Embassy of the Philippines > Embassy of the Philippines DC >> News

News

27/07/2018: PH REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO RIGHT TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN DC MINISTERIAL MEETING

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-58-2018
27 July 2018

Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Strategic Communications Ernesto C. Abella heads the Philippine delegation to the 1st Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom held at the US State Department on 26 July 2017.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Around 80 government and international organization representatives from all over the world met at the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom hosted by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo at the US State Department on 26 July 2018.

Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Strategic Communications Ernesto C. Abella headed the Philippine delegation to the Ministerial, joined by Philippine Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick A. Chuasoto and Minister for Political and Legislative Affairs Rosanna Villamor-Voogel.

“The Philippines protects the human right to freedom of religion or belief of all its citizens. This commitment is enshrined in our Constitution and reflected in our laws, policies, standards and guidelines, and Supreme Court decisions pertaining to freedom of religion or belief,” Undersecretary Abella said in his remarks during the third plenary session.

“We are pleased that both chambers of our Congress have ratified the Bangsamoro Organic Law. This law seeks to establish a political entity called the Bangsamoro, a recognition of the justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people and aspiration of Muslim Filipinos and all indigenous cultural communities in the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao,” he further added.

Undersecretary Abella also spoke about the major battle between the government forces and ISIS-inspired Maute Group in Marawi city in Mindanao last year, and reiterated the Philippine government’s efforts “to helping Marawi rise as a prosperous city again.”

“Our government has set a long-term vision for our people – a strongly-rooted, comfortable, and secure life. We envision the Philippines as a high-trust society where families thrive in vibrant, culturally diverse, and resilient communities,” the Undersecretary concluded.

The 1st Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom discussed the challenges in advancing the human right to religious freedom and identified concrete ways to fight worldwide religious persecution and discrimination.

United States Vice President Mike Pence delivered the opening remarks of the meeting where he underscored that religious freedom is a top priority of the Trump administration. ###