Castelo files anti-planking bill

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MANILA -- Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo seeks to ban “planking” or the act of lying down like planks saying “life and limb are pretty much at risk” after student protesters disrupted traffic in Metro Manila Monday.

During the transport strike Monday led by Pinag-Isang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston), the League of Filipino Students staged “planking sessions” along Espana road in Sampaloc, Manila to show support for the protest against oil price hikes.

“Parents and teachers have reason to be alarmed if these similar protest actions will have as a scheme and scene otherwise warm and living bodies laid down across street highways as though they were offerings to the gods,” Castelo said in the explanatory note of House Bill 5316.

“The parent in me tells me that this precedent in the case of the this massive transport strike where militant street protesters who are students of various schools have to lie down or serve as ‘planks’ across the road to disrupt what should be normal traffic could just be very dangerous in the future. Life and limb are pretty much at risks here were unbelieving bus drivers or law enforcement authorities might just ram through these warm and living bodies rolled out on highways”, Castelo added.

The lawmaker added in his proposed legislation that the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education should draft a Code of Student Conduct in case elementary and high school students “who may have militant or radical student leaders engaged in street protests or demonstrations.”

“Lest this picture read in newspapers or posted in the internet might evolve into a new mindset that just might go viral or very contagious, let it be nipped in the bud. The Filipino psyche of our young children in school is under attack – right here and now,” Castelo said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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