Senator @piacayetano filed Senate Bill no. 3402 to repeal law that punishes offending religious feelings

Senator Pia Cayetano signed and filed Senate Bill no. 3402 repealing Art. 133 of the Revised Penal Code on Offending Religious Feelings.

Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code is as follows:

Art. 133. Offending the religious feelings. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon anyone who, in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful.

Senator Cayetano said Article 133 “could be used to curtail freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed under Article III Section 4 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.”

“Freedom of speech and expression is essential to a sovereign state. In fact, the curtailment thereof has been one of the main reasons for revolts in the country throughout Philippine history. A person living in a democracy surely cannot expect that his beliefs will be free from all criticism,” she explained.

Senator Cayetano added that the repeal of the law does “not mean that one’s right to freedom of religion will be disregarded. A person can still be held liable for civil damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code which provides redress in car there is a violation of the different Constitutional rights enumerated therein, including the freedom of religion and of speech.”

It is recalled that Judge Bermejo “found Celdran guilty of “offending religious feelings” for disrupting an ecumenical service at the Manila Cathedral in September 2010 in protest of the Catholic Church’s opposition to the reproductive health law, which Cayetano co-sponsored in the Senate.”

Here is the Senate Bill no. 3402 repealing Art. 133

Senate Bill No.3402 by Team Pia

Source of photo: @piacayetano instagram