Commission for Culture says: Don’t use Philippine heroes to sell liquor

By , on June 16, 2014

Screengrab from Disteliria Limtuaco's official website.
Screengrab from Disteliria Limtuaco’s official website.

MANILA – The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Philippines’ national cultural commission, has raised its objections to a liquor company’s plans to use the names of national heroes and landmarks as labels for a new line of alcoholic beverages.

In a statement on its website, the commission decried popular distillery, Destileria Limtuaco’s plans to use the names of “historic persons, national heroes and heritage sites,” for its spirits and liquors.

The liquor company is best known for its wide range of locally produced libations; including brandy, gin, rum and vodka,

“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,” the commission said.

Realistically, however, and despite their best intentions, the agency may find themselves holding the end of the short stick; a fact of which they are aware. Commission spokesman Rene Napenas told reporters he was unsure if they had the power to stop a company from using historic titles.

Reports by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, quoting council officials, said that among the names the company wanted to use are those of Dr. Jose Rizal, largely recognized as the country’s national hero, and revolutionary hero, Andres Bonifacio.

The commission said the distillery, had already been granted permission from licensors to use the name “Intramuros,” Manila’s historical walled city fortress which dates back to Spanish colonial times, for one of its products.

According to reports, officials at Destileria Limtuaco, which boasts of being the “oldest distillery in the Philippines. Established in 1852,” could not be reached for comment.