According to Coconuts, Bayle Einstein Gonzales (20) was watching the movie Justice League in a cinema in Clark, Pampanga in north Philippines last weekend.

The Philippines have a custom of playing their national anthem, Lupang Hinirang (meaning Land of the Morning), before the last screening of the day.They also have very strict laws about “respecting” the national flag and anthem. People bust showing disrespect can be fined from PHP5 000 to PHP20 000 (about R1 400 to R5 600) and sentenced up to a year in prison.

Einstein Gonzales

A 20 year old man has found himself in deep trouble for preferring to sit and eat his popcorn while the country’s national anthem was playing.

Although very few have been charged under these laws, Bayle was unlucky enough to have a very patriotic diplomat, Elmer Cato, in the cinema with him when he declined to stand for the anthem and continued to snack on his popcorn.

Cato, who is the Philippine diplomat to Iraq, said on Facebook: “I’ve never had an outburst like this before but I just had to confront this guy in front of me here at the IMAX at SM Clark who didn’t bother to rise for the national anthem while all the rest did including my American brother-in law-and other foreigners watching Justice League with us. I just could not let this disrespect pass. My blood still boiling.”

Cato sat through the whole film with his blood boiling before calling cops and getting Bayle arrested.

Bayle denies doing anything wrong, said the report.

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