In this March 23, 2021 article for Rappler, Paterno Esmaquel II reports on the recent pronouncements of Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo who said that they will continue to have religious services during Holy Week despite the recently announced government ban on religious gatherings.
Pabillo said that the the government’s decision did not undergo consultation. He also echoed a long-standing debate about safety from the coronavirus and religious freedom.
Editor’s Note: Religious freedom is a constitutionally protected right. The government cannot simply take away this right [see Article III, Section 5 of the Philippine Constitution].
This defiance from the Catholic Church must serve as a reminder to every Filipino of our constitutional right to life, liberty, and property. We have the right to travel, and to exercise our free speech. And even if the Constitution provides that our freedoms can be suspended in the interest of public health, it is the government’s burden to show that there is indeed a public health emergency. In the case of COVID-19, the Department of Health’s own data has been showing for several months now, that there is no longer a health emergency [see Was There Really an Epidemic? Declining COVID-19 deaths: We need vigilance, not fear, Despite COVID-19, Philippines registers 3% lower deaths in 2020 and PSA data on deaths shows government either manipulating us or covering up their mistake]. What we have now is a scamdemic of tests and high-jacked intelligences [see WHO lowers cycle thresholds for PCR tests and Faulty COVID-19 tests: Why prisoners love their jailers and never-ending lockdowns].
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