SC backs conviction of RH activist Carlos Celdran for 'offending religious feelings'

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On September 30, 2010, Reproductive Health law advocate Carlos Celdran marched into Manila Cathedral and carried the sign "Damaso."

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 7) — The Supreme Court (SC) upheld a Manila court's ruling to imprison Reproductive Health Law advocate Carlos Celdran over "offending religious feelings" after his activist stunt at the Manila Cathedral in 2010.

Celdran posted the four-page SC decision on Monday on his Facebook page, which penalized him for interrupting an ecumenical service on September 30, 2010 by going up to the altar and brought out a placard reading "Damaso." The "Damaso" referred to the villanous friar in Jose Rizal's novel "Noli Me Tangere."

"It's come to pass. My appeal in the Supreme Court has been denied and my sentence is upheld. Three months minimum to a year and a month maximum," Celdran said.

Celdran had appealed the ruling to the Metropolitan Trial Court, the Regional Trial Court, and the Court Appeals. All three courts denied his petition.

The SC agreed with the Court of Appeals that Celdran's actions were "meant to mock, insult, and ridicule those clergy whose beliefs and principles were diametrically opposed to his own."

However, in another post, the activist said he will appeal the SC decision.

"This case isn't just about me anymore. It's about all of us protecting our freedom of expression," he said.