Palace probing protocol breach
Malacañang is looking into claims of a breach in protocol, particularly the use of the Philippine flag and the presidential flag during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Manila.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, at a press briefing on Thursday, said he had brought the matter to the attention of Robert Borje, head of protocol, who will be issuing an official statement.
Panelo said he personally talked to Borje on the phone to get his comment, to which Borje reportedly replied that he was investigating it.
“I was asking him, any comment?” Panelo said of his conversation with Borje.
“Please give any comment on this. And his response is, ‘we are investigating and we will issue a statement,’” Panelo said.
Netizens, including former Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III, noted the peculiar way the Philippine flag and presidential flag were positioned during Xi’s visit to Manila.
During the bilateral meeting between Xi and President Duterte, netizens noted that the Chinese flag was wrongly placed on the left side, when Republic Act No. 8491, or The Code of the National Flag, Anthem, Motto, Coat-of-Arms and Other Heraldic Items and Devices of the Philippines required that it be placed on the right side.
Others pointed out that the honor guards tailing the two leaders during the welcome ceremony carried the Chinese flag, instead of the presidential standard as opposed to previous state visits.
RA 8491 mandated that, when displayed in a row or in a parade with flags of other countries, the Philippine flag shall be on the left from the observer’s point of view.
Flags of other countries should be arranged in alphabetical order from left to right.
When hoisted in a parade with house flags, the Philippine flag should be in front of the center of the line, while the house flags should be arranged in alphabetical order, by precedence or by protocol order from left to right.
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