Was the Philippine flag really used as table cloth at SEA Games?

November 27, 2019 - 8:07 PM
Philippine flag
A Reuters file photo of the Philippine flag

Photos of the Philippine flag allegedly being used as a table skirt in one of the venues related to the 30th Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines have been making rounds on social media.

These initially came from a certain Albert Papina who posted them on Facebook on November 25. Papina, however, did not mention the source of the photos.

“Look at how Filipinos desecrated the national symbol—our flag. Nobody even bothers to undo this irreverence. Something is wrong with the Filipinos,” part of the caption read.

Look at how Filipinos desecrated the national symbol — our flag. Nobody even bothers to undo this irreverence….

Posted by Albert Papina on Monday, November 25, 2019


Ricky Velasco, a former reporter of ABS-CBN, made a screenshot of this post and claimed it was taken in one of the venues of the international sports derby.

When it blew up, he turned his account into private mode. Some social media users, however, were able to screenshot his tweet.

PSC Executive Director Guillermo Iroy called the photos fake.

“Upon investigating the alleged PH flag used as mantle for the catering, the said FB (Facebook) posting was found to be malicious and fake news,” Iroy said.

“We appreciate constructive criticism, but we deplore the fake news that came out just to create public outrage,” he added.

ABS-CBN News, meanwhile, reminded its reporters to follow guidelines on social media to avoid spreading false information.

It also clarified that Velasco retired from the network in 2015.

Part of its statement read:

“ABS-CBN News has social media guidelines and gatekeeping layers to prevent erroneous and misleading posts. Mr. Velasco’s post did not go through any of these processes. ABS-CBN News does not spread disinformation.”

Regardless if it was used inappropriately at the SEA Games or not, using the flag “as a drapery, festoon, tablecloth” is unlawful, according to Section 34 of the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.