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(case no.

462)

VICTORIANO v. ELIZALDE
GR Number L-25246
September 12, 1974
Art. III
FACTS:
Petitioner is a member of the religious sect known as the Iglesia ni Cristo. He was
employed by Elizalde Rope Factory and as an employee, he was a member of the companys
union. In the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the company and the union, there was a
closed shop provision which stated that membership in the union is a required condition of
employment for all permanent workers covered by the agreement.
Under Section 4(a), paragraph 4 of RA 875, employer was not precluded from making an
agreement to require as a condition of employment membership in the union. It was amended by
RA 3350 introducing an amendment that such agreement shall not cover members of religious
sects prohibiting affiliation of their members in such labor organization.
Being a member of a religious sect prohibiting affiliation, petitioner presented his
resignation to the union but there was no action taken. Petitioner was advised that unless he
could achieve a satisfactory arrangement with the union, the company would be constrained to
dismiss him. This prompted the Company to file an action for injunction. RTC issued a judgment
enjoining the company from dismissing the plaintiff.
Hence, the appeal by the Union.
ISSUE:
Whether Republic Act 3350 is constitutional.
HELD:
Yes. Both the Constitution and RA 875 recognize the freedom of association. It is clear
that the right to join a union includes the right to abstain from joining any union. The
exception provided by the amendment is that members of religious sects cannot be compelled
or coerced to join labor unions even when said unions have closed shop agreements with
employers. It leaves to the members the liberty to affiliate.
The Constitutional provision only prohibits legislation for the support of any religious
tenets or the modes of worship of any sect. It also assures the free exercise of ones chosen form
of religion. Any legislation whose effect or purpose is to impede the observance of one or all
religions, or to discriminate invidiously between religions is invalid.
The purpose of RA 3350 is secular, worldly, and temporal and not spiritual or
religious or holy and eternal. It was intended to serve a secular purpose of advancing the
constitutional right to the free exercise of religion. The primary effects of the exemption from
closed shop agreements is the protection against the aggregate force of the CBA and relieving
certain citizens of a burden on their religious belief.

Prepared by: Cecille Diane DJ. Mangaser