Anti-Angry Birds Bill bill a hoax

Following the controversial Anti Planking Act, Filipino Netizens again aired their sentiments over Twitter about an alleged bill that aims to ban products of the online game “Angry Birds”.

Dubbed as the “Anti-Angry Birds Bill”, the news went viral after a news was posted on a satrical website called “So, What’s News?”.  The article states that the bill will be sponsored by Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo who is also known as the representative who wanted to file the Anti-Planking Act of 2011.

According to the article, Castelo got the idea for the bill when he went Christmas shopping. Complaining over the popularity of Angry Birds in various line of products. “Everywhere I looked, ‘Angry Birds’ this, ‘Angry Birds’ that! Where is the product diversity? Shouldn’t the DTI be monitoring this?” the representative supposedly said.

“This is why this bill is even more important than my own Anti-Planking Bill. I hope that my colleagues here at Batasan will support this bill,” Castelo said, according to the website.

In a Facebook message to GMA News Online, Castelo said he finds the satirical Angry Birds Bill funny and amusing and claims the news is hoax.

“So What’s News?” is a website that aims “to inject humor into everyday news to provide respite to readers who have grown weary with mainstream news organizations’ partisan, biased, and depressing way of presenting the news.”

On the other end, informed Twitter users urged other Twitter users to check their facts and sources first before reacting and reposting false and unverified information online.

The Anti-Planking Act of 2011 creates stir online and among student orgs

Students "planking" along Espanya Blvd.

In line with the transport holiday staged last Monday in the Philippines wherein members of the League of Filipino Students “planked” in the middle of the busy street of Espanya that caused heavy traffic and irritated motorists, Quezon City Representative Winston “Winnie” Castelo has filed a bill called the Anti-Planking Act of 2011.

Under the proposed Anti-Planking Act of 2011, Castelo proposed the creation of a universal Code of Student Conduct “where planking as a form of redress of grievance be strictly prohibited and appropriate sanctions be applied for violations thereof.” The proposal for the bill came after the representative became worried as a parent and feared that the act will be a “template” to imitate during protests.

“I was also a UP (University of the Philippines) student and I sympathize with them. It is normal to air their grievances and I welcome that as a lawmaker. However, as a parent, we have to see to it that their lives are protected as well. If you have plankers in the middle of the street, it will disrupt traffic. While we recognize their right to express themselves, you have to respect the rights of the riding public” he told abs-cbnNEWS.com. He also said Congress will also need to determine what sanctions could be imposed on ordinary citizens who conduct planking protests.

However, Castelo said the bill will not prohibit the constitutional right of freedom of expression since it only seeks to ensure the safety of protesters. The congressman is also not keen on punishing “plankers” who conduct their protests on sidewalks or areas where they will not be put in danger.

“As long as there is no disruption to the public, I think we will liberal about that. As I mentioned, I am more inclined to (allow them to) air their grievances than curtail their freedom,” he said.

Meanwhile, campus-based youth groups on Tuesday criticized Castelo’s proposed anti-planking bill, calling the proposal “ridiculous and anti-democratic”.

“This is a cheap attempt at publicity and with the sole intention of abridging the rights of the youth to freely express themselves. The Anti-Planking bill is very anti-democratic and definitely ridiculous.” said Carl Reyes, Sanlakas Youth spokesperson.

Jico Santos, chairperson of UP Diliman-based student group KAISA, added, “These politicians should instead get themselves busy in crafting laws that will ensure the exercise of the people’s rights like the Freedom of Information and Reproductive Health bills. Planking is covered by our freedom of expression. Cong. Castelo, wala namang basagan ng trip.”

Social media users such as Facebook and Twitter also raised eyebrows about the possible bill stating a general sentiment that the government should focus on important house bills such as the Right of Information Bill and the controversial Reproductive Health Bill.

The sections of the propsed Anti-Planking Act of 2011 are as follows:

AN ACT PRESCRIBING A UNIVERSAL CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT WHEREBY PLANKING BY A STUDENT OR GROUP OF STUDENTS DURING STREET RALLIES OR SIMILAR PROTEST ACTIONS AS A FORM OF REDRESS OF GRIEVANCE BE STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND APPLYING APPROPRIATE SANCTIONS THEREOF

September 20th, 2011

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. This Act shall be known as the “Anti-Planking Act of 2011″.

SEC. 2. A universal Code of Student Conduct is hereby prescribed where planking as a form of redress of grievance be strictly prohibited and appropriate sanctions be applied for violations thereof.

SEC. 3. Under this Act, planking is when a student or group of students lies face down in unusual locations especially in streets or other public places, keeping the hands along the body and the feet outstretched and especially where such act is meant as a form of redress of grievance against government.

SEC. 4 Every bonafide student from any school, college or university shall conduct himself with high degree of discipline and propriety.

SEC. 5. The Department of Education in the case of elementary and high school students and the Commission on Higher Education in the case of college students shall draft a universal Code of Student Conduct to carry out the provisions of this Act.
Further, DepEd and CHED, respectively shall issue appropriate rules and regulations to effectively carry out intent and purpose of this Act.

SEC. 6. This Act shall take effect ninety (90) days after its publication in the Official Gazette and in at least three (3) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,