Aglipay vs. Ruiz
[64 PHIL 201; G.R. NO. 45459; 13 MAR 1937]
In May 1936, the Director of Posts announced in the dailies of Manila that he would order the issuance of postage stamps commemorating the celebration in the City of Manila of the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress, organized by the Roman Catholic Church. The petitioner, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent Church, in the fulfillment of what he considers to be a civic duty, requested Vicente Sotto, Esq., member of the Philippine Bar, to denounce the matter to the President of the Philippines. In spite of the protest of the petitioner’s attorney, the Director of Posts publicly announced having sent to the United States the designs of the postage for printing. The said stamps were actually issued and sold though the greater part thereof remained unsold. The further sale of the stamps was sought to be prevented by the petitioner. II. Issue
Whether or not the respondent violated the Constitution in issuing and selling postage stamps commemorative of the Thirty-third International Eucharistic Congress III. Ruling
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...
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