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AGLIPAY Vs.

RUIZ
G.R. No. L-45459

March 13, 1937

FACTS: The petitioner, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent Church,
seeks the issuance from this court of a writ of prohibition to prevent the respondent Director of Posts from
issuing and selling postage stamps commemorative of the Thirty-third International Eucharistic Congress.
In May, 1936, the Director of Posts announced in the dailies of Manila that he would order the issues of
postage stamps commemorating the celebration in the City of Manila of the Thirty-third international
Eucharistic Congress, organized by the Roman Catholic Church. The petitioner, 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
respondent publicly announced having sent to the United States the designs of the postage stamps for
printing
ISSUE : WON the selling of stamps in commemorating the Thirty-third International Eucharistic Congress.
constitutional
HELD: YES .The stamps were not issue and sold for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church. Nor were
money derived from the sale of the stamps given to that church. On the contrary, it appears from the latter
of the Director of Posts of June 5, 1936, incorporated on page 2 of the petitioner's complaint, that the only
purpose in issuing and selling the stamps was "to advertise the Philippines and attract more tourist to this
country." The officials concerned merely, took advantage of an event considered of international
importance "to give publicity to the Philippines and its people

Political Law Religious Freedom


The 33 Intl Eucharistic Congress organized by the Roman Catholic Church took place sometime in
1936. In commemoration thereof, Ruiz the then Director of Posts initiated the production of stamps
which would have in their center a chalice, with grape and stalks of wheat as border design.
Eventually, the stamps were produced and some were sold pursuant to Act No. 4052, which
provides for appropriation. Aglipay then appealed for the prohibition of the sale of such stamps.
Aglipay contends that the selling of stamps commemorative to a particular religious event is in
violation of Sec 13, Art 6 of the Philippine Constitution which prohibits the appropriation or usage of
public money for the use or benefit of any church or denomination among others.
ISSUE: Is the sale of the stamps in support of a particular sect hence unconstitutional?
HELD: The sale of stamps is not in violation of the Constitution. In fact, what was emphasized on the
stamps was not the religious event itself but rather the City of Manila as being the seat of such
event. Act No. 4052 on the other hand did not appropriate any public money to a religious event. It
merely said that the director of posts may use such fund in a manner as often as may be deemed
advantageous to the government. It is duly noted however that the elevating influence of religion is
recognized here as elsewhere. Evidence would be our preamble where we implored the aid of divine
providence to establish an ideal government. Religious freedom as a constitutional mandate is not
an inhibition of profound reverence to religion.
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