Press Release
June 4, 2020

Sen. Revilla: Eliminating ethnic, regional, religious profiling on all forms of media will pave way for national unity

Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. firmly believes that the elimination of profiling based on religious, regional, cultural and ethnic affiliation serves as a move towards the protection and preservation of civil and political rights of every Filipino.

In his sponsorship speech, the veteran legislator stated that his authored bill, S. No. 448, "An Act Prohibiting the Use of Words that would Denote Religious, Regional or Ethnic Affiliation in Print, Radio, Television Including Cable Television and other Forms of Broadcast Media to Refer to or Describe any Person Suspected or Convicted of a Crime or Unlawful Act and Providing Penalties Therefor," seeks to contribute and result in increased positive social space and understanding between and among Filipinos towards a culturally sensitive, fair, and lasting peace and development in the country.

"Marahil ay nakarinig na kayo ng mga balitang naglalaman ng mga ganitong pagturing - "Muslim na terorista", "mandurukot na Mangyan", "Tausug na pirata." Ang mga ganitong pagbabalita sa media ay hindi nakakatulong sa pagpapalaganap ng national healing at national unity. Ang mga ganitong negative tagging at diskriminasyon ang nais nating iwasan sa ilalim ng isinusulong nating panukalang batas. Isulong natin ang mga batas at polisiya na nagtataguyod ng pagkakaisa, at hindi ng pagkakawatak-watak. Bigyang prayoridad natin ang mga panukalang magtatanim ng binhi ng pagkakabuklod-buklod, at hindi ng pagsasarili o pagpapalawig ng hidwaan," Revilla said.

Bong Revilla first filed this measure in 2004 during the 13th Congress. Under then Senate Bill 1215, he proposed the prohibition on the use of the word "Muslim" or "Islamic" in mass media to describe crime suspects or convicts as "the practice is highly prejudicial and extremely injurious to the Islamic religious culture, Muslim individuals and their collective image, and the Muslim's social well-being as respectable citizens of the country."

Unfortunately, the bill did not progress in the legislative mill. He re-filed the same during the 14th Congress in 2007, during the 15th Congress in 2010, and during the 16th Congress in 2013.

"Batid natin ang mga nangyayaring protesta sa iba't ibang panig ng mundo ngayon bilang pag-kondena sa racial discrimination at police brutality. Sa panukalang ito, sinisiguro nating napapangalagaan ang karapatang-pantao ng lahat, kahit pa mga suspek o convicts ang mga ito. We wish to abolish religiously and culturally-biased practices in our society," he added, noting that the Philippines is a state party both to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The National Press Club (NPC) and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), the major umbrella groups covering our media practitioners, together with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), along with other stakeholders conveyed their support for Revilla's bill.

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