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Aglipay Vs.

64 Phil 201
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, f
or the purpose of avoiding the occasion wherein the state will use the church, o
r vice versa, as a weapon to further their ends and aims. Respondent contends th
at such issuance is in accordance to Act No. 4052, providing for the appropriati
on funds to respondent for the production and issuance of postage stamps as woul
d be advantageous to the government.
Issue: Whether or Not there was a violation of the freedom to religion.
Held: What is guaranteed by our Constitution is religious freedom and not mere r
eligious toleration. It is however not an inhibition of profound reverence for r
eligion and is not a denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a pro
fession of faith to an active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator i
s recognized. And in so far as it instills into the minds the purest principles
of morality, its influence is deeply felt and highly appreciated. The phrase in
Act No. 4052 advantageous to the government does not authorize violation of the Co
nstitution. 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 benefi
t of the Roman Catholic Church. The postage stamps, instead of showing a Catholi
c chalice as originally planned, contains a map of the Philippines and the locat
ion 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, bei
ng the seat of that congress. This was to to advertise the Philippines and attrac
t more tourists, the officials merely took advantage of an event considered of in
ternational importance. Although such issuance and sale may be inseparably linke
d with the Roman Catholic Church, any benefit and propaganda incident
ally resulting from it was no the aim or purpose of the Government.