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'Anti-Planking Law' raises eyebrows online

September 20, 2011 6:05pm
Planking, a global trend where individuals would lie on their bellies on just about any surface pretending to be a plank of wood, may well have spread like wildfire all in the spirit of fun.

News of a lawmaker proposing to outlaw the act in protest activities, however, indicate that when it all comes down to it, supporters and enthusiasts of planking won't take the issue lying face down.

Just a few hours after news broke out that Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo has filed a bill called the "Anti-Planking Act of 2011," Pinoy social media users were quick to the draw in pointing out their opinion of the proposed measure.

As of posting time, the phrase "Anti-Planking Act of 2011" is the top trending topic in the Philippines and the third worldwide on social networking site Twitter.

In justifying the measure, Castelo said in a statement that "unbelieving bus drivers and law enforcement authorities might just ram through these warm and living bodies rolled out on highways."

Castelo was referring to the activities of the protesters during the transport strike on Monday, who lied down and "planked" in the middle of the streets bearing banners that signify their opposition to constant oil price hikes, snarling vehicular traffic in the affected areas.

The Manila Police District said they may "break up" planking sessions and detain those engaged in the act especially if they pose a danger to others.

Online Internet users, however, seem to think that drafting up a bill outlawing the act is simply pushing the envelope too far, as they have expressed in their tweets and Facebook statuses:



Castelo, through an interview with GMA News reporter Jamie Santos, clarified his stance on the issue:



In Australia, the planking claimed the life of a man when he fell from a seventh-floor balcony while trying to plank along its railings. Since then, proposals to outlaw planking in Australia have gathered steam.

Planking has been one of the forms of action by young protesters in the country, such as during the 2nd State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III, where they held a “Mass Planking for our Right to Education." But besides snarling traffic in their areas of protest, no casualties were recorded during the protesters' planking sessions on the road on Monday. — TJD, GMA News
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