1. Pagkamakabayan, I Will Show Respect to My Country and to Its People. I Will Give Honor and Respect to the Flag and Keep the Values of a True Filipino. Pagkakalikasan, I Will Help the Environment to Preserve Its

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  • Topic: Religion, Law, Teacher
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  • Published : July 14, 2012
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exemption from the flag ceremony, not exclusion from the public schools where they may study the Constitution, the democratic way of life and form of government, and learn not only the arts, science, Philippine history and culture but also receive training for a vocation or profession and be taught the virtues of "patriotism, respect for human rights, appreciation for national heroes, the rights and duties of citizenship, and moral and spiritual values. Forcing a small religious group, through the iron hand of the law, to participate in a ceremony that violates their religious beliefs, will hardly be condusive to love of country or respect for duly constituted authorities. The expulsion of members of Jehovah's Witnesses from the schools where they are enrolled will violate their right as Philippine citizens, under the 1987 Constitution, to receive free education, for it is the duty of the State to "protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education and to make such education accessible to all. While the highest regard must be afforded their right to the exercise of their religion, "this should not be taken to mean that school authorities are powerless to discipline them" if they should commit breaches of the peace by actions that offend the sensibilities, both religious and patriotic, of other persons. If they quietly stand at attention during the flag ceremony while their classmates and teachers salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the patriotic pledge, we do not see how such conduct may possibly disturb the peace, or pose "a grave and present danger of a serious evil to public safety, public morals, public health or any other legitimate public interest that the State has a right. The petition for certiorari and prohibition is GRANTED. The expulsion orders issued by the public respondents against the petitioners are hereby ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE.
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