Talk:Freedom of religion in the Philippines

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Revision of cites/footnotes/references[edit]

Around 15 August, I started reorganizing the footnotes using <ref> templates. I quickly ran into problems matching up citations in the article to footnotes. After leaving the reorganization partially done for a week or so, I went ahead and completed it using my best guess at which cites went with what footnotes. I have no doubt mismatched some of these, but I have also gotten most of the grunt work done. With the grunt work out of the way, correcting my mismatches should be easy for someone who is familiar with the reference material. I {{Cite-needed}} flagged one point where I could not match up a cite with any of the footnotes. I have left one footnote for which I could identify no references in the References section standing alone at the end of the footnotes list. -- Boracay Bill 03:28, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Edits prior to 03:28, 21 August 2006 (UTC) follow[edit]

I note that this page simply redirects to the page on the RP Constitution. I looked at that page, and it did not seem appropriate to add information there specifically expanding on this particular area. Perhaps there should be a page on this here, and this page and the RP Constitution page should cross-refence one another. I don't propose to write and maintain such a page myself, but I think it would be useful to give the following information wider visibility.

The RP Supreme Court has just decided a landmark case bearing on Judicial responsibilities in cases of conflict between secular laws and freedom of religious expression.

The following is my understanding of the import of RP SC Resulution No. P-02-1651, June 22, 2006. The following consists of sections and phrases requoted from the resolution, but I have edited it fairly severely in order to make it more concise. I don't think that my edits distort the thrust of the resolution.


The right to free exercise of religion is a fundamental right that enjoys a preferred position in the hierarchy of rights — “the most inalienable and sacred of human rights."

In the area of religious liberty, it is basic that it is not sufficient to merely show a rational relationship of the substantial infringement to the religious right and a colorable state interest. If the plaintiff can show that a law or government practice inhibits the free exercise of his religious beliefs, the burden shifts to the government to demonstrate that the law or practice is necessary to the accomplishment of some important (or ‘compelling’) secular objective and that it is the least restrictive means of achieving that objective. The government must do more than assert the objectives at risk if exemption is given; it must precisely show how and to what extent those objectives will be undermined if exemptions are granted.

If the plaintiff meets this burden and the government does not, the plaintiff is entitled to exemption from the law or practice at issue. In order to be protected, the claimant’s beliefs must be ‘sincere’, but they need not necessarily be consistent, coherent, clearly articulated, or congruent with those of the claimant’s religious denomination. ‘Only beliefs rooted in religion are protected by the Free Exercise Clause’; secular beliefs, however sincere and conscientious, do not suffice.

The Court explained this process in detail, by showing the questions which must be answered in each step, viz:

…First, “[H]as the statute or government action created a burden on the free exercise of religion?” The courts often look into the sincerity of the religious belief, but without inquiring into the truth of the belief because the Free Exercise Clause prohibits inquiring about its truth as held in Ballard and Cantwell. The sincerity of the claimant’s belief is ascertained to avoid the mere claim of religious beliefs to escape a mandatory regulation. xxx

           xxx                   xxx                   xxx

Second, the court asks: “[I]s there a sufficiently compelling state interest to justify this infringement of religious liberty?” In this step, the government has to establish that its purposes are legitimate for the state and that they are compelling. Government must do more than assert the objectives at risk if exemption is given; it must precisely show how and to what extent those objectives will be undermined if exemptions are granted. xxx

           xxx                   xxx                   xxx
           Third, the court asks: “[H]as the state in achieving its legitimate purposes used the least intrusive means possible so that the free exercise is not infringed any more than necessary to achieve the legitimate goal of the state?”  The analysis requires the state to show that the means in which it is achieving its legitimate state objective is the least intrusive means, i.e., it has chosen a way to achieve its legitimate state end that imposes as little as possible on religious liberties xxx.

See the full text of the Resolution online at

See more detailed background explained information in a more verbose prior ruling in this case at

Separation of church and state in the Philippines[edit]

I hope this will be a good reference(?)--Jondel 05:10, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that reference. I have added info regarding the SC decision discussed above to that page and pointed the redirect for this page to that one instead of to the RP Constitution page. -- Boracay Bill 03:41, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Adding SC decision was great, so made it the lead section. ;) Merged the content of the two articles into this article. Try to fix the other sections soon. :)--Noypi380 04:08, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Placed a globalize tag. Article sounds like it expects the reader to be knowledgable of local events. Constant use of the term "separation of church and state", (should not be applied any more after post-spanish times) makes it outdated and archaic in a secular country with a large muslim minority. --Noypi380 14:15, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Removed tag for a while, boracay bill finished the references section, pending corrections. :) --Noypi380 07:25, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Are you sure about this article name change? Really?[edit]

I am not in favour of this name change at all (even after the fact). "Separation of Church and State" is a clear, historic and easily referenced title. We're not far from the Cardinal Sin led charge on the Marcos government. The Arroyo government is constantly defending the (wait for it....) "separation of church and state" (look at the current disputes on birth control? Look at Filipino newspapers) The new article name looks waffly and politically correct, and I do not support the change made. Most scholarly work refers to "separation of Church and State" as an internationally debated issue. Where was the reasoning for this apparently retrograde change? I see Noypi380 giving a politically correct reason, but frankly, this doesn't make sense to me. It's idiosyncratic from my point of view- or please- show me credible references where I can read up on this to see reasons for your point of view. In national media, we contstantly refer to "separation of church and state"; and "Status of religious freedom" does not refer to what we are talking about. This new title (which I do not support) is more relevant for China or Iran....Cor Unum 09:55, 29 October 2006 (UTC) Cor Unum 09:55, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes there are discussions of SOC&S in the Philippines, but this is an international collaborative encyclopedia project, and other cultures must be able to understand and edit the text too, not just Filipinos in the Philippines. The title today is made to satisfy the following. First, it satifies wikipedia's neutrality policy for the sake of the Filipino Muslims. (a contributor mentioned that, see history page, that SOC&S is biased for Christians) Second, it satisfies Wikipedia's effort to write articles that have a worldwide view, so that an international audience may understand the article better, and even edit it themselves. The Iranians and Chinese you mentioned can edit too and the title is easier for them to understand. (I'm sorry to say that there is a systemic bias caused by Filipino contributors for Philippine related articles, but that is slowly eroding thanks to contributors writing from abroad) Finally, this article joins the magnificent Freedom of Religion series of articles. I doubt that you saw that. :) --Noypi380 15:12, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


Read you response. Exactly, the name change is politically correct as you explain, and worse, has weakened the article beacaue it won't be found. The article rename is simple woeful and will ensure it doesn't get many hits. But if that is what is desired, at least people looking for sensible information on the status of "separation fo church and state" in the Philippines won't look at (and certainly won't be able to find by specific search) the article bizarrely called "religious Freedom" on wiki. I'm not sure this is what you want? In my opinion, this is the effect this renaming will have. You entirely miss my point about China and Iran as contrasts. These are areas where the title the article now has (actually the same as their own State ideologies) is really comic to specialists who know anything about their constitutions which guarantee "freedom of religion" (not). By the way, you imply I am Philippino, and you are not correct. While I largely agree with your judgment on the tendency to bias in Philippino articles, you are wrong about where I come from. I have visited the Philippines, but am an Australian of Causasian background. My speciifc academic qualifications are in Theology and Philosophy, my work is the secular [Australian Broadcasting Corporation] as a religion specialist. This name change for the article is retrograde. My point is that people OUTSIDE the Philippines will not look at this article because its new name makes no proper sense. It is not relevant to international understandings of the debate about what is generally known as "separation of church and state". This is what Americans, Australians, the British, Canadians, Indians, the Irish (just in the English speaking world) call it. The equivalent stands in other European languages as well. I really think you should reconsider this. The point is not to make the article obscure and hard to find after being politically correct so as to avoid offending a muslim minority by using the word "church". They have heard it before. Really, they have. They don't need to be patronised. If you really HAVE TO - call the article "separation of Religion and State" - but even that will not be very searchable online. "Separation of church and State" is the sensible and historic title- particularly in nations like the Philippines where there is a Christian majority.

The constitution of the Philippines guarantees Freedom of religion clearly. Did you also see the infobox in the bottom of the article? :) --Noypi380 13:50, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
FYI, if an article is renamed, the original name doesn't get deleted, it redirects here, and it shows up in searches. Question though, how do other countries name their religion freedom articles? --Howard the Duck 15:39, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
From some googling, it looks to me as if "Status of religious freedom in ..." is favored. See [1],[2], [3], etc. -- Boracay Bill 04:26, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh, given that, I reverted the article back to the one with a history section minus the NPOV dispute tag. If anyone has POV issues, just neutralize the wording of the text straight at once, for obvious reasons.:) --Noypi380 12:42, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Disputed NPOV[edit]

Interesting you should point out the NPOV link. Further to my comments above, I have now read the article more carefully, and frankly it is as far from a neutral point of view as it could be without being downright silly (which it is not). The article is full of anti-Church views which are not based in fact and are unbalanced. I mean really, the references to Urdaneta are shamefully distorted. He wasn't just a priest- he was one of the worlds' great navigators, and the article merely refers to him as if he was there to subjugate the natives. Talk about black-armband history!

I think I am starting to understand where this set of views has been coming from. If one already disvalues the "church", then removal of its very name is a sensible course of action, but it is nevertheles partisan. I am interested to know if the laws of the Philippines actually ever refer to "Status of religious freedom in the Philippines" as contrasted with "separation of church and state".

Cor Unum 11:19, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with all your unfounded, false claims and other comments about me 100%, but I have no interest in responding to you anymore. Is it really necessary for you to raid my talk page too? Be bold and edit articles! BTW the article includes the Filipino Muslims, who are entitled to have their data and POV accomodated and added in the article, irregardless of the Christian majority. :) --Noypi380 13:16, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Removed POV tag, and removed the history section that sounds "anti-church". Now with a blank slate, I think you can write now an NPOV history section on how the Freedom of religion was gained in the Philippines. And if I have the time, I will help you build that section. Happy editing! :) --Noypi380 14:13, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Notice that in the U.S. constitution, "separation of church and state" wasn't directly said while in the Philippine consti, it is clearly said. This was first mentioned in 1899 Malolos:
"Title III, Article 5.: Article 5. The State recognizes the freedom and equality of all religions, as well as the separation of the Church and the State."
--Howard the Duck 15:37, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
My long history as a usenet poster drives me to comment here, though I hope not to fan the flames too much. Art II Sec. 6 of the current (since 1987) constitution says: "The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable." This is largely misunderstood in the Phils as barring the Church ("Church" usually read as "Catholic Church" in the RP) from involving itself in RP politics instead of (the correct reading) barring the State from involving itself in religion.
Thanks for your comment, I agree with what you said, but that is not entirely true. Filipinos do know that separation of church and state does not refer to only one particular religious denomination, for example the Catholic Church. One of the reasons why Religious freedom was used is the existance of a minority POV that refuses the name "church" (some Muslims still refuse the term). Whether they know the history of the principle or not is besides the point. If that minority POV is allergic to "church", it is not for the article title to impose, rather the article title should also reflect the minority views who refuse to use "chuch" for their own reasons. Religious freedom is most neutral in POV accomodating all the groups who refer to the same thing. :) --Noypi380 12:31, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Edits. It's more neutral for sure. Pls edit it yourselves if you wanna neutralize the article so more :) --Noypi380 14:42, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Regarding this article's mention of Urdaneta, I see that this mention is footnoted with a reference to Agoncillo's History of the Filipino People as a supporting source. I happen to have that book, and see that page 74 does indeed mention that Urdaneta (named there as "Fr. Andres de Urdaneta") was Legaspi's chief pilot, and page 75 does indeed present the quote "En cada fraile tenia el rey en Filipinas un capitan general y un erércity entero" (translated there as "in each friar in the Philippines, they had a captain and a whole army"). The point regarding urdaneta in the cited work, and in relation to the topic of this article, was his status as a friar rather than his status as a navigator (at least that is how I take it). -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:46, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Why does "separation of Church and state in the Philippines" redirect here?[edit]

Freedom of religion and separation of Church and state are two different things. Freedom of religion does not depend on the separation of Church and state. Some countries grant religious freedom without being separated from the Church.

Is religious freedom and separation of Church and state linked together in this article because the US does not recognizes a state Church and can not imagine an alternative model of religious freedom? If yes then this article is not written from a NPOV.

Isidoros47 (talk) 21:39, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

According to the article history for the the Separation of Church and state in the Philippines article, the content of that article was merged with this one a couple of years ago and that previously-existing article was redirected here at that time. Perhaps someone should work on replacing the redirect with a NPOV article on the topic of Separation of Church and state in the Philippines (as distinct from the topic of Religious freedom in the Philippines).
As a matter of interest, Article II, Section 6 of the Constitution of the Philippines provides: "The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.", and Article III, Section 5provides: "No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights." (see here) -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:27, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

There is no separation of church and state in the Philippines.[edit]

Look at the Papal Nuncio being prominent in the Presidential palace, why is there a Catholic chapel inside the presidential palace. Why other religions beside Roman Catholicism need to be registered to the government's SEC while religious groups like El Saddai of Mr. Velarde is not registered because it was Catholic. The Philippines is a country enslaved by this foreign religion slandering hijacking the constitution.Bold text —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 3 July 2009 (UTC)