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FREEDOM OF RELIGION 1987 Philippine Constitution, Art 3, Sec. 5.

No law shall be made respecting an establishment of 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.
DATU FIRDAUSI I.Y. ABBAS, DATU BLO UMPAR ADIONG, DATU MACALIMPOWAC DELANGALEN, CELSO PALMA, ALI MONTAHA BABAO, JULMUNIR JANNARAL, RASHID SABER, and DATU JAMAL ASHLEY ABBAS, representing the other taxpayers of Mindanao v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and HONORABLE GUILLERMO C. CARAGUE, DEPARTMENT SECRETARY OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT G.R. No. 89651 November 10, 1989 FACTS: A plebiscite was scheduled for the ratification of RA 6734, entitled "An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" (Organic Act). The Acts constitutionality is being assailed in the consolidated petitions on the ground that it violates the freedom of religion. ISSUE: Whether or not certain provisions of the Organic Act are unconstitutional for being violative of the freedom of religion. HELD: The petition has no merit and the law is constitutional. Both petitions question the validity of R.A. No. 6734 on the ground that it violates the constitutional guarantee on free exercise of religion [Art. III, sec. 5]. The objection centers on a provision in the Organic Act which mandates that should there be any conflict between the Muslim Code and the Tribal Code on the one had, and the national law on the other hand, the Shari'ah courts created under the same Act should apply national law. Petitioners maintain that the islamic law (Shari'ah) is derived from the Koran, which makes it part of divine law. Thus it may not be subjected to any "man-made" national law. Petitioner Abbas supports this objection by enumerating possible instances of conflict between 1

provisions of the Muslim Code and national law, wherein an application of national law might be offensive to a Muslim's religious convictions. In the present case, no actual controversy between real litigants exists. There are no conflicting claims involving the application of national law resulting in an alleged violation of religious freedom. This being so, the Court in this case may not be called upon to resolve what is merely a perceived potential conflict. Every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. Based on the grounds raised by petitioners to challenge the constitutionality of R.A. No. 6734, the Court finds that petitioners have failed to overcome the presumption. The dismissal of these two petitions is, therefore, inevitable.

THE PROVINCE OF ABRA, represented by LADISLAO ANCHETA, Provincial Assessor v. HONORABLE HAROLD M. HERNANDO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch I, Court of First Instance Abra; THE ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF BANGUED, INC., represented by Bishop Odilo etspueler and Reverend Felipe Flores G.R. No. L-49336 August 31, 1981 FACTS: The provincial assessor of Abra levied taxes on the real property of the Catholic Bishop of Bangued. The latter filed for relief on the ground that the Constitution grants tax exemption on properties exclusively, directly and actually used for religious or charitable purposes. Judge Hernando, after a summary hearing granted the relief out right and without hearing the side of petitioner, stating that the CBB without a doubt falls within the said Constitutional exemption. The case is submitted to the SC on certiorari ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent judge erred in denying the petitioners motion to question the exemption being claimed by the CBB HELD: The Supreme Court granted the certiorari, stating that it is only right to seek proof that the said properties fall within tax exemption granted by the Constitution. The Constitution provides that charitable institutions, mosques and non-profit cemeteries and required that for the exemption of lands, buildings, and improvements, they should not only be exclusively but also actually and directly used for religious or charitable purposes. The exemption from taxation is not favored and is never presumed, so that if granted it must be strictly construed against the taxpayer. In this case, there is no showing that the said properties are actually and directly used for religious or charitable uses. It was wrong for the judge not to let the petitioner seek proof as to whether CBB really not only exclusively, but also actually and directly use the said properties for religious or charitable purposes so that they would fall within the exemption granted by the Constitution. 3

GREGORIO AGLIPAY v. JUAN RUIZ G.R. No. L-45459 March 13, 1937 FACTS: The 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 also 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 & 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 & aims. Respondent contends that such issuance is in accordance to Act No. 4052, providing for the appropriation funds to respondent for the production & issuance of postage stamps as would be advantageous to the government. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners freedom of religion was violated HELD: What is guaranteed by our Constitution is religious freedom & not mere religious toleration. It is however not an inhibition of profound reverence for religion & is not a denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a profession of faith to an active power that binds & elevates man to his Creator is recognized. & in so far as it instills into the minds the purest principles of morality, its influence is deeply felt & highly appreciated. 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 & the location of Manila, w/ 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 4

advertise the Philippines & attract more tourists, the officials merely took advantage of an event considered of international importance. Although such issuance & sale may be inseparably linked w/ the Roman Catholic Church, any benefit & propaganda incidentally resulting from it was not the aim or purpose of the Government.

AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY v. CITY OF MANILA G.R. No. L-9637 April 30, 1957 FACTS: Law Education in new york requires local public school authorities to lend textbooks free of charge to all students in grade 7 to 12, including those in private schools. The Board of Education contended that said statute was invalid and violative of the State and Federal Constitutions.There was an order barring the Commissioner of Education (Allen) from removing appellants members from office for failure to comply with the requirement and an order preventing the use of state funds for the purchase of textbooks to be lent to parochial schools were sought for. The trial court held the statute unconstitutional. The Appellate Division reversed the decision and dismissed the complaint since the appellant have no standing. The New York Court of Appeals, ruled that the appellants have standing but the law is not unconstitutional. ISSUE: Whether or not the said ordinances are constitutional and valid (contention: it restrains the free exercise and enjoyment of the religious profession and worship of appellant). HELD: Section 1, subsection (7) of Article III of the Constitution, provides that:
(7) No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religion test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

The provision aforequoted is a constitutional guaranty of the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, which carries with it the right to disseminate religious information. It may be true that in the case at bar the price asked for the bibles and other religious pamphlets was in some instances a little bit higher than the actual cost of the same but this cannot mean that appellant was engaged in the business or occupation of selling said "merchandise" for 6

profit. For this reason. The Court believe that the provisions of City of Manila Ordinance No. 2529, as amended, cannot be applied to appellant, 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. With respect to Ordinance No. 3000, as amended, the Court do not find that it imposes any charge upon the enjoyment of a right granted by the Constitution, nor tax the exercise of religious practices. It seems clear, therefore, that Ordinance No. 3000 cannot be considered unconstitutional, however inapplicable to said business, trade or occupation of the plaintiff. As to Ordinance No. 2529 of the City of Manila, as amended, is also not applicable, so defendant is powerless to license or tax the business of plaintiff Society. Defendant shall return to plaintiff the sum of P5,891.45 unduly collected from it.

GIL BALBUNA, ET AL., v. THE HON. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, ET AL. G.R. No. L-14283 November 29, 1960 FACTS: Members of the Jehovahs witnesses a religious sect are the petitioner of this case. They filed a complaint assailing the constitutionality of an Executive Order, mandating salute during flag ceremony in public schools. Members argue that such practice violates their freedom of worship and of speech guaranteed by the Bill of Rights; that it denies them due process of law and equal protection of the laws; and that it unduly restricts their rights in the upbringing of their children. ISSUE: Whether or not the assailed Executive Order violates the petitioners religious freedom HELD: No. As held in the case of Gerona vs. Secretary of Education, the practice of flag ceremonies, where in students render salute to the Philippine flag is in no way religious nature. The flag is not a religious icon, but an emblem of freedom, liberty and national unity. Such practice is but a demonstration of allegiance, devotion and love of country. It is in no way discriminatory and public schools are within their right to require compliance from their students.

SABINA BASA, BONIFACIO BASA, BONIFACIO CABALHIN and PRIMITIVO GALLARDO v. 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) G.R. No. L-27113 November 19, 1974 FACTS: This case is an appeal from decision of Quezon City Court of First Instance which the court instructed La Dicha La Paz Cigar and Cigarette Factory to dismiss Sabina and Bonifacio Basa and Bonifacio Cabalhin and Primitivo Gallardo from employment, as well as making the company and FOITAF to reimburse all union dues and assessments collected from plaintiffs-appellees starting from the date of their resignation in defendant union until the date of the last collection. This also included attorney's fees in the amount of P900.00 and the costs of suit. The plaintiffs-appelees are members of Iglesia ni Cristo and employees of La Dicha La Paz Cigar and Cigarette Factory when there was a collective bargaining contract between the company and the defendant union, FOITAF. The agreement stated that: a. All workers and members of FOITAF must maintain membership as requisite to their employment in the company. b. New workers should become members of the FOITAF after 60 working days of continuous employment. The plaintiffs-appellees resigned from FOITAF in 1964, invoking right to freedom of religion. They should not be forced to join any labor organization that is contrary to religious beliefs and convictions. They were given 15 days upon receipt of resignation to reconsider or else the company would enforce the union agreement. Plaintiffs asked for amended of union agreement to which: a. They have a right to remain in their employment. They should not be fired for not maintaining their FOITAF membership. b. The resignation should be understood as an act of their right to freedom of religion.

c. They should no longer be forced to pay dues and assessments through payroll deductions due to their resignation from FOITAF. Company argued that: a. The working agreement between the company and FOITAF makes it a closed shop. b. Plaintiffs resigned. c. FOITAF insists that Company maintain the contract. d. If Company does not maintain contract, it will be liable for damages or violation of collective bargaining agreement. e. Seeking exemption from Union is unconstitutional because it impairs obligations of contracts, denies equal protection of laws, stops freedom of workers to form associations and stops constitutional mandate to protection to labor. ISSUE: Whether or not freedom of religion impairs obligations of contracts, equal protection of laws, freedom to form associations and protection to labor. HELD: Plaintiffs cannot be dismissed from employment, as result of their resignation, if resignation is due to labor organization is contrary to beliefs and convictions. Any member of labor union may leave and cancel membership at any time. The moment he resigns, he is no longer obliged to pay his dues and assessments. There is no error in trial courts order in requiring reimbursement.


DELFIN A. BRION v. SOUTH PHILIPPINE UNION MISSION OF THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH, represented by PASTORS PATERNO DIAZ, ULYSSES CAMAGAY, MANUEL DONATO and WENDELL SERRANO G.R. No. 135136 May 19, 1999 FACTS: The petitioner Delfin A. Brion became a member of a respondent South Philippine Union Mission of the seveth day advendist church(hereafter SDA). He became an ordain minister and a president of the northern Mindanao Mission of the seventh day advendist church in Butuan city. Respondent SDA claims that due to corruption charges, Brion was transferred to the Davao Mission. Thereafter, allegedly due to an act of indiscretion with a masseuse, petitioner was demoted to the position of sabbath School director at the northern Mindanao Mission of the SDA located at Cagayan de Oro city. Here, Petitioner worked until he retired in 1983. As was the practice of the SDA, petitioner was provided a monthly amount as a retirement benefit. Sometime thereafter, Brion got into an argument with Samuel Sanes, another pastor of the SDA. This disagreement degenerated into a rift between brionan the SDA, culminating in the establishment by brion of a rival religious group which he called the home church. He succeeded in enticing a number of SDA members to become part of his congregation because of his action, Brion was excommunicated by the SDA and his name was dropped from the church record book. As a consequence of his Disfellowship petitioners monthly-retirement benefit was discontunued by the SDA. Brion filed an action for mandamus with the RTC of Cagayan de Oro city asking that the SDA restore his monthly retirement benefit. The regional trial court finds in favor of Brion and oredered SDA to pay the retirement benefits. The court of appeals reversed RTC and oredered the dismissal of Brions complaint. ISSUE: Whether or not the Petitioner is entitled to retirement benefits even though he was regarded by SDA as excommunicated.


HELD: YES. Retirement has been defined as a withdrawal from office, public station, business, occupation, or public duty. It is the result of a bilateral act of the parties, a voluntary agreement between the employer and the employee whereby the latter, after reaching a certain age, agrees and/or consents to sever his employment with the former. In this connection, the modern socioeconomic climate has fostered the practice of setting up pension and retirement plans for private employees, initially through their voluntary adoption by employers, and lately, established by legislation. Pension schemes, while initially humanitarian in nature, now concomitantly serve to secure loyalty and efficiency on the part of employees, and to increase continuity of service and decrease the labor turnover by giving to the employees some assurance of security as they approach and reach the age at which earning ability and earnings are materially impaired or at an end. Courts cannot follow [a person] every step of his life and extricate him from bad bargains, protect him from unwise investments, relieve him from one-sided contracts, or annul the effects of foolish acts. Courts cannot constitute themselves guardians of persons who are not legally incompetent. Courts operate not because one person has been defeated or overcome by another, but because he has been defeated or overcome illegally. Men may do foolish things, make ridiculous contracts, use miserable judgment, and lose money by them-indeed, all they have in the world; but not for that alone can the law intervene and restore. There must be, in addition, aviolation of law, the commission of what the law knows as an actionable wrong, before the courts are authorized to lay hold the situation and remedy it. Petitioners establishment of a rival church hardly qualifies as an actionable wrong. In fact, it is a perfectly legitimate exercise of ones freedom of religion enshrined in our Constitution.


MARTIN CENTENO v. HON. VICTORIA VILLALON-PORNILLOS, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 10, and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 113092 September 1, 1994 FACTS: Centeno the petitioner was a part of a group of elderly individuals who seek to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the local chapel. The group received P1,500 from Judge Angeles who later filed an information against the petitioner stating that the solicitation was done without a valid permit and was therefore in violation of PD1564. Centeno contends that since the solicitation was for a religious purpose, it is not within the ambit of PD1564. ISSUE: Whether or not PD 1564 covers the case at bar , it being a religious exercise. HELD: No. PD1564 mentions charitable activities which is decidedly different from the purpose of the petitioner , it being for the rehabilitation of the chapel. The decision of the lower court is reversed and Petitioner Centeno is acquitted of the offence charged.


ROEL EBRALINAG, EMILY EBRALINAG, represented by their parents MR. & MRS. LEONARDO EBRALINAG, et. al. v. THE DIVISION SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS OF CEBU G.R. No. 95770 March 1, 1993 FACTS: Petitioner were expelled from the by the school authorities in Cebu for refusing to salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the patriotic pledge as required by Republic Act No. 1265 of July 11, 1955, and by Department Order No. 8 dated July 21, 1955 of Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) making the flag ceremony compulsory in all educational institutions. Jehovahs 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 (p.10 of, Rollo) which they cannot conscientiously give . . . to anyone or anything except God. They consider the flag as an image or idol representing the State ISSUE: Whether school children who are members of a religious sect known as Jehovahs Witnesses may be expelled from school for disobedience or R.A. No. 1265 and Department Order No. 8, series of 1955. HELD: Court held that exemption are accorded to the Jehovahs Witnesses with the regard to the observance of the flag ceremony out of respect for their religious beliefs, however bizarre those beliefs may seem to others. Nevertheless, their right not to participate in the flag ceremony does not give them a right to disrupt such patriotic exercise. Religious freedom is a fundamental right which is entitled to the highest priority and the amplest protection among human rights, for it involves the relationship of man to his Creator. Also, the expulsion of members of Jehovahs Witnesses from the schools where they are enrolled violates their right as Philippine citizens, under the 1987 Constitution, to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education, and to make such education accessible to all (Sec. 1, Art. XIV). 14

ALEJANDRO ESTRADA, v. SOLEDAD S. ESCRITOR A.M. No. P-02-1651 August 4, 2003 FACTS: Complainant, Alejandro Estrada wrote to Judge Jose F. Caoibes, for a request of investigation of rumors that Soledad Escritor, a court interpreter in the RTC of Las Pias City, has been living with Luciano Quilapio Jr., a man not her husband and that they had eventually begotten a son. Escritor claims that there is no truth to the allegations and she challenges Estrada to appear in open court and prove such allegations. On the other hand, Quilapio is still legally married to another woman. Estrada is not related to either Escritor or Quilapio. 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. It allows members of the congregation who have been abanoned by their spouses to enter into marital relations. Such declaration is effective when legal impediments render it impossible for a couple to legalize their union, therefore not constituting disgraceful and immoral conduct. ISSUE: Whether or not Escritor is administrative liable for gross and immoral conduct HELD: A distinction between public and secular morality and religious morality should be kept in mind. The jurisdiction of the Court extends only to public and secular morality. The Court states that our Constitution adheres the benevolent neutrality approach that gives room for accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free Exercise Clause . This benevolent neutrality could allow for accommodation of morality based on religion, provided it does not offend compelling state interests. The states interest is the preservation of the integrity of 15

the judiciary by maintaining among its ranks a high standard of morality and decency. There is nothing in the OCA's (Office of the Court Administrator) memorandum to the Court that demonstrates how this interest is so compelling that it should override respondents plea of religious freedom. Indeed, it is inappropriate for the complainant, a private person, to present evidence on the compelling interest of the state. The burden of evidence should be discharged by the proper agency of the government which is the Office of the Solicitor General. In order to properly settle the case at bar, it is essential that the government be given an opportunity to demonstrate the compelling state interest it seeks to uphold in opposing the respondents position that her conjugal arrangement is not immoral and punishable as it is within the scope of free exercise protection. The Court could not prohibit and punish her conduct where the Free Exercise Clause protects it, since this would be an unconstitutional encroachment of her right to religious freedom. Furthermore, the court cannot simply take a passing look at respondents claim of religious freedom but must also apply the compelling state interest test.


ANDRES GARCES, Reverend Father SERGIO MARILAO OSMEA, NICETAS DAGAR and JESUS EDULLANTES v. 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 G.R. No. L-53487 May 25, 1981 FACTS: The barangay council adopted Resolution No. 5, reviving the traditional socio-religious celebration for the feast day of Seor San Vicente Ferrer, the patron saint of Valencia. The brgy council passed Resolution No. 6 where the Chairman of hermano mayor of the fiesta would be the caretaker of the image of the saint until it is passed. The resolutions were submitted for a plebiscite and were duly ratified. The image was placed at the altar of the Church so that the devotees could worship the saint and then later on the parish priest refuses to return the image of the saint because he argues that it was property of the Church for church funds were used for its acquisition. ISSUE: Whether or not the parish priest or a layman should have the custody of the image HELD: This case is a petty quarrel over the custody of a saints would have never arisen if the parties had been more diplomatic and tactful and if Father Osmea had taken the trouble of causing contributions to be solicited from his own parishioners for the purchase of another image of San Vicente Ferrer to be installed in his church. There can be no question that the image in question belongs to the barangay council. Father Osmea claim that it belongs to his church is wrong. The barangay council, as owner of the image, has the right determine who should have custody thereof.


RELI GERMAN, RAMON PEDROSA, TIRSO SANTILLAN, JR., et. al. v.GEN. SANTIAGO BARANGAN and MA. JOR ISABELO LARIOSA G.R. No. L-68828 March 27, 1985 FACTS: Petitioners went to JP Laurel Street, Manila to hear mass in St Luke Chapel but they were barred by respondent General Barangan from entering the church on the ground that it is within the vicinity of the Malacaang. When their pleadings were to no avail they left. Germans group is expressively known as the August Twenty One Movement and on that day, petitioners were wearing yellow shirts with clench fists, Barangan deemed that they were not really there to worship but rather they are there to disrupt the ongoing events within the Malacaang. ISSUE: Whether or not the bar disallowing petitioners to worship and pray at St. Luke is a violation of their freedom to worship and locomotion. HELD: In the case at bar, German 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. There has been a clear manifestation by Barangan et al that they allow the German et al to practice their religious belief but not in the manner that German et al impress. Such manner impresses clear and present danger to the executive of the state hence the need to curtail it even at the expense of curtailing


GENARO GERONA, ET AL. v. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, ET AL. G.R. No. L-13954 August 12, 1959 FACTS: RA 1265, Section 2 is authorizing and directing the Secretary of Education to issue or rules and regulations for the proper conduct of the flag ceremony. Petitioners' children attending the Buenavista Community School, Uson, Masbate, refused to salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the patriotic pledge contrary to the requirement of Department Order no. 8; as a result they were expelled from school sometime in September, 1955. It is said that other children similarly situated who refused or failed to comply with the requirement about saluting the flag are under threats of being also expelled from all public schools in the Philippines. Petitioners-appellants belong to what is called the Jehovahs Witness, an unincorporated body teaching that the obligation imposed by law of God is superior to that of laws enacted by the state. Their religious beliefs include a literal version of exodus, chapter 20, verses 4 and 5, which say: "thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." they consider that the flag is an "image within this command. For this reason they refuse to salute it. ISSUE: Whether or not saluting the flag involve religious ceremony. HELD: After a careful and conscientious examination of the patriotic pledge as reproduced at the beginning of this decision, frankly we find nothing, absolutely nothing, objectionable, even from the point of view of religious belief. The school child or student is simply made to say that he loves the Philippines because it is the land of his birth and the home of his people; that because it protects him, in return he will heed the counsel of his parents, obey the rules and regulations of his school, perform the duties of a patriotic and law- abiding citizen; and serve his country unselfishly and 19

faithfully, and that he would be a true Filipino in thought, in word, and in deed. He is not even made to pledge allegiance to the flag or to the republic for which it stands. So that even if we assume for a moment that the flag were in image, connoting religious and veneration instead of a mere symbol of the state and of national unity, the religious scruples of appellants against bowing to and venerating an image are not interfered with or otherwise jeopardized. In enforcing the flag salute on the petitioners, there was absolutely no compulsion involved, and for their failure or refusal to obey school regulations about the flag salute they were not being persecuted. Neither were they being criminally prosecuted under threat of penal sanction. If they chose not to obey the flag salute regulation, they merely lost the benefits of public education being maintained at the expense of their fellow citizens, nothing more. According to a popular expression, they could take it or leave it. Having elected not to comply with the regulations about the flag salute, they forfeited their right to attend public schools. In requiring school pupils to participate in the flag salute, the state thru the Secretary of Education was not imposing a religion or religious belief or a religious test on said students. It was merely enforcing a non-discriminatory school regulation applicable to all alike whether Christian, Muslim, protestant or Jehovahs Witness. The state was merely carrying out the duty imposed upon it by the constitution which charges it with supervision over and regulation of all educational institutions, to establish and maintain a complete and adequate system of public education, and see to it that all schools aim to develop among other things, civic conscience and teach the duties of citizenship. (Art. XIV, Section 5 of the Constitution). It does nothing more than try to inculcate in the minds of the school population during the formative period of their life, love of country and love of the flag, all of which make for united and patriotic citizenry, so that later in after years they may be ready and willing to serve, fight, even die for it.


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 v. CENTRAL AZUCARERA DE TARLAC LABOR UNION, represented by PACIFICO P. MILLO, President, and CENTRAL AZUCARERA DE TARLAC, INC. G.R. No. L-38178 October 3, 1985 FACTS: The plaintiffs, through members of the Iglesia ni Kristo joined the defendant Labor Union. 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 above-quoted provision of Section 4 of the bargaining agreement. ISSUE: Whether or not Republic Act No. 3350 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, constitutional. HELD: This 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 sought to be achieved by Republic Act No. 3350 was to insure freedom of belief and religion, and to promote the general welfare by preventing discrimination against those members of religious sects which prohibit their members from joining labor unions, confirming thereby their natural, statutory and constitutional right to work, the fruits of which work are 21

usually the only means whereby they can maintain their own life and the life of their dependents. It cannot be gainsaid that said purpose is legitimate. It may not be amiss to point out here that the free exercise of religious profession or belief is superior to contract rights. In case of conflict, the latter must, therefore, yield to the former. Religious freedom, although not unlimited, is a fundamental personal right and liberty, and has a preferred position in the hierarchy of values. Contractual rights, therefore, must yield to freedom of religion. It is only where 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. 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.


ISLAMIC DAWAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., herein represented by PROF. ABDULRAFIH H. SAYEDY v. OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY of the Office of the President of the Philippines, herein represented by HON. ALBERTO G. ROMULO, Executive Secretary, and the OFFICE ON MUSLIM AFFAIRS, herein represented by its Executive Director, HABIB MUJAHAB HASHIM G.R. No. 153888. July 9, 2003 FACTS: Petitioner IDCP was granted by RISEAP accredited petitioner to issue halal certifications in the Philippines and among the functions petitioner carries out is to conduct seminars, orient manufacturers on halal food and issue halal certifications to qualified products and manufacturers. Petitioner alleges that, on account of the actual need to certify food products as halal and also due to halal food producers request, petitioner formulated in 1995 internal rules and procedures based on the Quran[ and the Sunnah for the analysis of food, inspection thereof and issuance of halal certifications. In that same year, petitioner began to issue, for a fee, certifications to qualified products and food manufacturers. Respondent Office of the Executive Secretary issued EO 46 creating the Philippine Halal Certification Scheme and designating respondent OMA to oversee its implementation. Under the EO, respondent OMA has the exclusive authority to issue halal certificates and perform other related regulatory activities. Petitioner contends that the subject EO violates the constitutional provision on the separation of Church and State. It is unconstitutional for the government to formulate policies and guidelines on the halal certification scheme because said scheme is a function only religious organizations, entity or scholars can lawfully and validly perform for the Muslims. ISSUE: Whether or not the act was indeed unconstitutional HELD: In the case at bar, we find no compelling justification for the government to deprive Muslim organizations, like herein petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product as halal, even on 23

the premise that the health of Muslim Filipinos can be effectively protected by assigning to OMA the exclusive power to issue halal certifications. The protection and promotion of the Muslim Filipinos right to health are already provided for in existing laws and ministered to by government agencies charged with ensuring that food products released in the market are fit for human consumption, properly labeled and safe. Unlike EO 46, these laws do not encroach on the religious freedom of Muslims. Through the laws on food safety and quality, therefore, the State indirectly aids Muslim consumers in differentiating food from non-food products. The NMIC guarantees that the meat sold in the market has been thoroughly inspected and fit for consumption. Meanwhile, BFD ensures that food products are properly categorized and have passed safety and quality standards. Then, through the labeling provisions enforced by the DTI, Muslim consumers are adequately apprised of the products that contain substances or ingredients that, according to their Islamic beliefs, are not fit for human intake. These are the non-secular steps put in place by the State to ensure that the Muslim consumers right to health is protected. The halal certifications issued by petitioner and similar organizations come forward as the official religious approval of a food product fit for Muslim consumption.


IGLESIA NI CRISTO (INC.), v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, BOARD OF REVIEW FOR MOTION PICTURES AND TELEVISION and HONORABLE HENRIETTA S. MENDEZ G.R. No. 119673 July 26, 1996 FACTS: Ang Iglesia ni Cristo, is a television program of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) where it presents and airs the sects religious beliefs, doctrines and practices often times in comparative studies with other religions. They submitted to the BRMPT the VTR tapes of some of its shows and the board gave them an X rating (not for public viewing), based on the ground that it offends and constitutes an attack against other religions which is expressly prohibited by law. In their complaint, INC questioned the Boards jurisdiction, citing grave abuse of discretion on its part in requiring INC to submit VTR tapes. INC argued that it is not within the Boards power to review their TV program and the latters act of prohibiting the airing of some episodes on the ground that such programs constitute an attack against other religions and contrary to morals is an abuse of discretion. The trial court rendered a decision granting INCs petition, which is in turn reversed by the CA. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the Board has the power to review petitioners TV program Ang Iglesia ni Cristo, 2. Assuming it has the power, whether or not the Board gravely abused its discretion when it prohibited the airing of petitioners religious program, series Nos. 115, 119 and 121, for the reason that they constitute an attack against other religions and that they are indecent, contrary to law and good customs. HELD: The Decision of the CA sustaining the jurisdiction of the Board to review the TV program entitled Ang Iglesia ni Cristo, is AFFIRMED. The law gives the Board the power to screen, review and examine all television programs. the Board has the power to approve, delete x x x and/or 25

prohibit the x x x exhibition and/or television broadcast of x x x television programs x x x The law also directs the Board to apply contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard to determine those which are objectionable for being immoral, indecent, contrary to law and/or good customs, injurious to the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines and its people, or with a dangerous tendency to encourage the commission of violence or of a wrong or crime. The court rejected INCs argument stating that they are beyond the reach of review. Religios freedom is limitless only in the aspect of thought and belief, but may be regulated by the State in the aspect of practice, especially if it can be shown to affect the public and its welfare. And in this case, such practice is televised which enables their beliefs to reach millions who have in their home a TV set. It is only right that the State take interest in whatever is televised and regulate it as it sees fit. Its decision sustaining the action of the Board x-rating petitioners TV Program Series Nos. 115, 119, and 121 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The court found that the alleged attacks by the INC were merely criticisms on the beliefs of other religions and is within INCs rights to practice. 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. To prevent INC in doing so would be an infringement on its right to free speech, which can only be done in the presence of a clear and present danger against the public welfare. Moreover, such attacks do not justify an X rating.


IGLESIA NI CRISTO v. JUDGE LEOPOLDO B. GIRONELLA, Court of First Instance Abra A.M. No. 2440-CFI July 25, 1981 FACTS: Teofilo C. Ramos, Sr., in behalf of Iglesia Ni Cristo, contends that there was no need for the statement of the respondent Judge who referred to their actions in court as a gimmick. Judge Leopaldo B. Gironella is being charged with ignorance of the law and conduct unbecoming member of the bench. Respondent argues that charges against him are unfair and unfounded. He alleges that such statements complained of are his honest appraisal and evaluation of the evidence presented. ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent Judge is guilty of ignorance of the law and conduct unbecoming member of the bench HELD: The use of of the word gimmick could offend the sensibilities of the members of Iglesia ni Cristo. It is not inaccurate to state that as understood by popular sense, it is not exactly complimentary. It may indicate lack of sincerity. It is a ploy or device to persuade others to take a course of action, which without it may not be acceptable. While it would be going too far to assert that intentional deceit is employed, it could have the effect. The Latin maxim, suggestio falsi est suppresio veri, comes to mind. It is to be expected that a religious sect accused of having to resort to a gimmick to gain converts would certainly be far from pleased. Freedom of religion implies respect for every creed. No one, much less of a public official, is privileged to characterize the actuation of its adherents in a derogatory sense. It should not be lost of sight of either that the attendance at a trial of many members of a religious sect finds support in a Constitution. The right to a public trial is safeguarded by the public law. No adverse implication can arise from such concurrence. It goes without saying that if their presence would create disorder, it lies within the power of a trial judge to maintain proper decorum.


MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., MARS C. LACONSAY, MYLA C. AGUJA and AGUSTINO G. BINEGAS, JR., v. ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., ABDULRAHMAN R.T. LINZAG, IBRAHIM F.P. ARCILLA, ABDUL RASHID DE GUZMAN, AL-FARED DA SILVA and IBRAHIM B.A. JUNIO G.R. No. 135306 January 28, 2003 FACTS: ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., a local federation Muslim religious organizations, filed a complaint for damages in their own behalf and as a class suit in behalf of the Muslim members nationwide against MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC arising from an article published in the 1 August 1992 issue of Bulgar, a daily tabloid. The complaint alleged that the libelous statement was insulting and damaging to the Muslims; that these words alluding to the pig as the God of the Muslims was not only published out of sheer ignorance but with intent to hurt the feelings, cast insult and disparage the Muslims and Islam, as a religion in this country, in violation of law, public policy, good morals and human relations; that on account of these libelous words Bulgar insulted not only the Muslims in the Philippines but the entire Muslim world, especially every Muslim individual in non-Muslim countries. RTC dismissed the complaint holding that the plaintiffs failed to establish their cause of action since the persons allegedly defamed by the article were not specifically identified. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court and stated that there was clear defamation in the article. It added that the suit for damages was a "class suit" and that IDCPs religious status as a Muslim umbrella organization gave it the requisite personality to sue and protect the interests of all Muslims. MVRS brought the issue to the Supreme Court. ISSUE: Whether or not the elements of libel are present in the Bulgar article HELD: 28

In the present case, there was no fairly identifiable person who was allegedly injured by the Bulgar article. Since the persons allegedly defamed could not be identifiable, private respondents have no individual causes of action; hence, they cannot sue for a class allegedly disparaged. Private respondents must have a cause of action in common with the class to which they belong to in order for the case to prosper. An individual Muslim has a reputation that is personal, separate and distinct in the community. Each Muslim, as part of the larger Muslim community in the Philippines of over five (5) million people, belongs to a different trade and profession; each has a varying interest and a divergent political and religious view some may be conservative, others liberal. A Muslim may find the article dishonorable, even blasphemous; others may find it as an opportunity to strengthen their faith and educate the non-believers and the "infidels." There is no injury to the reputation of the individual Muslims who constitute this community that can give rise to an action for group libel. Each reputation is personal in character to every person. Together, the Muslims do not have a single common reputation that will give them a common or general interest in the subject matter of the controversy. The article was not libelous. Petition GRANTED. The assailed decision of CA was REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the decision of the RTC was reinstated.


ANG LADLAD LGBT PART, represented herein by its Chair, DANTON REMOTO v. COMISSION ON ELECTIONS GR No. 190582 April 8, 2010 FACTS: Ang Ladlad is an organization composed of men and women who identify themselves as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or trans-gendered individuals (LGBTs). Incorporated in 2003, Ang Ladlad first applied for registration with the COMELEC in 2006. The application for accreditation was denied on the ground that the organization had no substantial membership base. On August 17, 2009, Ang Ladlad again filed a Petition for registration with the COMELEC. Before the COMELEC, petitioner argued that the LGBT community is a marginalized and underrepresented sector that is particularly disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation and gender identity; that LGBTs are victims of exclusion, discrimination, and violence; that because of negative societal attitudes, LGBTs are constrained to hide their sexual orientation; and that Ang Ladlad complied with the 8-point guidelines enunciated by the Court laying out its national membership base consisting of individual members and organizational supporters, and outlined its platform of governance. On November 2009, the COMELEC dismissed the petition on moral grounds stating that the LGBT sector tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs and that the State penalizes immoral doctrines. Seeking reconsideration, Ang Ladlad is applying for accreditation as a sectoral party in the paty-list system, proving their under-representation and marginalization, and it cannot be said that Ladlads expressed sexual orientations per se would benefit the nation as a whole. ISSUE: Whether or not the denial of accreditation by COMELEC, violated the constitutional guarantees against the establishment of religion. insofar as it justified the exclusion by using religious dogma.


HELD: Ang Ladlad has sufficiently demonstrated its compliance with the legal requirements for accreditation. Indeed, aside from COMELECs moral objection and the belated allegation of non-existence, nowhere in the records has the respondent ever found/ruled that Ang Ladlad is not qualified to register as a party-list organization under any of the requisites under RA 7941 or the guidelines in Ang Bagong Bayani. Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5 that No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. At bottom, what our non-establishment clause calls for is government neutrality in religious matters. Clearly, governmental reliance on religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of neutrality. The Court thus find that it was grave violation of the non-establishment clause for the COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang Ladlad.


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the Director of Lands v. 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 G.R. No. L-55289 June 29, 1982 FACTS: In 1933, 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, Republic appeal. ISSUE: Whether or not Iglesiani Cristo is disqualified to hold alienable 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 REGISTER OF DEEDS OF RIZAL v. UNG SIU SI TEMPLE G.R. No. L-6776 May 21, 1955 FACTS: Register of Deeds for the province of Rizal refused to accept for record a deed of donation by Jesus Dy, a Filipino citizen, conveying a parcel of residential land, in Caloocan, Rizal, known as lot No. 2, block 48-D, PSD-4212, G.L.R.O. It is in favor of the unregistered religious organization "Ung Siu Si Temple", operating through three trustees all of Chinese nationality. The donation was duly accepted by Yu Juan, of Chinese nationality, founder and deaconess of the Temple, acting in representation and in behalf of the latter and its trustees. Due to register of deeds of Rizal refusal the case was elevated to the IVth Branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila where the court upheld the action of of the Rizal Register of Deeds of the province of Rizal. Not satisfied with the ruling of the Court of First Instance, counsel for the donee Uy Siu Si Temple has appealed to the court of appeals and contended that the acquisition of the land in question, for religious purposes, is authorized and permitted by Act No. 271 of the old Philippine Commission particularly section 1 and 2 and that the refusal of the Register of Deeds violates the freedom of religion clause of our Constitution. ISSUE: Whether or not a deed of donation of a parcel of land executed in favor of a religious organization whose founder, trustees and administrator are Chinese citizens should be registered or not. HELD: The court of appeals upheld the decision of the lower court that in view of the absolute terms of section 5, Title XIII, of the Constitution, the provisions of Act No. 271 of the old Philippine Commission must be deemed repealed since the Constitution was enacted, in so far as incompatible therewith. In providing that, save in cases of hereditary succession, no private agricultural land 33

shall be transferred or assigned except to individuals, corporations or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines, the Constitution makes no exception in favor of religious associations. Neither is there any such saving found in sections 1 and 2 of Article XIII, restricting the acquisition of public agricultural lands and other natural resources to "corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens" The fact that the appellant religious organization has no capital stock does not suffice to escape the Constitutional inhibition, since it is admitted that its members are of foreign nationality. The purpose of the sixty per centum requirement is obviously to ensure that corporations or associations allowed to acquire agricultural land or to exploit natural resources shall be controlled by Filipinos; and the spirit of the Constitution demands that in the absence of capital stock, the controlling membership should be composed of Filipino citizens. To permit religious associations controlled by non-Filipinos to acquire agricultural lands would be to drive the opening wedge to revive alien religious land holdings in this country. We can not ignore the historical fact that complaints against land holdings of that kind were among the factors that sparked the revolution of 1896.


ELISEO F. SORIANO v. 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 G.R. No. 165636 April 29, 2009 FACTS: Eliseo S. Soriano the host of the Ang dating daan uttered following remarks in his TV program against Micheal Sandoval (a regular host of the TV program Ang tamang daan and a minister of Iglesia ni Cristo) Lehitimong anak ng demonyo! Sinungaling! Gago katalaga, Micheal! Masahol ka pa sa putang babae, o di ba ? Yung putang babae, ang gumagana lang doon, yung ibaba, dito kay Micheal, ang gumagana ang itaas, o dib a? O, masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sobra ang kasinungalingan ng mga demonyong ito. The MTRCB initially slapped the Sorianos Ang dating daan, which was earlier given a G rating for general viewership, with a 20 day preventive suspension after a preliminary conference. Later, in a decision, it found him liable for utterances, and was imposed a three-month suspension from his TV program Ang Dating Daan. Soriano challenged the order of the MTRCB. ISSUE: Whether or not Sorianos remarks are obscene. HELD: The SC ruled that Sorianos statement can be treated as obscene, at least with respect to the average child, and thus his utterance cannot be considered as protected speech. Citing decisions from the US Supreme court, the high court said that the analysis should be context based and found the utterances to be obscene after considering the use of television broadcasting as a medium, the time of the show, and the G rating of the show, which are all factors that made the utterances susceptible to children viewers. The court emphasized on how the uttered words could be easily understood by a child literally rather in the context that they were used. 35

The SC also said that the suspension is not prior restraint, but rather a form of permissible administrative sanction or subsequent punishment. In affirming the power of the MTRCB to issue an order of suspension, the majority said that it is a sanction that the MTRCB may validly impose under its charter without running afoul of the free speech clause. The court said that the suspension is not prior restraint on the right of the petitioner to continue with the broadcat of Ang Dating Daan as permit was already issued to him by MTRCB, rather, it was a sanction for the indecent contents of his utterances in a G.


THE UNITED STATES v. BUENAVENTURA BALCORTA G.R. No. 8722 September 10, 1913 FACTS: The defendant entered a private house, uninvited, where there were around ten to twenty persons conducting a divine service. These men are from the Methodist Episcopal Church. The defendant interrupted the service and threatened the assemblage with a club. While the defendant was of a different religion, there were no proof that can show that the defendant showed any remarks or motives against the religion of the people in inside the house, thus article 223 cannot be established against him, and that his offense was that he disturbed the divine service being conducted at the time. ISSUE: Whether or not the defendant is guilty of interference with the freedom of will in religious matters. HELD: In the case at hand, it was held that the defendant was not guilty of interference with the freedom of will and conscience in religious matters, but merely interruption of religious services without motive under Article 571 of the Penal Code. When the defendant went into the house, the people inside were not holding religious services, but merely reading some verses from the Bible. There has been no provision that they can find in the law which requires religious services to be conducted in approved orthodox style in order to merit its protection against interference and disturbances.


THE UNITED STATES v. LEON MORALES, ET AL., PEDRO RIGOR, MARIANO GORUSPE, and CIPRIANO DE LOS REYES G.R. No. L-12644 December 22, 1917 FACTS: This cause was instituted by a complaint filed by the provincial fiscal, on December 7, 1915, charging the above-mentioned fourteen defendants with the crime defined and punished by article 223 of the Penal Code. That shortly after 8 o'clock of the evening of July 15, 1915, about thirty residents of the barrio of Moriones started out a procession from the Catholic church of said municipality intending to pass through some of the streets of the town, as they had already done on previous evenings. As they went along in the procession they said prayers and carried the image of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception; but on arriving in front of the Aglipayan church the defendants there posted with others and provided with clubs and sticks, prevented the Catholic procession from proceeding further and compelled its members to take another route, which was not a street and was dirty. thereupon Maximo Cayetano, a resident who on that occasion was conducting the procession and leading those in it who were saying prayers in novena, replied to the priest, Rigor, that the latter ought not to prohibit them from doing a good deed, and after this reply, gave the order for the procession to continue its march; but at this moment defendants attacked said Maximo Cayetano, some of them with sticks and clubs while a majority of the others engaged in pushing back the people in the procession, as a result of which aggression they started to run, the image of the Virgin fell to the ground and was abandoned, and the procession was disbanded. During the disturbance the crown of the image disappeared and one of its hands was broken. ISSUE: Whether or not the defendants committed an act of preventing some other person from performing any act of worship as stated in article 223 of the Penal Code or was it just a misdemeanor?


HELD: It is seen that the defendants, by dissolving the procession and by main force dispersing its members, proposed not only to interrupt and disturb a religious procession, but also absolutely to prevent the person taking part therein from being able to address their prayers to God in the manner established by the Catholic church, to the community and confession of which they belonged. This procedure was entirely unlawful and the acts committed by them are punishable under the aforecited article of the Penal Code. In the present case, the crime prosecuted is totally different from that concerned in the case of the United States vs. Balcorta (25 Phil. Rep., 273), for the reason that the herein defendants, in dissolving the procession and putting its members to flight by means of violence exercised upon their persons, prevented them from being able to perform technically religious acts which they were entitled freely to perform and under the protection of the authorities.


BENJAMIN VICTORIANO v. ELIZALDE ROPE WORKERS UNION and ELIZALDE ROPE FACTORY, INC. G.R. No. L-25246 September 12, 1974 FACTS: Benjamin Victoriano, a member of the religious sect known as the "Iglesia ni Cristo", had been in the employ of the Elizalde Rope Factory, Inc. since 1958. As such employee, he was a member of the Elizalde Rope Workers' Union which had with the Factory a collective bargaining agreement containing a closed shop provision which requires that membership in the Union is required as a condition of employment for all permanent employee workers. Under Republic Act No. 3350, employer was not precluded from making an agreement with a labor organization to require as a condition of employment memberhip, if such labor organization is the representative of the employees and as amended, it was added that ...but such agreement shall not cover members of any religious sects which prohibit affiiation of their members in any such labor organization. Victoriano, being a member of a religious sect that prohibits the affiliation in the said Union, presented his resignation to the Union in 1962. The Factory notified Victoriano that unless he could achieve a satisfactory arrangement with the Union, the Factory would be constrained to dismiss him from the service. This prompted Victoriano to file an action. Victoriano claims that as per RA 3350 he is an exemption to the close shop agreement by virtue of his being a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo because apparently in his religion, one is forbidden from being a member of any labor union. The Elizalde Rope Factory and its Union reiterated that he is not exempt from the close shop agreement because RA 3350 is unconstitutional and that said law violates the Union and Elizalde Rope Factorys legal/contractual rights. ISSUE: Whether or not RA 3350 is unconstitutional.


HELD: The purpose of RA 3350 was to insure freedom of belief and religion, and to promote the general welfare by preventing discrimination against those members of religious sects which prohibit their members from joining labor unions, confirming thereby their natural, statutory and constitutional right to work, the fruits of which work are usually the only means whereby they can maintain their own life and the life of their dependents. The validity of a statute is to be determined from its general purpose and its efficacy to accomplish the end desired, not from its effects on a particular case. The Court believes that 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. Compelling persons to join and remain members of a union to keep their jobs in violation of their religious scrupples, would hurt, rather than help labor unions. In conclusion, the right to join a union includes the right not to join a union. The law is not unconstitutional as it recognizes both the rights of unions and employers to enforce terms of contracts and at the same time it recognizes the workers right to join or not to join union. RA 3350 recognizes as well the primacy of a constitutional right over a contractual right.