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As Nation Mourns Aquino's Death, Philippine Flags Are Flying at Half-Mast

It will last for 10 days.
by Pia Regalado
Just now
Photo/s: Manila PIO/Facebook

After the news on the death of former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III broke on Thursday, Philippine flags all over the country were flown at half-mast, signifying national mourning.

As early as 10:30 a.m., flags in the City of Manila were at half-mast. Flags in Quezon City, Davao City, Sorsogon, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, among others, would also be flown at half mast, authorities said.

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Aquino's former speechwriter and communications undersecretary, Manolo Quezon, noted the significance of flags flown at half-mast even before his family confirmed the former president's death.

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"It will always be so when the public loses someone who, at the moment of passing and thus final reckoning, they indubitably know served them faithfully and with honor," he said.

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Quezon said that technically, the Palace did the right thing when it did not lower the flag without confirmation from the family.

"Any acts of the state should be done in consultation with them (family); then the appropriate statements and proclamations (needed to lower the flag) can be made," he told a netizen.

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Half-mast as a sign of mourning

Republic Act No. 8491, or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, explained that flags in the country shall be flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning, specifically the death of these people:

  • The President or former president, for 10 days
  • The Vice President, the Chief Justice, Senate President, or House Speaker, for seven days
  • Other persons determined by the institute, for any period less than seven days

The law states that the flag shall be at half-mast on all buildings and places where the deceased was holding office, on the day of death until the day of interment of an incumbent member of the Supreme Court, the Cabinet, the Senate or the House of Representatives or others determined by the institute.

The flag should first be hoisted to the peak, before being lowered to half-mast position. Before it is lowered for the day, it should be raised to the peak again.

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