Who should go to prison for speaking his mind? In the modern democratic project, the answer is clear: No one. The conviction of social activist Carlos Celdran for the obscure crime of “offending the religious feelings,” then, raises many questions. Is the Philippines a modern democracy? Is freedom of speech a living civic virtue? Are [...]
By Florin T. Hilbay
In September 2010, Carlos Celdran, outraged by the Church’s intervention in the debates over reproductive health rights, did the unthinkable. Sporting a dark suit a la Jose Rizal, he went to the Manila Cathedral where an assembly was then marking the anniversary of the “May They Be One” campaign and launching a project aimed at [...]
By Oscar Franklin Tan
Carlos Celdran’s jail term is blatantly unconstitutional. For shouting, “You bishops, stop involving yourself in politics,” he was convicted of the circa-1930 crime “offending religious feelings.” The judge never explained how religious dogma, the key to the jail term, was offended. We must decry how a court of law was hijacked as a tool of political persecution under an archaic law.
By Rina Jimenez-David
Meriting a banner headline in one paper and front-page coverage in others was the conviction by a lower court of cultural gadfly, creative tour guide and reproductive health champion Carlos Celdran. Deemed guilty of “offending religious feelings,” Celdran faces up to a year in prison if the sentence is upheld, though he said his [...]