CA: Gov't fund used in printing of 1M INC's Centennial commemorative stamps constitutional

September 1, 2015 5:14 am 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo

MANILA, Aug. 31 (PNA) — The Court of Appeals (CA) has ruled that the use of government fund in the printing of 1 million commemorative stamps for the Centennial Anniversary of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is constitutional.

In a 10-page ruling written by Associate Justice Remedios Salazar-Fernando, the CA's Second Division dismissed the taxpayer's petition filed by Renato Peralta against the July 25, 2014 decision of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC).

The Manila RTC earlier dismissed the petition filed by Peralta, which asked the Court to stop the Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) in paying the cost of the said commemorative stamps and also stop the distribution of the same.

In his petition, Peralta argued that the use of government fund for the said commemorative stamps was a free advertisement for the INC using the taxpayers' money.

He further argued that the printing of the said commemorative stamps violates Section 29-2 of Article 6 of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits the use of government fund to support a religious group.

He claimed that the PhilPost has printed 1.2 million commemorative stamps, however, under the contract with the INC, only 50,000 stamps should have been printed.

However, the CA ruled that what the Constitution prohibits is the grant of assistance to a religious institution and not entering into a contract where the State will also benefit from it.

The CA further ruled that the printing of the said commemorative stamps is not considered as an assistance to the INC such that the government will also gain profit from the sale of the same. (PNA)

RMA/PTR

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