Press Release
August 10, 2010


In observance of Ramadan, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. today reiterated his call for the prohibition of the use of words "Muslim" and "Islamic" in all forms of media to refer to any person suspected or convicted of criminal acts.

According to Bong Revilla, the practice of identifying criminals with their religious background is clearly a derogatory remark and promotes discrimination among Filipinos. He stressed that it is only proper that the government be sensitive to the Muslims' social being as legitimate citizens of the country. "The word Muslim means follower of Allah. So, words such as "Muslim criminals" and "Muslim Terrorists" are extremely injurious to our non-Christian countrymen. We must put a stop to this religiously biased practice," he explained.

In relation to this, the senator refiled his bill that seeks to disallow the use of the word "Muslim" or "Islamic" in any form of mass media to refer or describe any person suspected of or convicted of a crime. "Outlawing this culturally and religiously biased practice would definitely contribute in increased positive social space and understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. It would help drive the path towards a just, culturally-sensitive, fair and lasting peace and development in the country," Bong Revilla pointed out.

Under Senate Bill no. 1990, it shall be unlawful for any person to use the word "Muslim" or Islamic" in identifying criminals in print, radio, internet, television including Cable Television (CATV) and other forms of broadcast media. Any person found guilty of the said violation shall face the penalty of arresto mayor (one month and one day to six months imprisonment) and fine ranging from one thousand pesos to ten thousand pesos.

"Our bill of rights states that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. We should abide by it. This might be one of the ways to attain the long-awaited peace in Mindanao ," the lawmaker added.

News Latest News Feed