News that popular tour guide Carlos Celdran had been convicted by a court of offending religious feelings drew mixed reactions on the microblogging site Twitter.
As of 4:20 p.m. Monday, “Carlos Celdran” and the hashtag #FreeCarlosCeldran were already among the trending topics in the Philippines.
Celdran himself tweeted an announcement on his Twitter account @carlosceldran: “Guilty,” it read.
Some Twitter users quickly responded with messages of support.
“Wow, expressing opinions about religion can put you to jail now, huh? Carlos Celdran is a brave man. You have my support, sir,” said user @OD3TTEaGOGO.
Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros (@risahontiveros) also expressed her support for Celdran: “The ruling of the Manila RTC vs @carlosceldran offends civil liberties feelings. We are w/ you, Carlos.”
Comedian Gabe Mercado (@gabemercado) tweeted: “Shocked and sick at the verdict versus @carlosceldran. :(”
User @idagurl said: “I don’t always agree with how he goes about things, but jailing Carlos Celdran for ‘offending religious feelings’ just seems so wrong.”
‘Where is justice?’
User @Pimplepopper tweeted “congratulations”: “It’s getting harder and harder to offend religious feelings as mankind progresses. Kudos to Carlos Celdran for going to jail for doing so.”
Another user asked about sending support: “Thank you for offending them on our behalf. Where do I donate for your legal defense fund? #freecarlosceldran,” user @bvergara said.
Said user @rajbayy: “Those who speak their minds are jailed. Those who steal millions & kill thousands are free. #WhereIsJustice.”
Others, however, hoped the court’s decision would teach Celdran a lesson.
Tweeted user @akoposiJOJO: “The court had spoken, rendered verdict over the case. Learn your lesson Mr. Carlos Celdran.”
“I like Carlos Celdran’s courageous act to fight 4 what he believes s right, but if we tolerate doing it inside d church, isn’t right at all,” tweeted @esmeralda_jake.
For user @MatthewAbuyo, while Celdran should be held liable for his action, the punishment was too harsh. “Carlos Celdran’s going to jail? He did disrupt a service in a church, he should be liable; however, imprisonment is too much.”
User James Nicolay (@sirnicolay) was more concerned about the effect of the issue on the Church: “The local Church leaders are not doing themselves any favor with their decision to sue Carlos Celdran. The flock is slipping away gradually,” he said. Compiled by Inquirer Research