Cayetano slams liquor firm for branding products with historical names

By , on June 18, 2014

Photo from Pia Cayetano's  official Facebook page.
Photo from Pia Cayetano’s official Facebook page.

MANILA — Senator Pia Cayetano  criticized  a liquor firm for using names of historical figures and places in the country as brands for their liquor products.

Cayetano, chairperson the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture denounced the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) for allowing Destileria Limtuaco, Inc. (DLI) to register “Intramuros” as a liquor brand. 

“I cannot understand how the IPO, a government agency that is tasked to uphold the law and the national interest, would allow the name of a national heritage site to be reduced into a brand of an intoxicating beverage? The IPO could have used its authority instead to reject the application outright,” Cayetano said.

‘Tacloban’ was also registered with the IPO by the same liquor firm last March 31.

“Tacloban has become a global symbol of Filipino resilience, hope, recovery and cooperation. And this liquor company has the gall to misappropriate it for selfish ends and corporate profits,” she said.

The senator also expressed her disappointment on DLI’s plan to register the names of “Rizal,” “Bonifacio,” and “Gomburza” as its own trademark as it only “threatens to desecrate, misappropriate and trivialize their national and historic significance.”

She added that it is so “un-Filipino” for the company to link heroes’ names with products known and classified as vices.

“Dr. Jose Rizal, Gat Andres Bonifacio and the three martyred priests (Padre Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora) all laid their lives for the freedom and rights we enjoy today, and this is how Destileria Limtuaco intends to honor them? Or are they simply taking advantage of their good names to reap the benefits by having their names and images emblazoned on their bottles of whisky, gin, brandy and rhum?” the senator asked.

Cayetano is now asking the IPO to rectify its oversight on the matter citing some guidelines in the Intellectual Property Code strictly imposed on the use of national symbols.

Cayeteno cited Sec. 123.1.a which states: “A mark cannot be registered if it consists of immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter, or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute.”