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Aglipay v Ruiz

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, for the
purpose of avoiding the occasion wherein the state will use the church, or vice
versa, as a weapon to further their ends and aims. Respondent contends that such
issuance is in accordance to Act No. 4052, providing for the appropriation funds to
respondent for the production and issuance of postage stamps as would 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
religious toleration. It is however not an inhibition of profound reverence for religion
and is not a denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a profession of faith
to an active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator is 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 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 and the location 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, being the seat of that congress. This
was to to advertise the Philippines and attract more tourists, the officials merely
took advantage of an event considered of international importance. Although such
issuance and sale may be inseparably linked with the Roman Catholic Church, any
benefit and propaganda incidentally resulting from it was no the aim or purpose of
the Government.

Aglipay V 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.
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. 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. Filipinos enjoy both civil and religious freedom guaranteed in the Consti.
What is guaranteed by our Constitution is religious liberty, not merely religious toleration.