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LIST OF CASES Philippine Cases/Sources

AGLIPAY vs. RUIZ AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY vs. CITY OF MANILA BASA vs. FOITAF CENTENO vs. VILLALON-PORNILLOS DOMINADOR ANUCENSION vs. NATIONAL LABOR UNION EBRALINAG vs. THE DIVISION SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS OF CEBU ESTRADA vs. ESCRITOR GARCES vs. ESTENZO GERMAN vs. GEN. SANTIAGO BARANGAN GERONA, ET AL. vs. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, ET AL. GONZALEZ vs. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA GONZALES vs. CENTRAL AZUCARERA DE TARLAC LABOR UNION IGLESIA NI CRISTO (INC.) vs. CA JAMIAS vs. RODRIGUEZ LONG vs. BASA G.R. No. 45459. G.R. No. L-9637 March 13, 1937 April 30, 1957

G.R. No. L-27113. G.R. No. 113092. G.R. No. L-26097

November 19, 1974 September 1, 1994 November 29, 1977

G.R. No. 95770.

December 29, 1995

A.M. No. P-02-1651 G.R. No. L-53487. G.R. No. 68828 G.R. No. L-13954

June 22, 2006 May 25, 1981 March 27, 1985 August 12, 1959

G.R. No. 27619

February 4, 1928

G.R. No. L-38178

October 3, 1985

G.R. No. 119673 G.R. No. L-2133 G.R. Nos. 134963-64

July 26, 1996 July 22, 1948 September 27, 2001

MTRCB vs. ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC. vs. ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC.

G.R. No. 155282

January 17, 2005

G.R. No. 135306

January 28, 2003

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JUDGE CANDIDO P. VILLANUEVA RE: REQUEST OF MUSLIM EMPLOYEES IN THE DIFFERENT COURTS IN ILIGAN CITY (RE: OFFICE HOURS) SORIANO vs. LAGUARDIA UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE PHILIPPINES, INC. vs. BRADFORD UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, INC. VICTORIANO vs. ELIZALDE ROPE WORKERS' UNION

G.R. No. L-55289

June 29, 1982

A.M. No. 02-2-10-SC

December 14, 2005

G.R. No. 164785 G.R. No. 171905

March 15, 2010 June 20, 2012

G.R. No. L-25246

September 12, 1974

Foreign Cases/Sources
COX et. Al, v. STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE ARCH R. EVERSON v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF EWING TOWNSHIP WEST VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION v. BARNETTE A.M. No. 02-2-10-SC 330 US 1

319 U.S. 624

GREGORIO AGLIPAY, petitioner, vs. JUAN RUIZ, respondent G.R. No. 45459. March 13, 1937

FACTS: Petitioner seeks the issuance of a writ of prohibition against respondent Director of Posts from issuing and selling postage stamps commemorative of the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress. Petitioner contends that such act is a violation of the Constitutional provision stating that no public funds shall be appropriated or used in the benefit of any church, system of religion, etc. This provision is a result of the principle of the separation of church and state, for the purpose of avoiding the occasion wherein the state will use the church, or vice versa, as a weapon to further their ends and aims. Respondent contends that such issuance is in accordance to Act No. 4052, providing for the appropriation funds to respondent for the production and issuance of postage stamps as would be advantageous to the government.

ISSUE: Whether or Not there was a violation of the freedom to religion.

HELD: The phrase in Act No. 4052 advantageous to the government does not authorize violation of the Constitution. The issuance of the stamps was not inspired by any feeling to favor a particular church or religious denomination. They were not sold for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church. The postage stamps, instead of showing a Catholic chalice as originally planned, contains a map of the Philippines and the location of Manila, with the words Seat XXXIII International Eucharistic Congress. The focus of the stamps was not the Eucharistic Congress but the city of Manila, being the seat of that congress. This was to to advertise the Philippines and attract more tourists, the officials merely took advantage of an event

considered of international importance. Although such issuance and sale may be inseparably linked with the Roman Catholic Church, any benefit and propaganda incidentally resulting from it was not the aim or purpose of the Government.

AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY, plaintiff-appellant, vs. CITY OF MANILA, defendant-appellee. G.R. No. L-9637. April 30, 1957.

FACTS: In the course of its ministry, American Bible Societys Philippine agency has been distributing and selling bibles and/or gospel portions thereof (since 1898, but except during the Japanese occupation) throughout the Philippines and translating the same into several Philippine dialects. On 29 May 1953, the acting City Treasurer of the City of Manila informed the Society that it was conducting the business of general merchandise since November1945, without providing itself with the necessary Mayors permit and municipal license, in violation of Ordinance 3000, as amended, and Ordinances 2529, 3028 and 3364, and required the Society to secure, within 3 days, the corresponding permit and license fees, together with compromise covering the period from the 4th quarter of 1945 to the 2ndquarter of 1953, in the total sum of P5,821.45. On 24 October 1953, the Society paid to the City Treasurer under protest the said permit and license fees, giving at the same time notice to the City Treasurer that suit would be taken in court to question the legality of the ordinances under which the said fees were being collected, which was done on the same date by filing the complaint that gave rise to this action. After hearing, the lower court dismissed the complaint for lack of merit.

ISSUE: Whether or not said Ordinances are constitutional and valid.

HELD: Plaintiff is engaged in the distribution and sales of bibles and religious articles. The City Treasurer of Manila informed the plaintiff that it was conducting the business of general merchandise without providing itself with the necessary Mayor's permit and municipal license, in

violation of Ordinance No. 3000, as amended, and Ordinance No. 2529, as amended, and required plaintiff to secure the corresponding permit and license. Plaintiff protested against this requirement and claimed that it never made any profit from the sale of its bibles. Held: It is true the price asked for the religious articles was in some instances a little bit higher than the actual cost of the same, but this cannot mean that plaintiff was engaged in the business or occupation of selling said "merchandise" for profit. For this reasons, the provisions of City Ordinance No. 2529, as amended, which requires the payment of license fee for conducting the business of general merchandise, cannot be applied to plaintiff society, for in doing so, it would impair its free exercise and enjoyment of its religious profession and worship, as well as its rights of dissemination of religious beliefs. Upon the other hand, City Ordinance No. 3000, as amended, which requires the obtention of the Mayors permit before any person can engage in any of the businesses, trades or occupations enumerated therein, does not impose any charge upon the enjoyment of a right granted by the Constitution, nor tax the exercise of religious practices? Hence, it cannot be considered unconstitutional, even if applied to plaintiff Society. But as Ordinance No. 2529 is not applicable to plaintiff and the City of Manila is powerless to license or tax the business of plaintiff society involved herein, for the reasons above stated, Ordinance No. 3000 is also inapplicable to said business, trade or occupation of the plaintiff.

SABINA BASA, BONIFACIO BASA, BONIFACIO CABALHIN and PRIMlTIVO GALLARDO, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. FEDERACION OBRERA DE LA INDUSTRIA TABAQUERA Y OTROS TRABAJADORES DE FILIPINAS (FOITAF) and LA DICHA LA PAZ Y BUEN VIAJE CIGAR AND CIGARETTE FACTORY, defendants. FEDERACION OBRERA DE LA INDUSTRIA TABAQUERA Y OTROS TRABAJADORES DE FILIPINAS (FOITAF), defendant-appellant. G.R. No. L-27113. November 19, 1974.

FACTS: The plaintiffs-appellees Sabina Basa, Bonifacio Basa, Bonifacio Cabalhin and Primitivo Gallardo, who are members of "Iglesia ni Cristo", have been employed with the defendant company, La Dicha La Paz y Buen Viaje Cigar and Cigarette Factory, since 1949, 1952, 1960 and 1957, respectively, and were therefore employees of that company on April 21, 1961, when the collective bargaining contract between the company and the defendant union, Federacion Obrera de la Industria Tabaquera y Otros Trabajadores de Filipinas (FOITAF) was executed. The plaintiffs-appellees were members in good standing of the labor union until August 28, 1964, when they formally resigned from the Union invoking their constitutional right to freedom of religion, the free exercise of which exempts them from being compelled to join any labor organization, when such is contrary to their religious beliefs and convictions, as provided by Republic Act No. 3350, which became a law on June 18, 1961.

ISSUE: Whether or not Republic Act No. 3350 is violative of the fundamental charter, as it infringes on the constitutional bar against a law respecting an establishment of religion or a religious test for the exercise of civil and political rights.

HELD: Republic Act No. 3350 classifies employees and workers, as to the effect and coverage of union shop security agreements, into those who by reason of their religious beliefs and convictions cannot sign up with a labor union, and those whose religion does not prohibit membership in labor unions. The classification rests on real or substantial, not merely imaginary or whimsical, distinctions. There is such real distinction in the beliefs, feelings and sentiments of employees. Employees do not believe in the same religious faith and different religions differ in their dogmas and canons. Religious beliefs, manifestations and practices, though they are found in all places, and in all times, take so many varied forms as to be almost beyond imagination. There are many views that comprise the broad spectrum of religious beliefs among the people. There are diverse manners in which beliefs, equally paramount in the lives of their possessors, may be articulated. Today the country is far more heterogenous in religion than before, differences in religion do exist, and these differences are important and should not be ignored. Republic Act No. 3350 exempts them from joining any labor organization, when such is contrary to their religious beliefs and convictions.

MARTIN CENTENO, petitioner, vs. HON. VICTORIA VILLALON-PORNILLOS, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 10, and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. G.R. No. 113092. September 1, 1994.

FACTS: Samahang Katandaan ng Nayon ng Tikay composed of elerly men of a civic organization launched a fund drive for the purpose of renovating the chapel of Barrio Tikay in Malolos, Bulacan. Petitioner, Martin Centeno, the chairman of the group, approached Judge Adoracion G. Angeles, a resident of Tikay, and solicited from her a contribution of P1,500.00. The solicitation was made without a permit from the Department of Social Welfare and Development. As a consequence, an information was filed against Centeno, for violation of PD No. 1564 or the Solicitation Permit Law. Centeno filed a motion to quash the information on the ground that the facts alleged therein do not constitute an offense, claiming that PD No. 1564 only covers solicitations made for charitable or public welfare purposes, but not those made for a religious purpose such as the construction of a chapel.

ISSUE: Should the phrase "charitable purposes" be construed in its broadest sense so as to include a religious purpose?

HELD: No and that legislative enactments usually and specifically indicates "charitable" and "religious" in an enumeration, whereas in Presidential Decree No. 1564. it merely stated "charitable or public welfare purposes," only goes to show that the framers of the law in question never intended to include solicitations for religious purposes within its coverage. Otherwise, there is no

reason why it would not have so stated expressly. Solicitation for religious purposes may be subject to proper regulation by the State in the exercise of police power. However, in the case at bar, considering that solicitations intended for a religious purpose are not within the coverage of Presidential Decree No. 1564, as earlier demonstrated, petitioner cannot be held criminally liable therefore.

DOMINADOR ANUCENSION AND 114 OTHER IGLESIA NI CRISTO AGRICULTURAL WORKERS OF HACIENDA LUISITA, petitioners, vs. NATIONAL LABOR UNION, TARLAC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, respondents. G.R. No. L-26097. November 29, 1977.

FACTS: Petitioner union and the Hacienda entered into a collective bargaining agreement on August 2, 1962, which, among others, embodies union security provisions. Prior to the execution of the collective contract of August 2, 1962, the same union security provisions appeared verbatim in the collective bargaining contract that was in force from 1959 to 1962. In a letter to the union president, Rufino D. Lagman, dated May 8, 1964, a group of more than one hundred and fifty persons representing themselves to be members of the United Luisita Workers' Union (NLU), and followers of a religious sect known as the Iglesia ni Cristo, made manifest their 'irrevocable resignation' from the United Luisita Workers' Union (NLU), herein called the UNION for short. The letter ended with the statement that 'We believe our resignation is legal and it is within the purview of the freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution. Hence, it cannot be made a ground for the termination of our employment nor a cause for discrimination against us.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners may be dismissed on the ground of resignation from the union.

HELD: No. The Court come to the inescapable conclusion that the petitioners cannot be summarily dismissed from their employment in the Hacienda as a result of their resignation from

the respondent Union, notwithstanding the existence of a union shop security clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement of August 2, 1962, since Republic Act 3350, which is constitutional, exempts them from joining any labor organization, when such is contrary to their religious beliefs and convictions.

ROEL EBRALINAG, EMILY EBRALINAG, et. al., petitioners, vs. THE DIVISION SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS OF CEBU, and MR. MANUEL F. BIONGCOG, Cebu District Supervisor, respondents G.R. NO. 95770 March 1, 1993

FACTS: The petitioners who are minor students and a member of the Jehovas Witness sect were expelled from their classes by the respondent public school authorities in Cebu for refusing to salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the patriotic pledge. Jehovah's Witnesses admittedly teach their children not to salute the flag, sing the national anthem, and recite the patriotic pledge for they believe that those are "acts of worship" or "religious devotion" which they "cannot conscientiously give to anyone or anything except God. They feel bound by the Bible's command to "guard ourselves from idols. They consider the flag as an image or idol representing the State. They think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on the State's power and invades the sphere of the intellect and spirit which the Constitution protects against official control.

ISSUE: Whether school children who are members of a religious sect known as Jehovah's Witnesses may be expelled from school (both public and private), for refusing, on account of their religious beliefs, to take part in the flag ceremony which includes playing (by a band) or singing the Philippine national anthem, saluting the Philippine flag and reciting the patriotic pledge

HELD: Religious freedom is a fundamental right of highest priority. The 2 fold aspect of right to religious worship is: 1.) Freedom to believe which is an absolute act within the realm of thought. 2.) Freedom to act on ones belief regulated and translated to external acts. The only limitation to religious freedom is the existence of grave and present danger to public safety, morals, health and interests where State has right to prevent. The expulsion of the petitioners from the school is not justified. Jehovahs Witnesses may be exempted from observing the flag ceremony but this right does not give them the right to disrupt such ceremonies. In the case at bar, the Students expelled were only standing quietly during ceremonies. By observing the ceremonies quietly, it doesnt present any danger so evil and imminent to justify their expulsion. What the petitioners request is exemption from flag ceremonies and not exclusion from public schools. The expulsion of the students by reason of their religious beliefs is also a violation of a citizens right to free education. The non-observance of the flag ceremony does not totally constitute ignorance of patriotism and civic consciousness. Love for country and admiration for national heroes, civic consciousness and form of government are part of the school curricula. Therefore, expulsion due to religious beliefs is unjustified. Expulsion is ANNULLED.

ALEJANDRO ESTRADA, complainant, vs. SOLEDAD S. ESCRITOR, respondent. A.M. No. P-02-1651. June 22, 2006

FACTS: Soledad Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of Las Pinas City. Alejandro Estrada, the complainant, wrote to Judge Jose F. Caoibes, presiding judge of Branch 253, RTC of Las Pinas City, requesting for an investigation of rumors that Escritor has been living with Luciano Quilapio Jr., a man not her husband, and had eventually begotten a son. Escritors husband, who had lived with another woman, died a year before she entered into the judiciary. On the other hand, Quilapio is still legally married to another woman. Estrada is not related to either Escritor or Quilapio and is not a resident of Las Pinas but of Bacoor, Cavite. According to the complainant, respondent should not be allowed to remain employed in the judiciary for it will appear as if the court allows such act. Escritor is a member of the religious sect known as the Jehovahs Witnesses and the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society where her conjugal arrangement with Quilapio is in conformity with their religious beliefs. After ten years of living together, she executed on July 28, 1991 a Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness which was approved by the congregation. Such declaration is effective when legal impediments render it impossible for a couple to legalize their union. Gregorio, Salazar, a member of the Jehovahs Witnesses since 1985 and has been a presiding minister since 1991, testified and explained the import of and procedures for executing the declaration which was completely executed by Escritor and Quilapios in Atimonan, Quezon and was signed by three witnesses and recorded in Watch Tower Central Office.

ISSUE: Whether or not Escritors contention of freedom of religion as defense to her action be sustained.

HELD: Freedom of choice guarantees the liberty of the religious conscience and prohibits any degree of compulsion or burden, whether direct or indirect, in the practice of one's religion. The Free Exercise Clause principally guarantees voluntarism, although the Establishment Clause also assures voluntarism by placing the burden of the advancement of religious groups on their intrinsic merits and not on the support of the state. In interpreting the Free Exercise Clause, the realm of belief poses no difficulty. A sinilar jurisprudence is cited by the court wherein in the case of Gerona v. Secretary of Education viz: The realm of belief and creed is infinite and limitless bounded only by one's imagination and thought. So is the freedom of belief, including religious belief, limitless and without bounds. One may believe in most anything, however strange, bizarre and unreasonable the same may appear to others, even heretical when weighed in the. scales of orthodoxy or doctrinal standards. But between the freedom of belief and .the exercise of said belief, there is quite a stretch of road to travel. The difficulty in interpretation sets in when belief is externalized into speech and action. religious freedom will not be upheld if it clashes with the established institutions of society and with the law such that when a law of general applicability (in this case the Department Order) incidentally burdens the exercise of one's religion, one's right to religious freedom cannot justify exemption from compliance with the law.

ANDRES GARCES, Reverend Father SERGIO MARILAO OSMEA, NICETAS DAGAR and JESUS EDULLANTES, petitioners, vs. Hon. NUMERIANO G. ESTENZO, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Leyte, Ormoc City Branch V, BARANGAY COUNCIL of Valencia, Ormoc City, Barangay Captain MANUEL C. VELOSO, Councilmen GAUDENCIO LAVEZARES, TOMAS CABATINGAN and MAXIMINO NAVARRO, Barangay Secretary CONCHITA MARAYA and Barangay Treasurer LUCENA BALTAZAR, respondents G.R. L-53487. May 25, 1981

FACTS: Two resolutions of the Barangay Council of Valencia, Ormoc City were passed. These resolutions have been ratified by 272 voters, and projects were implemented. The image was temporarily placed in the altar of the Catholic Church of the barangay. However, after a mass, Father Sergio Marilao Osmea refused to return the image to the barangay council, as it was the churchs property since church funds were used in its acquisition. Resolution No. 10 was passed for the authorization of hiring a lawyer for the replevin case against the priest for the recovery of the image. Resolution No. 12 appointed Brgy. Captain Veloso as a representative to the case. The priest, in his answer assailed the constitutionality of the said resolutions. The priest with Andres Garces, a member of the Aglipayan Church, contends that Sec. 8 Article IV1 and Sec 18(2) Article VIII) 2 of the constitution was violated.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is a violation in the freedom of religion stated in the Constitution

HELD: No. As said by the Court this case is a petty quarrel over the custody of the image. The image was purchased in connection with the celebration of the barrio fiesta and not for the

purpose of favoring any religion nor interfering with religious matters or beliefs of the barrio residents. Any activity intended to facilitate the worship of the patron saint(such as the acquisition) is not illegal. Practically, the image was placed in a laymans custody so that it could easily be made available to any family desiring to borrow the image in connection with prayers and novena. It was the councils funds that were used to buy the image, therefore it is their property. Right of the determination of custody is their right, and even if they decided to give it to the Church, there is no violation of the Constitution , since private funds were used. Not every government activity which involves the expenditure of public funds and which has some religious tint is violative of the constitutional provisions regarding separation of church and state, freedom of worship and banning the use of public money or property.

RELI GERMAN, et. al., petitioners, vs. GEN. SANTIAGO BARANGAN and MAJOR ISABELO LARIOSA, respondents. G.R. No. 68828. March 27, 1985.

FACTS: At about 5:00 p.m. of October 2, 1984, petitioners, composed of businessmen, students and office employees converged at J.P. Laurel Street, Manila,to hear mass at the St. Jude Chapel which adjoins the Malacaang grounds locate in the same street. Wearing the yellow Tshirts, they started to march down said street with raised clenched fists 1 and shouts of antigovernment invectives. Along the way, however, they were barred by respondent Major Isabelo Lariosa, upon orders of his superior and co-respondent Gen. Santiago Barangan, from proceeding any further, on the ground that St. Jude Chapel was located within the Malacaang security area. When petitioners' protestations and pleas to allow them to get inside the church proved unavailing, they decided to leave. However, because of the alleged warning given them by respondent Major Lariosa that any similar attempt by petitioners to enter the church in the future would likewise be prevented, petitioners now invokes their right of freedom of religion. Petitioners' alleged purpose in converging at J.P. Laurel Street was to pray and hear mass at St. Jude church. At the hearing of this petition, respondents assured petitioners and the Court that they have never restricted any person or persons from entering and worshipping at said church They maintain, however, that petitioners' intention was not really to perform an act of religious worship, but to conduct an anti-government demonstration at a place close to the very residence and offices of the President of the Republic.

ISSUE: Whether or not the right to freedom of religion of the petitioners was violated.

HELD: While it is beyond debate that every citizen has the undeniable and inviolable right to religious freedom, the exercise thereof, and of all fundamental rights for that matter, must be done in good faith. As Article 19 of the Civil Code admonishes: "Every person must in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties . . . observe honesty and good faith." Even assuming that petitioners' claim to the free exercise of religion is genuine and valid, still respondents reaction to the October 2, 1984 mass action may not be characterized as violative of the freedom of religious worship. Since 1972, when mobs of demonstrators crashed through the Malacaang gates and scaled its perimeter fence, the use by the public of J P. Laurel Street and the streets approaching it have been restricted. While travel to and from the affected thoroughfares has not been absolutely prohibited, passers-by have been subjected to courteous, unobtrusive security checks. The reasonableness of this restriction is readily perceived and appreciated if it is considered that the same is designed to protect the lives of the President and his family, as well as other government officials, diplomats and foreign guests transacting business with Malacaang. In the case at bar, petitioners are not denied or restrained of their freedom of belief or choice of their religion, but only in the manner by which they had attempted to translate the same into action.

GENARO GERONA, ET AL., petitioners-appellants, vs. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, ET AL., respondents-appellees G.R. No. L-13954. August 12, 1959.

FACTS: RA 1265 is a law that makes a flag ceremony compulsory for schools. The implementing rule Department Order 8 says that the anthem must be played while the flag is raised and everyone must salute the flag and no one is to do anything while the ceremony is being held. Afterwhich, everyone is to recite the patriotic pledge. Geronas children attending the Buenavista Community School in Uson, Masbate refused to salute the flag, sing the anthem and recite the pledge. They did not do so out of religious belief. They are Jehovah's Witnesses. They consider the flag to be an image in the context of what is prohibited in their religion and because of this they were expelled from the school. Gerona wrote to Sec of Ed that their children be exempt from the law and just be allowed to remain silent and stand at attention. Sec of Ed denied the petition. Writ of preliminary injunction was petitioned and issued.

ISSUE: Whether or not the children of Gerona can violate Department Order 8 as it is against the exercise of their freedom of religion

HELD: Flag salute ceremony is secular and the Department Order is non-discriminatory therefore it is constitutional. The freedom of belief is limitless and boundless but its exercise is not. If the belief clashes with law then the former must yield. Petitioners salute the flag during boy scout activities. Their objection then rests on the singing of anthem and recitation of pledge. The pledge is judged to be completely secular. It does not even pledge allegiance to the flag or to

the Republic. The anthem is also secular. It talks about patriotism. It does not speak of resorting to force, military service, or duty to defend the country. There was no compulsion involved in the enforcement of the flag salute. They were not criminally prosecuted under a penal sanction. If they chose not to obey the salute regulation they merely lost the benefits of public education.

RAUL ROGERIO GONZALEZ, by his guardian ad item Adelaida Gonzalez, plaintiff-appellee, vs. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA, defendant-appellant G.R. No. 27619. February 4, 1928

FACTS: The fifth and last chaplain or beneficiary of the chaplaincy in question was Angel Gonzalez, father of the present plaintiff. This individual resigned the office of chaplain, effective December 6, 1910, since which date the chaplaincy has remained vacant. Plaintiff-appellee Raul Gonzalez, through his guardian, filed an action to obtain writ of mandamus before the CFI of Manila to force respondent to appoint plaintiff to the vacant chaplaincy, to compute for the income obtained during the vacancy, and to secure other relief. The trial court then ruled in favor of the plaintiff. It ordered respondent Roman Catholic Church of Manila to appoint plaintiff as chaplain to the said chaplaincy, to pay plaintiff of the income obtained during the vacancy, and to reserve to him any legal rights that he may have in connection to the cancellation of certificate of registration of property under the name of the archbishop. From all the foregoing, the defendant then appealed.

ISSUE: Whether or not plaintiff can be appointed chaplain to the said vacant chaplaincy

HELD: No. It is in fact a mistake in the part of the trial court to order defendant to appoint plaintiff chaplain in the chaplaincy in question. The plaintiff does not possess the qualifications necessary for appointment to the office of chaplain and consequently that the Archbishop was justified in refusing to appoint the plaintiff to that office.

Under the law of the Church as it stood when this chaplaincy was created, no ecclesiastical qualifications were required in a candidate for appointment to the office of chaplain. However, a new canon became effective in the Church in 1918 to the effect that, in order to be appointed chaplain, the candidate must be a clerical, and that in order to be a clerical, one must have taken the first tonsure, as a prerequisite to which he must also be a bachelor who has begun the study of theology. It is admitted that the plaintiff in this case does not possess these qualifications. This new canon is valid and applicable to candidates for chaplaincies since it is general in terms and evidently intended to be applicable to all chaplains appointed in the future.

ERNESTO G. GONZALES, AGUEDO GUILLERMO, JOSE MERCADO, RODOLFO C. TOLENTINO, FRISCO IBARRA, MELCHOR DIZON, GAVINO LOPEZ, MAXIMO FELICIANO, CATALINO MUOZ, DOMINGO CAPILI, MAGNO MANALANG, HONORIO DOMINGO, DONATO ESPIRITU, JUAN SANTOS, VICTORINO MERCADO and E. DE GUZMAN, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. CENTRAL AZUCARERA DE TARLAC LABOR UNION, represented by PACIFICO P. MILLO, President, and CENTRAL AZUCARERA DE TARLAC, INC., defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-38178. October 3, 1985.

FACTS: The plaintiffs are members of the Iglesia ni Kristo, a religious sect that prohibits its members from joining a labor organization. All, except Jose Mercado and Victoriano Mercado, have been seasonal employees or laborers of the defendant Tarlac Development Corporation since prior to October 19, 1962. The defendant Tarlac Development Corporation is a corporation that operates the Central Azucarera de Tarlac. The Tarlac Development Corporation and the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union entered into an exclusive collective bargaining agreement. The plaintiffs, through members of the Iglesia ni Kristo, being ignorant of the provisions of Republic Act No. 3350, and believing that it was the only way by which they could continue working for the Central Azucarera de Tarlac, by reason of Section 4 of the Exclusive Collective Bargaining Agreement, joined the defendant Labor Union on the date mentioned. Upon being informed of the provisions of Republic Act No. 3350, which exempts them from the effects of Section 4 of the Exclusive Collective Bargaining Agreement due to their religion, the plaintiffs resigned from the defendant Labor Union, who in turn demanded from its co-defendant, the Tarlac Development Corporation, the dismissal of the plaintiffs from their work under the abovequoted provision of Section 4 of the bargaining agreement.

ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the plaintiffs, as member of the Iglesia ni Kristo, may be dismissed from their employment by reason of their resignation from the defendant Labor Union. 2. Whether or not Republic Act No. 3350 is constitutional which exempts members of any religious sect prohibiting the affiliation of their members in any labor organization from the operation of a union security provision

HELD: Court finds that plaintiffs-appellees, as members of the Iglesia ni Kristo, may not be dismissed from their employment by reason of their resignation from the defendant-appellant Labor Union. Republic Act No. 3350, which exempts plaintiffs-appellees from the operation of the union security clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement of October 19, 1962, remains constitutional. The purpose of Republic Act No. 3350 is secular, worldly, and temporal, not spiritual or religious or holy and eternal. It was intended to serve the secular purpose of advancing the constitutional right to the free exercise of religion, by averting that certain persons be refused work, or be dismissed from work, or be dispossessed of their right to work and of being impeded to pursue a modest means of livelihood, by reason of union security agreements. To help its citizens to find gainful employment whereby they can make a living to support themselves and their families is a valid objective of the state. In fact, the state is enjoined, in the 1935 Constitution, to afford protection to labor, and regulate the relations between labor and capital and industry. More so now in the 1973 Constitution where it is mandated that 'the State shall afford protection to labor, promote full employment and security in employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex, race or creed and regulate the relation between workers and employers.

In enacting Republic Act No. 3350, Congress acted consistently with the spirit of the constitutional provision. It acted merely to relieve the exercise of religion, by certain persons, of a burden that is imposed by union security agreements. It was Congress itself that imposed that burden when it enacted the Industrial Peace Act (Republic Act 875), and, certainly Congress, if it so deems advisable, could take away the same burden. It is certain that not every conscience can be accommodated by all laws of the land; but when general laws conflict with scruples of conscience, exemptions ought to be granted unless some 'compelling state interest' intervenes. In the instant case, there is no compelling state interest to withhold the exemption.

IGLESIA NI CRISTO (INC.), petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, BOARD OF REVIEW FOR MOVING PICTURES AND TELEVISION and HONORABLE HENRIETTA S. MENDEZ, respondent. G.R. No. 119673. July 26, 1996 FACTS: Petitioner has a television program entitled "Ang Iglesia ni Cristo" aired on Channel 2 every Saturday and on Channel 13 every Sunday. The program presents and propagates petitioner's religious beliefs, doctrines and practices often times in comparative studies with other religions. When the petitioner submitted to the Board of Review for Moving Pictures and Television, respondent, the VTR tapes of its several TV program series, the Board classified the series as "X" or not for public viewing on the ground that they "offend and constitute an attack against other religions which is expressly prohibited by law." On November 28, 1992, it appealed to the Office of the President the classification of its TV Series No. 128 which allowed it through a letter of former Executive Secretary Edelmiro A. Amante, Sr., addressed for Henrietta S. Mendez reversing the decision of the respondent Board. According to the letter the episode in is protected by the constitutional guarantee of free speech and expression and no indication that the episode poses any clear and present danger. Petitioner also filed Civil Case alleging that the respondent Board acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in requiring petitioner to submit the VTR tapes of its TV program and in x-rating them. In their Answer, respondent Board invoked its power under PD No. 19861 in relation to Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code. RTC ruled in favor of petitioners. CA however reversed it hence this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the "ang iglesia ni cristo" program is not constitutionally protected as a form of religious exercise.

HELD: RTCs ruling clearly suppresses petitioner's freedom of speech and interferes with its right to free exercise of religion. This is true in this case. So-called "attacks" are mere criticisms of some of the deeply held dogmas and tenets of other religions. Attack is different from offend any race or religion. The respondent Board may disagree with the criticisms of other religions by petitioner but that gives it no excuse to interdict such criticisms, however, unclean they may be. Under our constitutional scheme, it is not the task of the State to favor any religion by protecting it against an attack by another religion. Religious dogmas and beliefs are often at war and to preserve peace among their followers, especially the fanatics, the establishment clause of freedom of religion prohibits the State from leaning towards any religion. The basis of freedom of religion is freedom of thought and it is best served by encouraging the marketplace of dueling ideas. It is only where it is unavoidably necessary to prevent an immediate and grave danger to the security and welfare of the community that infringement of religious freedom may be justified, and only to the smallest extent necessary to avoid the danger. There is no showing whatsoever of the type of harm the tapes will bring about especially the gravity and imminence of the threatened harm. Prior restraint on speech, including religious speech, cannot be justified by hypothetical fears but only by the showing of a substantive and imminent evil.

MONS. JUAN JAMIAS, petitioner, vs. EULOGIO B. RODRIGUEZ, Director of Public Libraries, and MANUEL V. GALLEGO, Secretary of Education, respondents GR. No. L-2133. July 22, 1948.

FACTS: In this case, petitioner Juan Jamias, as the Bishop Maximus of the Philippine Independent Church, seeks a peremptory order to compel respondents, the Director of the Bureau of Public Libraries and the Secretary of Education, to immediately issue to Bishops Leopoldo A. Ruiz and Juan T. Kijano, of said church, authorizations to solemnize marriages. Respondent Director of Public Libraries denied to renew the previous authority vested to Bishop Leopoldo Ruiz to solemnize marriages. Likewise, respondent also cancelled the same authority given to Bishop Juan Kijano. These decisions are anchored on the ground that the two bishops refused to recognize Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., as the supreme head of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. This matter is in accordance with the administrative decision of respondent Secretary of Education dated June 23, 1947, recognizing Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr. as the sole head of the said religious organization. The said decision specifies that applications of priests of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente for permits to solemnize marriages may be granted provided that it is shown thereon that they recognize Reyes as the Obispo Maximo of the Church they represent. Petitioner complains that recognizing Reyes as the Supreme head of the said church pending the decision of the CFI of Manila is a grave abuse of power. Petitioner emphasizes that these decisions clearly favored the faction headed by Reyes and against the faction headed by the petitioner. Authority to solemnize marriages is granted to Reyes while the same is denied to him and his faction. Consequently, respondents violate the constitutional provision of freedom of religion.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondents, pending final decision of the suit in the Court of First Instance of Manila, can refuse to issue in favor of the bishops and priest headed by the petitioner Juan Jamias the authorization provided by law to solemnize marriages

HELD: No. There is nothing on record to show that the Philippine Independent Church or its faction headed by Bishop Juan Jamias does not fulfill the good repute condition obligating respondent Director, under section 34 of Act No. 3613, to issue the authorization to solemnize marriages, or that said church or faction has lost said qualification as a result which, according to section 35 of the same law, the authorization may be cancelled. The second ground provided by same section 35 cannot be considered in this case because the question as to who are the lawful authorities of said church is yet to be settled in the pending litigation before the Court of First Instance of Manila. The conflict between the two factions, until finally decided by the competent court, cannot have the effect of automatically divesting the members of one group or the other of their legal rights as bishops and priests of the Philippine Independence Church. Until the litigation is finally decided, both groups are entitled to represent themselves as members of the same church to which they belonged before the conflict has arisen.

ALFREDO LONG and FELIX ALMERIA, petitioners, vs. LYDIA BASA, ANTHONY SAYHEELIAM and YAO CHEK, respondents. G.R. Nos. 134963-64. September 27, 2001

FACTS: Joseph Lim, Liu Yek See, Alfredo Long and Felix Almeria, petitioners, were members of a religious group known as "The Church In Quezon City (Church Assembly Hall), Incorporated" which was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1973. The members of the said Church vested upon their Board of Directors the absolute power to admit and expel a member of the Church. As early as 1988, the Board of Directors observed that certain members of the church including petitioners herein exhibited conduct which was dishonorable, improper and injurious to the character and interest of the Church. They warned petitioners that if they persist in their highly improper conduct, they will be dropped from the membership of the Church. However, petitioners ignored their repeated admonitions. Alarmed that petitioners' conduct will continue to undermine the integrity of the principles of faith of the Church, the Board of Directors, during its August 30, 1993 regular meeting, removed from the membership list certain names of members, including the names of herein petitioners. On September 29, 1993, petitioners and others questioned their expulsion by filing with the SEC Securities Investigation and Clearing Department a petition seeking mainly the annulment of the August 30, 1993 membership list and the reinstatement of the original list, on the ground that it was made without prior notice and hearing. Subsequently, SEC Hearing Officer Manuel Perea ruled, among others, that the expulsion was in accordance with the Church By-laws.

ISSUE: Whether or not the expulsion is valid

HELD: No. The provision on expulsion under the Church By-Laws, as phrased, may sound unusual and objectionable to petitioners as there is no requirement of prior notice to be given to an erring member before he can be expelled. It must be stressed that the basis of the relationship between a religious corporation and its members is the latter's absolute adherence to a common religious or spiritual belief. Once this basis ceases, membership in the religious corporation must also cease. Thus, generally, there is no room for dissension in a religious corporation. And where, as here, any member of a religious corporation is expelled from the membership for espousing doctrines and teachings contrary to that of his church, the established doctrine in this jurisdiction is that such action from the church authorities is conclusive upon the civil courts. The courts will likewise exercise jurisdiction to grant relief in case property or civil rights are invaded, although it has also been held that involvement of property rights does not necessarily authorize judicial intervention, in the absence of arbitrariness, fraud, and collusion. Another specific instance when intervention by the courts becomes warranted is when the proceedings in question are violative of either the by-laws of the society itself or the basic law of the land, such as when there is a violation of the fundamental right to due process of law.

MOVIE AND TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD (MTRCB), petitioner, vs. ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION and LOREN LEGARDA, respondents. G.R. No. 155282. January 17, 2005

FACTS: Respondent ABS CBN aired the program "Prosti-tuition" hosted by respondent Loren Legarda on November 18, 1997. It featured female students servicing as prostitutes to pay for their tuition fees. Philippine Women's university (PWU) was one of those mentioned as the school of the said students. In fact, the PWU campus was even used as backdrop for the show. Parents and teachers then complained before the MTRCB, contending that the program besmirched the name of the school. ABS CBN said that the program is a public affairs one and hence, protected by the freedom of expression and the press. MTRCB then ordered respondent to pay fines for non-submission of the said program for review. Respondent then filed civil action for certiorari before the RTC which then ruled in their favor. Petitioner MTRCB appealed, claiming that all television programs, including public affairs programs are subject to and pursuant to this Courts ruling in Iglesia ni Cristo vs. Court of Appeals.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner has the power to review the television program "The Inside Story" featuring Prosti-tuition

HELD: Yes. It is within the jurisdiction of the MTRCB over which it has power of review. Respondents basis is not freedom of religion, as in Iglesia ni Cristo, but freedom of expression and of the press. It is to be noted that despite the fact that freedom of religion has been accorded a preferred status, still this Court, did not exempt the Iglesia ni Cristos religious

program from petitioners review power. If this Court, in Iglesia ni Cristo, did not exempt religious programs from the jurisdiction and review power of petitioner MTRCB, with more reason, there is no justification to exempt therefrom The Inside Story which, according to respondents, is protected by the constitutional provision on freedom of expression and of the press, a freedom bearing no preferred status.

MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., MARS C. LACONSAY, MYLA C. AGUJA and AGUSTINO G. BINEGAS, JR., petitioners, vs. ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., ABDUL-RAHMAN R.T. LINZAG, IBRAHIM F.P. ARCILLA, ABDUL RASHID DE GUZMAN, AL-FARED DA SILVA and IBRAHIM B.A. JUNIO, respondents G.R. No. 135306. January 28, 2003

FACTS: Respondents, a local federation of 70 Muslim religious organizations together with some individual Muslims filed a complaint for damages against petitioner MVRS Publications, Inc together with some others. This is consistent with the petitioner's alleged libellous statement that insulted Muslims. The said statement presented a trivial fact that the pig is considered as a god and therefore sacred to Muslims. Respondents claimed that on account of these libellous words, Bulgar insulted not only the Muslims in the Philippines but the entire Muslim world, especially every Muslim individual in non-Muslim countries. In their answer, petitioner explained that since the article did not mention respondents as the object of the article, therefore they cannot be entitled to damages. Petitioner added that the article was merely an expression of belief or opinion and was published without malice nor intention to cause damage, prejudice or injury to Muslims. RTC dismissed the complaint while CA reversed the decision. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner can be held liable for damages in view of its alleged libellous statement against respondents

HELD: No moral and exemplary damages can be rewarded. Moral damages can only be given when the factual basis and causal connection for the damages were clearly proven while exemplary damages are only present if claimant can prove his right to moral or compensatory damages. In a pluralistic society like the Philippines where misinformation about another individual's religion is as commonplace as self-appointed critics of government, it would be more appropriate to respect the fair criticism of religious principles, including those which may be outrageously appalling, immensely erroneous, or those couched as fairly informative comments. It need not be stressed that this Court has no power to determine which is proper religious conduct or belief; neither does it have the authority to rule on the merits of one religion over another, nor declare which belief to uphold or cast asunder, for the validity of religious beliefs or values are outside the sphere of the judiciary. Such matters are better left for the religious authorities to address what is rightfully within their doctrine and realm of influence. Courts must be viewpoint-neutral when it comes to religious matters.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the Director of Lands, petitionerappellant, vs. JUDGE CANDIDO P. VILLANUEVA, of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, Malolos Branch VII, and IGLESIA NI CRISTO, as a corporation sole, represented by ERAO G. MANALO, as Executive Minister, respondents-appellees. G.R. No. L-55289. June 29, 1982

FACTS: In 1933, Iglesia ni Cristo, private respondent, a corporation sole duly existing under Philippine laws, acquired two lots with a total area of 313 square meters from Andres Perez, who had possessed the property since 1933 and had declared the same for tax purposes. On September 13, 1977, private respondent filed an application for registration of the two lots pursuant to Section 48(b) of the Public Land Law alleging that it and its predecessor-in-interest had possessed the land for more than 30 years. The Republic of the Philippines opposed the application on the ground that the Iglesia Ni Cristo, as a corporation sole, is disqualified under the Constitution to hold alienable lands of the public domain and that the land applied for is a public land. After hearing, the trial court ordered the registration of the two lots in the name of private respondent. Hence, this appeal by the Republic.

ISSUE: Whether or not Iglesia ni Cristo may acquire or hold lands of public domain.

HELD: The Supreme Court held that the Constitution prohibits a corporation sole or a juridical person like the Iglesia Ni Cristo from acquiring or holding lands of the public domain; that said church is not entitled to avail of the benefits of Section 48(b) of the Public Land Law which applies only to Filipino citizens or natural persons; and that the subject lots are not private lands

because possession by the applicant and his predecessors-in-interest has not been since time immemorial and because land registration proceeding under Section 48(b) of the Public Land Law presupposes that the land is public. The provision in the Constitution that "No private corporation or association may hold alienable lands of the public domain except by lease not to exceed one thousand hectares in area; Art. XIV, Sec. II of the Constitution is not the decisive consideration for the denial of the registration in favor of appellee. It is the view that the Bill of Rights provision on religious freedom which bans the enactment of any law prohibiting its free exercise, the "enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference. (being) forever . . . allowed." Here the Iglesia Ni Cristo, as a corporation sole, seeks the registration. The area involved in the two parcels of land in question is 313 square meters. As admitted in the opinion of the Court, a chapel is therein located. It is that basic consideration that leads to the conclusion that the balancing process, which finds application in constitutional law adjudication, equally requires that when two provisions in the Constitution maybe relevant to a certain factual situation, it calls for the affirmance of the decision of respondent Judge allowing the registration.

RE: REQUEST OF MUSLIM EMPLOYEES IN THE DIFFERENT COURTS IN ILIGAN CITY (RE: OFFICE HOURS) A.M. No. 02-2-10-SC. December 14, 2005.

FACTS: Muslim employees sent a letter to Judge Salazar of the RTC of Iligan City requesting him to grant them said privileges: 1) to hold office hours from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. without lunch break or coffee breaks during the month of Ramadan; 2) to be excused from work from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Friday (Muslim Prayer Day) during the entire calendar year. Judge Salazar favored the first request but not the second. He then forwarded the letter to the Office of the Court Administrator (COA). Muslim employees invoke sec. 2 of P.D. 322 which excuses them from reporting to office during recognized Muslim holidays. Section 3 of the same decree substantially provides that during Ramadan, Muslim employees shall observe office hours from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. without breaks. Civil Service Commmission (CSC) then promulgated a resolution granting the two privileges mentioned above and even clarified that Fridays referred herein pertain to the calendar year. However, CSC prescribed a flexible working schedule to accommodate Muslims' Friday prayer day and so as not to violate E.O. 292 requiring civil servants to work not less then 40 hours a week. The Court Administrator favored the said resolutions.

ISSUE: Whether or not Muslim employees be granted of their two requests above mentioned

HELD: No. Only the first request can be granted and not the second one. Said requests are grounded on Section 5, Article 3 of the Constitution, particularly the free exercise clause to

one's religion. The court said that this clause is of two-fold, freedom to believe which is absolute and freedom to act on one's beliefs as subject to regulation since it involves matters affecting public welfare. The Court recognizes that the observance of Ramadan and the Friday Muslim Prayer Day is integral to the Islamic faith. However, only the first request finds support in Section 3 (a) of P.D. No. 291, as amended by P.D. No. 322, there is no basis for the second request. In fact, allowing the second request would mean diminution of 12 hours from the prescribed government working hours. The performance of religious practices, whether by the Muslim employees or those belonging to other religious denominations, should not prejudice the courts and the public. Indeed, the exercise of religious freedom does not exempt anyone from compliance with reasonable requirements of the law, including civil service laws.

ELISEO F. SORIANO, petitioner, vs. MA. CONSOLIZA P. LAGUARDIA, in her capacity as Chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, MOVIE AND TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD, JESSIE L. GALAPON, ANABEL M. DELA CRUZ, MANUEL M. HERNANDEZ, JOSE L. LOPEZ, CRISANTO SORIANO, BERNABE S. YARIA, JR., MICHAEL M. SANDOVAL, and ROLDAN A. GAVINO, respondents. G.R. No. 164785. April 29, 2009.

FACTS: While on air on UNTV 37 on August 10, 2004, petitioner Eliseo Soriano uttered the following remarks against members of Iglesia ni Cristo: Lehitimong anak ng demonyo; sinungaling; Gago ka talaga Michael, masahol ka pa sa putang babae o di ba. Yung putang babae ang gumagana lang doon yung ibaba, [dito] kay Michael ang gumagana ang itaas, o di ba! O, masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sabi ng lola ko masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sobra ang kasinungalingan ng mga demonyong ito. Complaint was then filed before the MTRCB. For one, the then minister of INC and regular host of the TV Program Ang Tamang Daan felt directly alluded by the said remarks. MTRCB then found Soriano liable for his utterances and imposed on him a penalty of three (3) months suspension from his program, "Ang Dating Daan". Petitioner filed petition for certiorari and raised several issues, praying to set aside the said aforementioned decision of MTRCB. One of the issues he raised is that his statement was a religious speech and that he only exercised his religious freedom.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner's remarks can be considered as an exercise of religious freedom

HELD: No. This argument has no merit. Sec. 5, Article III of the 1987 Constitution on religious freedom states that: "No law shall be made respecting the establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights." There is nothing in petitioner's statements subject of the complaints expressing any particular religious belief, nothing furthering his avowed evangelical mission. The fact that he came out with his statements in a televised bible exposition program does not automatically accord them the character of a religious discourse. Plain and simple insults directed at another person cannot be elevated to the status of religious speech. Even petitioner's attempts to place his words in context show that he was moved by anger and the need to seek retribution, not by any religious conviction. His claim, assuming its veracity, that some INC ministers distorted his statements respecting amounts Ang Dating Daan owed to a TV station does not convert the foul language used in retaliation as religious speech.

UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner, vs. BRADFORD UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, INC., PATRIZIO EZRA, GERONIMO V. NAZARETH, RUPERTO MAYUGA, SR., ROBERT SCHAARE, HENRY CARIAT, REYNALDO FERRENAL AND JOHN DOES, respondents. G.R. No. 171905. June 20, 2012

FACTS: In 1989, Bradford United Church of Christ, Inc. (BUCCI) built a fence that said to encroached the right of way allocated by United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) to the Cebu Conference Inc. (CCI). UCCP favored CCI and the series of events then followed led to the breakup of BUCCI from UCCP. BUCCI then disaffiliated itself from UCCP and filed its Amended Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws which provided for and effected its disaffiliation from UCCP. SEC approved it on 2 July 1993. UCCP filed a complaint for rejection of decision, alleging that separate incorporation and registration of BUCCI is not allowed under the UCCP Constitution and By-laws. SEC dismissed UCCP's petition and defended the right of BUCCI to disassociate itself from UCCP in recognition of its constitutional freedom to associate and disassociate. On appeal, CA affirmed previous decision of SEC. Before this court, UCCP maintains that it has the sole power to decide whether BUCCI could disaffiliate from it as this involves a purely ecclesiastical affair.

ISSUE: Whether or not the determination of the validity of disaffiliation of respondents is purely an ecclesiastical affair

HELD: No. The issue is not a purely ecclesiastical affair. An ecclesiastical affair is one that concerns doctrine, creed or form of worship of the church, or the adoption and enforcement within a religious association of needful laws and regulations for the government of the membership, and the power of excluding from such associations those deemed unworthy of membership. UCCP and BUCCI, being corporate entities and grantees of primary franchises, are subject to the jurisdiction of the SEC. Section 3 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A provides that SEC shall have absolute jurisdiction, supervision and control over all corporations. Even with their religious nature, SEC may exercise jurisdiction over them in matters that are legal and corporate. BUCCI, as a juridical entity separate and distinct from UCCP, possesses the freedom to determine its steps.

BENJAMIN VICTORIANO, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ELIZALDE ROPE WORKERS' UNION and ELIZALDE ROPE FACTORY, INC., defendants, ELIZALDE ROPE WORKERS' UNION, defendant-appellant. G.R. No. L-25246. September 12, 1974.

FACTS: Benjamin Victoriano, appellee, a member of the religious sect known as the "Iglesia ni Cristo", had been in the employ of the Elizalde Rope Factory, Inc. (Company) since 1958. As such employee, he was a member of the Elizalde Rope Workers' Union (Union) which had with the Company a collective bargaining agreement containing a closed shop provision. Under Section 4(a), paragraph 4, of Republic Act No. 875, prior to its amendment by Republic Act No. 3350, the employer was not precluded "from making an agreement with a labor organization to require as a condition of employment membership therein, if such labor organization is the representative of the employees." On June 18, 1961, however, Republic Act No. 3350 was enacted, introducing an amendment to paragraph (4) subsection (a) of section 4 of Republic Act No. 875, as follows: "but such agreement shall not cover members of any religious sects which prohibit affiliation of their members in any such labor organization".

ISSUE: Whether or not Republic Act No. 3350 does not violate the establishment of religion clause or separation of Church and State.

HELD: The constitutional provision not only prohibits legislation for the support of any religious tenets or the modes of worship of any sect, thus forestalling compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship, but also assures the free

exercise of one's chosen form of religion within limits of utmost amplitude. It has been said that the religion clauses of the Constitution are all designed to protect the broadest possible liberty of conscience, to allow each man to believe as his conscience directs, to profess his beliefs, and to live as he believes he ought to live, consistent with the liberty of others and with the common good. Any legislation whose effect or purpose is to impede the observance of one or all religions, or to discriminate invidiously between the religions, is invalid, even though the burden may be characterized as being only indirect. But if the stage regulates conduct by enacting, within its power, a general law which has for its purpose and effect to advance the state's secular goals, the statute is valid despite its indirect burden on religious observance, unless the state can accomplish its purpose without imposing such burden. In Aglipay v. Ruiz, this Court had occasion to state that the government should not be precluded from pursuing valid objectives secular ID character even if the incidental result would be favorable to a religion or sect. It has likewise been held that the statute, in order to withstand the strictures of constitutional prohibition, must have a secular legislative purpose and a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion. Assessed by these criteria, Republic Act No. 3350 cannot be said to violate the constitutional inhibition of the "no-establishment" (of religion) clause of the Constitution.

COX et. Al, v. STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE A.M. No. 02-2-10-SC

FACTS: On July 8, 1939, sixty-eight defendants and twenty others engaged in an information march. The group was divided into four or five subgroups. The groups dispersed into different parts of the city, carrying signs reading 'Religion is a Snare and a Racket' and on the reverse 'Serve God and Christ the King'. They also distributed leaflets. Since the activity was one without permit, sixty-eight members of Jehovah's Witnesses were convicted for violation of a statute prohibiting public parade/procession without special license in Manchester, New Hampshire. Five appellants appealed but their conviction was just affirmed by the Supreme Court of the State. Appellants raised the questions that the statute was invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States in that it deprived appellants of their rights including the freedom of worship. Appellants added that each of them was a minister ordained to preach the gospel and that their purpose for the march is to disseminate information in public interest and was one of their ways of worship.

ISSUE: Whether nor not imposing restrictions for holding public parades without a special license to said appellants violate their freedom of worship.

HELD: No. The argument as to freedom of worship is beside the point. No interference with religious worship or the practice of religion in any proper sense is shown, but only the exercise of local control over the use of streets for parades and processions.

ARCH R. EVERSON, appellant, v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF EWING TOWNSHIP, appellee 330 US 1 February 10, 1947

FACTS: New Jersey enacted a law that gave School Dist authority to make rules and cases pertaining to the transportation of children to and from schools. Board of Ed authorized reimbursement of money paid by parents for bus transportation of their kids who rode public transit to school. Some of this money was paid for the transportation of some kids to parochial schoolsCatholic.

ISSUE: Whether the New Jersey statute or the Board resolution, authorizing the reimbursement of tax funds to parents with students of parochial schools, unconstitutionally regulates the establishment of religion.

HELD: No, under the facts the 1st Amend does not bar New Jersey from spending tax funds to pay the bus fares of parochial students under a general program that reimburses the fares of students who attend other schools. The New Jersey statute is challenged as a "law respecting an establishment of religion." The First Amendment, as made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth, Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, commands that a state "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . ." These words of the First Amendment reflected in the minds of early Americans a vivid mental picture of conditions and practices which they fervently wished to stamp out in order to preserve liberty for themselves

and for their posterity. The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining [p16] or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups, and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect "a wall of separation between church and State."

WEST VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION v. BARNETTE 319 U.S. 624

FACTS: West Virginia required both students and teachers to participate in saluting the flag during exercises at the beginning of each school day as part of a standard school curriculum. If the student fails to comply he would be found insubordinate and expelled from school and will not be permitted to be admitted unless he conforms. Respondent asked for an exception for all Jehovahs Witnesses because this pledge goes against their religious belief. But he was denied an exception. A group of Jehovah's Witness families refused to salute the flag because it represented a graven image they could not acknowledge in their religion and so they filed suit to challenge the curriculum as a violation of their religious liberties.

ISSUE: Does this rule compelling a pledge violate the First Amendment of the Constitution?

HELD: Yes. Compelling a salute to the flag infringes upon an individuals intellect and right to choose their own beliefs. The majority focuses on the right of persons to choose beliefs and act accordingly. As long as the actions do not present a clear and present danger of the kind the state is allowed to prevent, then the Constitution encourages diversity of thought and belief. The state has not power to mandatee allegiance in hopes that it will encourage patriotism. This is something the citizens will choose or not.