Press Release
July 28, 2010

Religious and Racial Profiling Should Be Penalized

Senator Loren Legarda today said persons who are guilty of religious and or racial profiling should be penalized.

Legarda's Senate Bill No. 1342 intends to promote a society that values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights, regardless of race, religion and ethnicity.

Legarda's "An Act Prohibiting Religious or Racial Profiling" enumerates the following that shall be deemed punishable:

1. Subjecting a person to unnecessary, unjustified, illegal and degrading search because of his manner of clothing, religion, color, creed or ethnic identity;

2. Discriminating a person who is applying for a job because of his name, religion or ethnic background;

3. Disallowing the entry of a person to establishment such as restaurants, shopping malls, hotels and similar nature because of his manner of clothing, religion, color, creed or ethnic identity; and

4. Employing religious characterization as words of religious import in print and broadcast media when geographic, political, socio-economic or other distinction might be more accurate.

"The Constitution clearly provides for the freedom of every Filipino to religion and racial identity. No Filipino is excluded. Even tribes and indigent people of ethnic background, as citizens of our country, should be accorded with such rights," Legarda, a peace advocate emphasized.

"The Philippines being a group of islands houses a variety of religious and ethnic groups, the diversity has given way to a number of incidences on racial and religious discrimination. There exists profiling, a police and criminology term that follows the basic sociological science method of understanding the complexities of human society by breaking down members of a population into groups that share common characteristics. "

"Certain crimes, such as terrorism, murder and kidnapping, are sometimes deliberately attributed to a religious affiliation."

"Profiling has resulted to stereotyping, causing minority groups to be treated unjustly in restaurants, department stores or shopping malls and even in employment. An obvious prejudice against these groups has sprouted, running counter to our country's policy in promoting equality and justice."

Legarda concluded, "Through this proposed measure, we should be able to reduce the discrimination that causes a different kind of terrorism - the kind that fuels hatred, thereby instigating deeper disunity among the people in our country."

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