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Congressmen quarrel over God
Row over bill banning religious symbols in state offices heats up
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- June 18, 2012
Roilo Golez yesterday accused Palatino, a Kabataan Party congressman, of being an atheist and violating the constitution after introducing the Religious Freedom in Government Act in Congress.
â€śHow this measure will help build a just and humane society is beyond me,â€ť Golez said, citing the presidentâ€™s oath of office that ends with the phrase "so help me God."
Palatino, who says that he and his family are Catholics, defended the bill by arguing that the state must remain neutral when it comes to religion despite the Philippinesâ€™ Catholic majority.
â€śThe state cannot be seen to favor one religion over the other,â€ť he said, adding that the proposed act would help to defend freedom of religion in the Philippines.
â€śIt is not my intention to offend any religion and to ban God,â€ť he added.
The bill as it stands would ban religious ceremonies, events and symbols from government offices and their perimeters.