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Art 133

Art 133

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Published by Jaye Querubin

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Published by: Jaye Querubin on Jan 10, 2011
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01/10/2011

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JAYE QUERUBIN Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code punishes anyone who, in a place devoted to religious worship

or during the celebration of any religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony, shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful. To be able to commit such crime it must meet the following elements of, first, the acts complained of were performed in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of a religious ceremony and second, if the said act is notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful. Carlos Celdran raised a plackard which says “Damaso” & uttered the words “Stop involving yourselves in politics!” in front of the Altar at the Manila Cathedral. The question at hand is, was there a crime committed? To be guilty of a crime, one must be able to meet the elements leading to such offense. First element was clearly met by the very act of Celdran inside the Manila Cathedral. But now, this leaves us to the second element which is “perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful”. Now, to be able to look at such and appreciate if a crime has been committed, it must be remembered that the “being offended” must be from the point of view of the ones the offense is directed to, thus in this case these are the people inside the Manila Cathedral at the time the act was committed. To be able to understand what “notoriously offensive” could in the point of view of the ones in the said church, I believe that history would show how important and sacred a celebration of mass or Ecumenical Prayer is and how important it is to respect the premises of the church. The church has always been there through history, and as a Catholic country, we have incorporated rules and laws protecting the church. There had been customs being followed inside the church and even our laws recognize such. As described by Atty. Jose Sison, For Catholics “the Mass is the center of the Church. Nothing can compare to the Mass because it is the renewal of the Sacrifice on the Cross where Christ offers Himself up for all humanity. It is the moment when heaven and earth unite”. Considering that, disrupting the Mass and causing such disrespect inside the Church is therefore the most offensive act against the feelings of the faithful. Basically people who believe in God whether Christians, Buddhists, Muslims or any other faith would certainly feel offended if anyone disrupts the very sacred rite or liturgy that is at the center of their faith, the celebration of God’s presence in their midst. In People VS Baes, it was said that “The motion raises a question of law, not one of fact” and such would mean that the law was made to protect eh church from any offensive act. The existing jurisprudence also mentioned that “whether or of the act complained of is offensive to the religious feelings of the Catholics, is a question of fact which must be judged only according to the feelings of the Catholics and not those of other faithful ones, for it is possible that certain acts may offend the

the constitutions guarantees freedom of speech. . such resulted to a penal offense. It must be remembered that it is not the advocacy but rather the method and ways that Celdran delivered his message. that which is being punished. but at the same time it must be remembered that not only a person’s freedom of speech is being protected by the constitution. Yes. in really did not matter because at the end. the acts committed were obviously disrespectful to the rights of those who were in the Church to worship freely and peacefully. the gauge would definitely be the ones present inside the Cathedral in consideration to how important and scared the Church premises are. in this case. Therefore. while not otherwise offensive to the feelings of those professing another faith”. but rather the Constitution also protects freedom of religion and of course the rights of each and every single individual to worship according to their religious belief in PEACE. No matter what the intent was.feelings of those who profess a certain religion. the act was not at all justifiable and if one would ask if such is notoriously offensive.

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