Carlos Celdran, a friend of mine, has just got a conviction from his actuations two years ago. I am sad to see him being convicted of a rather outdated law. I have read the decision and mainly because I am not a lawyer, my reason leads me to be swayed by it. However, I have not came into that particular conclusion yet since, of course, I need to think about it first. I would just like to play the devil’s advocate muna. Please, let us discuss this one as objectively as we could
I am reposting my loud-thinking from my comment to a post at Filipino Freethinkers Facebook Page.
Art 133 of RPC :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.chanroble
Quoting The decision:
There are two elements for qualifying an offense against Art 133
1) The act must be done in a place devoted for religious worship, OR, during the celebration of a religious ceremony; and,
2) The act must be notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful.
1) On Kristine Chan‘s point that it was an ecumenical service and not a mass. The mere fact that it was done inside the church, 1) now applies.
2) On how the “Notoriously offensive” should be interpreted.
> Notice that it is the feelings of the faithful that must be notoriously offensive. So the only thing the prosecution must do is that they have to prove that, indeed, Carlos’ actuations must have offended the religious feelings notoriously. The Court is persuaded on that. 2) then applies.
On the validity of Art 133.
Isn’t it just for religious to have a place reserved for them to practice their religion without any threats of other people offending them. Notice that Art 133 is directed towards actuations done inside that reserved place. Don’t they have the right to have an exclusive place where they are free to practice their religion, and where they are free from any attacks from others?