Aglipay v. Ruiz, 64 Phil 201 (1937)
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.
Whether or Not there was a violation of the freedom to religion.
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.