Culture body blasts plan by Philippine distillery to use heroes' names to sell booze
The Philippines' national cultural commission is objecting to a liquor company's plans to use the names of national heroes and landmarks as labels for a new line of spirits.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, in a statement on its website, objected to plans of Destileria Limtuaco to use the names of "historic persons, national heroes and heritage sites" for its alcoholic beverages.
"Their misappropriation for commercial enterprises or products not only distracts from the achievements of these persons or importance of these sites but sends the message that their names can be desacralised, privately owned and used to enrich private interests," it said.
Despite its concern, the agency may have limited options. Commission spokesman Rene Napenas said he was unsure if it had the power to stop a company from using historic titles.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper, quoting cultural commission officials, said the names the company wanted to use included national hero Jose Rizal and revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio.
Rizal, who wrote novels that spurred the Philippine independence movement, was executed by Spanish troops in 1896.
Bonifacio started an armed rebellion that saw the archipelago declare independence from Spain in 1898.
Officials at Destileria Limtuaco, which bills itself as the "oldest distillery in the Philippines. Established in 1852," could not be contacted for comment.