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Art II sec 6. The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable. Art III 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. Art VI sec 29(2). No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, other religious teacher, or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium.

1. ANG LADLAD LGBT PARTY V. COMELEC, GR No. 190582, April 8, 2010 This is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, with an application for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction, filed by Ang Ladlad LGBT Party (Ang Ladlad) against the Resolutions of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) dated November 11, 2009 (the First Assailed Resolution) and December 16, 2009 (the Second Assailed Resolution) in SPP No. 09-228 (PL) (collectively, the Assailed Resolutions). The case has its roots in the COMELEC s refusal to accredit Ang Ladlad as a party-list organization under Republic Act (RA) No. 7941, otherwise known as the Party-List System Act. FACTS: Before the COMELEC, petitioner argued that the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender) community is a marginalized and under-represented 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 this Court in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. Commission on Elections. Ang Ladlad laid out its national membership base consisting of individual members and organizational supporters, and outlined its platform of governance. On August 17, 2009, Ang Ladlad filed a Petition for registration with the COMELEC. On November 11, 2009, after admitting the petitioner s evidence, the COMELEC (Second Division) dismissed the Petition on moral grounds that petitioner tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs, and advocates sexual immorality. Petitioner should likewise be denied accreditation not only for advocating immoral doctrines but likewise for not being truthful when it said that it or any of its nominees/party-list representatives have not violated or failed to comply with laws, rules, or regulations relating to the elections. Furthermore, states COMELEC, Ang Ladlad will be exposing our youth to an environment that does not conform to the teachings of our faith. When Ang Ladlad sought reconsideration, COMELEC still, on December 16, 2010, upheld the First Assailed Resolution. On January 4, 2010, Ang Ladlad a Petition, praying that the Supreme Court annul the Assailed Resolutions and direct the COMELEC to grant Ang Ladlad s application for accreditation. Ang Ladlad also sought the issuance ex parte of a preliminary mandatory injunction against the COMELEC, which had previously announced that it would begin printing the final ballots for the May 2010 elections by January 25, 2010. ISSUES: 1. 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. Whether or not the Assailed Resolutions contravened the constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of speech and assembly, and equal protection of laws, of Ang Ladlad, as well as constituted violations of the Philippines international obligations against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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HELD: 1. 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 Supreme Court ruled 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. Rather than relying on religious belief, the legitimacy of the Assailed Resolutions should depend, instead, on whether the COMELEC is able to advance some justification for its rulings beyond mere conformity to religious doctrine. The government must act for secular purposes and in ways that have primarily secular effects. The Assailed Resolutions have not identified any specific overt immoral act performed by Ang Ladlad. Even the Office of the Solicitor General agrees that there should have been a finding by the COMELEC that the group s members have committed or are committing immoral acts. Respondent have failed to explain what societal ills are sought to be prevented, or why special protection is required for the youth. Under our system of laws, every group has the right to promote its agenda and attempt to persuade society of the validity of its position through normal democratic means. Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, and this freedom applies not only to those that are favorably received but also to those that offend, shock, or disturb. Absent of any compelling state interest, it is not for the COMELEC or the Supreme Court, to impose its views on the populace. Otherwise stated, the COMELEC is certainly not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one. Laws of general application should apply with equal force to LGBTs, and they deserve to participate in the party-list system on the same basis as other marginalized and underrepresented sectors. This is in accord with the country s international obligations to protect and promote human rights. The principle of non-discrimination as it relates to the right to electoral participation, enunciated in the UDHR and the ICCPR should be recognized. The Constitution and laws should be applied uninfluenced by public opinion. True democracy should be resilient enough to withstand vigorous debate due to conflicting opinions. The Petition was GRANTED. The Resolutions of the Commission on Elections dated November 11, 2009 and December 16, 2009 in SPP No. 09-228 (PL) was SET ASIDE and the COMELEC was directed to GRANT petitioner s application for party-list accreditation. 2. ESTRADA VS. SOLEDAD ESCRITOR, 492 SCRA 1 (Resolution of the Motion for Reconsideration), 408 SCRA 1 Puno, J. Respondent is the Court interpreter of RTC Branch 253, Las Pinas City. Complainant requested for an investigation of respondent for living with a man not her husband while she was still legally married and having borne a child within this live-in arrangement. Estrada believes that Escritor is committing a grossly immoral act which tarnishes the image of the judiciary, thus she should not be allowed to remain employed therein as it might appear that the court condones her act. Respondent admitted she started living with Luciano Quilapio, Jr. more than 20 years ago when her husband was still alive but living with another woman. She likewise admitted having a son with Quilapio but denies any liability for alleged grossly immoral conduct because: y She is a member of the Jehovah s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society; y That the conjugal arrangement was in conformity with their religious beliefs; y That the conjugal arrangement with Quilapio has the approval of her congregation. Escritor likewise claimed that she had executed a DECLARATION OF PLEDGING FAITHFULNESS in accordance with her religion which allows members of the Jehovah s witnesses who have been abandoned by their spouses to enter into marital relations. The Declaration thus makes the resulting union moral and binding within the congregation all over the world except in countries where divorce is allowed. HELD: Escritor s conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized as she has made out a case for exemption from the law based on her fundamental right to religion. The Court recognizes that state interests must be upheld in order that freedoms including religious freedom may be enjoyed. IN THE AREA OF RELIGIOUS EXERCISE AS A PREFERRED

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FREEDOM, HOWEVER, MAN STANDS ACCOUNTABLE TO AN AUTHORITY HIGHER THAN THE STATE, and so the stateinterest sought to be upheld must be so compelling that its violation will erode the very fabric of the state that will also protect the freedom. In the absence of a showing that the state interest exists, man must be allowed to subscribe to the Infinite. Escritor was therefore held not administratively liable for grossly immoral conduct. FREEDOM OF RELIGION - Any specific system of belief, worship or conduct, often involving a code of ethics and philosophy. - A profession of faith to an active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator. The existence of a Divine being is not necessarily inherent in religion; the Buddhists espouses a way of life without reference to an omnipotent God. Strong fences make good neighbors . The idea is to delineate the boundaries between two institutions and prevent encroachments by one against the other. The doctrine cuts both ways. It is not only the State that is prohibited from interfering in purely ecclesiastical affairs; the Church is likewise barred from meddling in purely secular matters. NON-STABLISHMENT CLAUSE: It simply means that the State cannot set up a church; nor pass laws which aids one religion; aid all religion, or prefer one religion over another nor force nor influence a person to go to or remain away from church against his will; or force him to profess a belief or disbelief; that the State cannot openly or secretly participate in the affairs of any religious organization or group and vice versa (EVERSON VS. BOARD OF EDUCATION, 330 US 1) This clause seeks to protect: Voluntarism must come into existence through the voluntary support of its members; Insulation from political process growth through voluntary support of its members will not take place if there is intervention from the State. There will be no violation of the non-establishment clause if: 1. the statute has a secular legislative purpose; 2. its principal or primary effect is one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and 3. it does not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion. (LEMON VS. KURTZMAN, 403 US 602) The government is neutral and while protecting all, it prefers none and disparages none. All here applies both to the believer and the non-believer. FREEDOM OF RELIGION INCLUDES FREEDOM FROM RELIGION; THE RIGHT TO WORHIP INCLUDES THE RIGHT NOT TO WORSHIP. 3. AGLIPAY vs RUIZ FACTS:   On May 1936, respondent announced in the newspapers that he would order of postage stamps commemorating the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress under Act No. 4052 (cited below) Petitioner, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, Supreme Head of the Phil. Independent Church (Aglipayan), seeks a writ of prohibition to prevent respondent Director of Posts from issuing and selling postage stamps commemorative of the said Congress. o Petitioner alleges that respondent in issuing and selling the postage stamps violated the Constitutional provision on the principle of separation of church and state, specifically section 13, subsection 3, Art. VI which says: No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination or system of religion

ISSUE: WON respondent violated the Constitution in issuing and selling the postage stamps. HELD: No constitutional infraction. History of Separation of Church and State:

our history, not to speak of the history of mankind, has taught us that the union of church and state is prejudicial to both, for occasions might arise when the state will use the church, and the church the state, as a weapon in the furtherance of their respective ends and aims. This principle was recognized in the Malolos Constitution, inserted in the Treaty of Paris, in the instructions of McKinley to the Phil. Commission and finally embodied in the Constitution as the supreme expression of the Filipino people. Filipino s enjoy both civil and religious freedom guaranteed in the Consti o What is guaranteed by our Constitution is religious liberty, not merely religious toleration.

Religious Freedom:  Religious Freedom as a constitutional mandate is not inhibition of profound reverence for religion and is not a denial of its influence in human affairs. o Imploring the aid of Divine Providence, in order to establish a gov t that shall embody their ideals in the preamble of the Constitution.  General Concessions indiscriminately accorded to religious sects: o Tax exemptions properties devoted exclusively to religious purposes o Sectarian aid is not prohibited when a priest, preacher, etc. is assigned to the armed forces, penal institution, orphanage or leprosarium. o Optional religious instruction in public schools is allowed by constitutional mandate, etc.

PRESENT CASE:  Act No. 4052, from which draws authority to issue and sell the stamps contemplates no religious purpose, but gives the Director of the Posts the discretionary power to determine when the issuance of special postage stamps would be advantageous to the Government.  The present case was not inspired by any sectarian feeling to favor a particular religious denomination. o The stamps were not issued for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church, nor were money derived from the sale of the stamps given to the church. o Purpose of the stamps was to advertise the Philippines and attract more tourists to the country officials took advantage of an internationally important event to give publicity to the Philippines and its people.  The stamp as actually printed instead of showing a Catholic Church chalice as originally planned, contains a map of the Philippines and the location of the City of Manila with the inscription Seat XXXIII International Eucharistic Congress, Feb. 3-7, 1937. y What is emphasized is not the Congress but Manila, the capital of the Philippines, as the seat of that congress. o The propaganda resulting from the issuance and sale of the staff might redound to the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church but this was not the intention and is only incidental to the original purpose.  We are of the opinion that the Government should not be embarrassed in its activities simply because of incidental results, more or less religious in character, if the purpose had in view is one which could legitimately be undertaken by appropriate legislation. o There may have been poor judgment in issuing and selling the stamp but a gap still exists between that and the unconstitutionality of the issuance and sale which was not filled by the petitioner. 4. GARCES vs ESTENZO FACTS: 1. On March 23, 1976, the said barangay council adopted Resolution No. 5, "reviving the traditional socio-religious celebration" every fifth day of April "of the feast day of Seor San Vicente Ferrer, the patron saint of Valencia". lt provided for (1) the acquisition of the image of San Vicente Ferrer and (2) the construction of a waiting shed as the barangay's projects. Funds for the two projects would be obtained through the selling of tickets and cash donations "

2. On March 26, 1976, the barangay council passed Resolution No. 6 which specified that, in accordance with the practice in Eastern Leyte, Councilman Tomas Cabatingan, the Chairman or hermano mayor of the fiesta, would be the caretaker of the image of San Vicente Ferrer and that the image would remain in his residence for one year and until the election of his successor as chairman of the next feast day. It was further provided in the resolution that the image would be made available to the Catholic parish church during the celebration of the saint's feast day. It was ratified in a plebiscite. 3. Funds were raised by means of solicitations and cash donations of the barangay residents and those of the neighboring places of Valencia. With those funds, the waiting shed was constructed and the wooden image of San Vicente Ferrer was acquired in Cebu City by the barangay council for four hundred pesos 4. On April 5, 1976, the image was temporarily placed in the altar of the Catholic church of Barangay Valencia so that the devotees could worship the saint during the mass for the fiesta. A controversy arose after the mass when the parish priest, Father Sergio Marilao Osmea refused to return that image to the barangay council on the pretext that it was the property of the church because church funds were used for its acquisition. 5. Several days after the fiesta or on April 11, 1976, on the occasion of his sermon during a mass, Father Osmea allegedly uttered defamatory remarks against the barangay captain, Manuel C. Veloso, apparently in connection with the disputed image. That incident provoked Veloso to file against Father Osmea in the city court of Ormoc City a charge for grave oral defamation. 6. Father Osmea retaliated by filing administrative complaints against Veloso with the city mayor's office and the Department of Local Government and Community Development on the grounds of immorality, grave abuse of authority, acts unbecoming a public official and ignorance of the law. 7. Meanwhile, the image of San Vicente Ferrer remained in the Catholic church of Valencia. Because Father Osmea did not accede to the request of Cabatingan to have custody of the image and "maliciously ignored" the council's Resolution No. 6, the council enacted on May 12, 1976 Resolution No. 10, authorizing the hiring of a lawyer to file a replevin case against Father Osmea for the recovery of the image 8. The replevin case was filed in the city court of Ormoc City against Father Osmea and Bishop Cipriano Urgel. After the barangay council had posted a cash bond of eight hundred pesos, Father Osmea turned over the image to the council ln his answer to the complaint for replevin, he assailed the constitutionality of the said resolutions. 9. Later, he and three other persons, Andres Garces, a member of the Aglipayan Church, and two Catholic laymen, Jesus Edullantes and Nicetas Dagar, filed against the barangay council and its members (excluding two members) a complaint in the Court of First Instance at Ormoc City, praying for the annulment of the said resolutions (Their main argument was it prejudiced members of the Catholic Church because they could see the image in the church only once a year or during the fiesta. <Labo dud!> ) 10. Lower Court dismissed the complaints. ISSUES 1) WON that the barangay council was not duly constituted because lsidoro M. Maago, Jr., the chairman of the kabataang barangay, was not allowed to participate in its sessions? NO RATIO In this case, Maago, the barangay youth chairman, was notified of the sessions of the barangay council to be held on March 23 and 26, 1976 but he was not able to attend those sessions because he was working with a construction company based at Ipil, Ormoc City. Maago's absence from the sessions of the barangay council did not render the said resolutions void. There was a quorum when the said resolutions were passed. 2) WON the resolutions contravene the constitutional provisions that "no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion" and that "no public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, paid, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such. except when such priest, preacher, minister, or

dignitary is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium? (haba, hehe) NO Ratio The wooden image was purchased in connection with the celebration of the barrio fiesta honoring the patron saint, San Vicente Ferrer, and not for the purpose of favoring any religion nor interfering with religious matters or the religious beliefs of the barrio residents. One of the highlights of the fiesta was the mass. Consequently, the image of the patron saint had to be placed in the church when the mass was celebrated. If there is nothing unconstitutional or illegal in holding a fiesta and having a patron saint for the barrio, then any activity intended to facilitate the worship of the patron saint (such as the acquisition and display of his image) cannot be branded as illegal. The barangay council designated a layman as the custodian of the wooden image in order to forestall any suspicion that it is favoring the Catholic church. A more practical reason for that arrangement would be that the image, if placed in a layman's custody, could easily be made available to any family desiring to borrow the image in connection with prayers and novenas. This case is a petty quarrel over the custody of a saint's image. lt would never have 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 to determine who should have custody thereof. If it chooses to change its mind and decides to give the image to the Catholic church, that action would not violate the Constitution because the image was acquired with private funds and is its private property. The council has the right to take measures to recover possession of the image by enacting Resolutions Nos. 10 and 12. Not every governmental 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. (Lower Court s decision affirmed)