MANILA - Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. on Wednesday urged the Senate to pass a bill that seeks to ban the use of religious or ethnic affiliations when describing criminals or suspects.
Labeling convicts or suspected criminals as Muslims, Mangyans, Tausugs and other religious or ethnic links create a "false generalization" that tends to hinder an individual or group's development, Revilla said in his sponsorship speech.
"Ang mga ganitong negative tagging at diskriminasyon ang gusto natin iwasan sa isinusulong natin sa panukalang batas na ito," he said, referring to Senate Bill No. 448.
"It is a move towards the elimination of profiling based on religion and tagging based on ethnic affiliation and a move on the protection and preservation of our civil and political rights," he said.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao backed the bill saying Filipinos should "respect one another regardless of religious or ethnic group affiliation."
"This practice of labeling is derogatory and discriminating to the religion and the ethnic groups they belong to. This creates a social construct of biases," he said.
Under the proposed measure, those who use religious or ethnic affiliations to describe a suspected or convicted criminal may face imprisonment and/or pay a fine ranging from P1,000 to P10,000.