“Free speech does not apply when a valiant superhero is pushed to the limits of human endurance with everyone’s personal woes.”
(Manila) The Philippine Senate approved yesterday a bill effectively banning the expression ‘Bahala na si Batman’ from public use.
The proposed statute “An Act Classifying the Expression ‘Bahala na si Batman’ as a Crime Against Superheroes and Contrary to Public Morals, Decency and Filipino Cultural Values” has been deemed by Malacañang as a priority bill since 2010.
“By passing this law we hope to lighten the work load of Batman so he can focus on more important issues.” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile did not say.
A leaked CIA report revealed that in 2010 alone Batman made close to 213 trips to the country; sometimes making two trips within a 24-hour period using his Batplane. The report also mentioned that associates of the Dark Knight, most notably Nightwing and Red Robin, had also made frequent visits.
“It seems that Batman has been trying to respond to every utterance of the expression ‘Bahala na si Batman’ (an expression of resignation in the local dialect which alludes to and passes the burden to the Dark Knight) by Filipinos. However, the locals have no idea that the Dark Knight has been fixing their problems because he chooses to work covertly.” the report said.
Since 2009, Wayne Enterprises Philippines has been lobbying for a ban on the expression citing copyright infringement while trying to popularize the alternative saying “Bahala na ang Boy Scouts” to no avail.
An anonymous source at Wayne Enterprises Philippines confirmed, however, that the company has been acting to protect the Dark Knight who may or may not be suffering from high blood pressure. Why the company would want to protect Batman’s welfare is unclear.
Meanwhile, critics of the bill have not been silent on the issue.
“This bill is unconstitutional; not too mention ridiculous. It goes against the bill of rights, freedom of speech and expression. All for what? To protect the welfare of a foreign superhero?” Civil Society for Human Rights (CSHR) Spokesperson Antonio Nasalungat said.