt any act or omission casting dishonor or ridicule upon the flag over its surface."
"Disrespecting the Philippine National Flag is a grave violation that demands our utmost attention and must not be disregarded," PNP chief Benjamin Acorda Jr. said regarding the severity of the offense.
"It is our duty to uphold the honor and dignity of our flag, and individuals found guilty of such acts will be held accountable under the law," he added.
The PNP promised that it remains committed to "upholding the sanctity of national symbols and will continue to enforce the laws governing their proper treatment."