Dear Duterte critics: Yellow Cab employees have freedom of expression, too

This Christmas weekend, popular social media personality Mocha Uson posted a picture sent by a group of service crews in an unidentified Yellow Cab branch. In the picture, they can be seen posing with their fists clenched. That is the adopted hand sign of President Rodrigo Duterte and his supporters.

Tonight, Yellow Cab Philippines clarified through a statement published on its social media accounts that while it is “respectful of (their) team members’ views and opinions,” its only aim is to “provide quality and delightful dining experiences to (their) customers.”

“We assert that such display does reflect the sentiments of neither the company as a whole nor of its management. What was done by our employees reflect their views and opinion alone, and is not a corporate statement,” the pizza chain further elaborated.

Duterte’s critics are still unhappy with this statement, with a lot of them saying that the pizza chain needs to sanction the involved service crews because of their apparent support for Duterte’s controversial policies including the bloody War on Drugs. Some even vowed never to patronize Yellow Cab again.

yellow cab mocha uson duterte
Yellow Cab employees have freedom of political expression, too.

Let us summarize the situation through the following points:
1) Just like all Filipino citizens, all service crews of Yellow Cab have a Constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of expression. In other words, nobody can stop them from expressing their political views through social media.

2) If Yellow Cab Philippines has an existing policy prohibiting their employees from engaging in partisan politics (just like the Civil Service Commission) or from using the name of the company without proper authorization, then the management can suspend or fine the involved service crews. The company doesn’t need to tell the public whatever disciplinary measures it’ll impose if they decide to do it.

3) As a final point, there is also nothing wrong for companies to take a stand in controversial socio-political issues. In the United States, for instance, tech giants like Google, Apple, and Facebook have all been vocal in their support for marriage equality. They’ve also been outspoken in opposing state laws perceived as harmful to LGBT rights.

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