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German vs.

Barangan (1985)

Summary Cases:

● German vs. Barangan

Subject: Right to religious freedom must be done in good faith and in accordance with law; Right to
locomotion should give way in the interest of national security

Facts:

About 50 businessmen, students and office employees converged at J.P. Laurel Street Manila, for the
ostensible purpose of hearing Mass at the St. Jude Chapel. Wearing the now familiar inscribed yellow
T-shirts, they marched down the street with clenched fists and shouts anti-government invectives. Along
the way, they were barred by Major Isabelo Lariosa, upon orders of his superior Gen. Santiago
Barangan from proceeding any further on the ground that the St. Jude Chapel is located within the
Malacañang security area. They decided to eventually leave but they were warned that any similar
attempt to enter the church would be prevented.

The group now claims that their constitutional right to freedom of religion and locomotion was violated as
their sole purpose is to pray and hear mass at the church. Gen. Barangan and Major Lariosa on the
other hand contend that they went there to conduct an anti-government demonstration at a place close
to the very residence of the President.

Held:

Right to religious freedom must be done in good faith and in accordance with law

1. Freedom of religious worship is a right guaranteed under Section 8, Article IV of the 1973
Constitution. This has a double aspect. On one hand, it forestalls compulsion of law of the
acceptance of any creed or practice of any form of religious worship. Freedom of conscience and
freedom to adhere to such religious organization or form of worship as the individual may
choose cannot be restricted by law. On the other hand, it safeguards the free exercise of the
chosen form of religion. Thus the amendment embraces two concepts -freedom to believe and
freedom to act. The first is absolute, but in the nature of things, the second cannot be.

2. In this case, the group is not denied or restrained of their freedom of belief or choice of
religion, but only in the manner by which they had attempted to translate the same into action. If
the exercise of said religious belief clashes with the established institutions of society and with
law, the former must give way the latter. The government steps in and restrains the exercise or
prosecutes the one exercising it.

Right to locomotion should give way in the interest of national security

3. 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 Malacañang.

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