Solon withdraws ‘ban God’ bill, apologizes

Rappler.com
Kabataan partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino says he will prioritize other bills instead

MANILA, Philippines – He got burned. Kabataan partylist Rep Raymond Palatino is withdrawing his proposed measure seeking to ban prayer services and the display of religious items in government offices.

The decision was in response to the “appeal and clamor of some of our members, constituents, supporters, and various groups,” said the Kabataan statement released on Friday, June 22. He will prioritize his other bills instead, he said.

House Bill 6330 sought to implement the constitutional provisions on religious freedom. Palatino earlier said the State cannot be seen favoring one religion over the other.

Calling it the “ban God bill,” the Catholic Church vigorously opposed the bill for suppressing religion and preventing government employees from practicing their faith.

Apologies

The partylist group is apologetic.

“Kabataan Partylist sincerely apologizes for any offense the bill caused. We are sad that we hurt the religious sentiments of many, when our desire was to uphold and promote religious sensitivity and harmony,” the statement said.

Palatino said it was not the intention of the bill to ban God in government offices. “The purpose of the bill is to ensure that government offices do not favor one religion over the other, or discriminate one against the other,” the statement said.

“We hope the conversations will continue about the need to respect different beliefs in society. We are encouraged by the fact that despite the misunderstandings, the bill initiated relevant discussions on freedom of religion as one of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution,” the statement added. – Rappler.com

UP IN ARMS: Catholic Church officials, supporters tagged H.B. 6330 as the 'ban God' bill

 

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