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Lawmaker's bill to stop ‘dishonorable’ use of Lapu-Lapu as fish name


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A lawmaker filed a bill seeking to rectify the "dishonorable" use of the name of Filipino hero Lapu-Lapu to refer to a fish species.

In a Saturday statement, Lapu-Lapu City Representative Paz Radaza said it was "ironic" that, while Filipinos valued his heroism, Lapu-Lapu's name was also used to refer to a fish with the scientific name of Plectropomus leopardus.

Radaza thus filed House Bill 2223 or “An Act Rectifying the Dishonorable Use of a Great Filipino Name Lapu-Lapu to a Fish Species 'Plectropomus leopardus'.”

“The bill aims to rectify, correct and give justice to the honorable name of Lapu-Lapu as a hero,” the solon explained.

The proposed measure mandates the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), to take the lead role in the implementation of the bill. 

For Plectropomus leopardus to be known, named and promoted as a delicious delicacy, the lawmaker said Filipinos should be encouraged to call it “pugapo” instead.

“It is inappropriate, a defilement, and a violation, even if the fish could be the most sought-after, not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia,” said Radaza.

She added it was "alarming that more and more Filipinos prefer to call it Lapu-Lapu, disrespecting a patriotic Filipino forebear." — Margaret Claire Layug/DVM, GMA News

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