By: Ismael A. Amigo
(The author heads 1st-APLUMA or 1st-Alliance of Provincial News Practitioners)
MANILA – Columnist Cito Beltran of the Philippine Star may have all the right to assail what many call as too unpopular a bill recently filed in the House of Representatives.
And to titillate the sensitivities of many, it (the column piece) was aptly titled “Ban God.”
And Cito B had it oh so sensationalized that another columnist from Business Insight (Malaya of old) assailed the former “for not reading the whole text of the Bill” filed by Kabataan Party-List.
The lady BI columnist also had a point in her dissertation saying the party-list only group has good intentions in filing the bill so as to keep the balance right in exercising one’s religious inclinations and maintain the separation of church and state.
She said had Cito B only read the full text of the bill he could have been enlightened as it calls for nothing but for equal rights among people as it seems that only romanos katolikos have the right to put up or display religious icons in public offices or places as well as the saying of mass and building chapels and similar religious places.
In short, Kabataan PL’s only intention is to do just that – equitable exercise of religious rights.
But methinks, there is no need for KPL’s bill as there is also no existing law that prohibits the right of any public official to display his/her religious inclination.
From where we stand, we can smell a foul aroma from out of KPL’s bill that would only indeed ban romano katoliko officials from exercising their inherent religious rights because of the fact that majority of our public officials belong to the Catholic church.
Talk about fixing an unbroken fixture.
Please try another more meaningful bill Kabataan PL.
I believe other religious denominations also have their existing right to exercise their religious inclinations because, I repeat, of the absence of a law banning them to do their thing.
Another bill filed by Valenzuela Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo and Akbayan PL also has the makings of controversial proportions.
Their joint HB 4268 Resolution seeks to ban the selling of soft drinks in school places.
Isn’t it absurd banning it when it “Adds Life” as one soft drink factory cries in its selling point?
Another product calls for everyone of us to “Obey Your Thirst!”
Well, this would cost all soft drink factories billion of pesos in profits lost.
“Relax don’t do it if you wanna talk,” says an American artist.
Surely lobbyists can “fix” that.
What if mega-millions soft drink factories offer mega-millions for them just to scrap the said House bill?
But the thing is, in filing the bill, the House of Representatives already let their leit motif out in the form of press release saying it is intended to maintain “healthy lifestyle among the school children.”
Oh, so the teachers and principals are exempted from that bill.
Still, if the bill becomes a law it would surely cause a big dent in each and every soft drink factory cash department.
You bet, this could be the last you can hear about it.