American Bible Society vs. City of Manila (Religious Freedom)

August 17, 2018 | Author: Earl Larroder | Category: Fee, Taxes, License, Free Exercise Clause, Corporations
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American Bible Society vs. City of Manila (Religious Freedom)...


American Bible Society vs. City of Manila merican Bible Bible Society Society is a foreig foreign, n, non-st non-stock ock,, non-pro non-profit fit,, religi religious ous,, missi missiona onary ry FACTS: ACTS: American corporation corporation duly registered registered and doing business in the Philippines Philippines through through its Philippine Philippine agency established in Manila in ovember, !"#". Amer Americ ican an Bibl Biblee Soci Societ ety y has has been been dist distri ribu buti ting ng and sell sellin ing g bibl bibles es and$o and$orr gospel gospel porti portion onss throughout the Philippines and translating the same into several Philippine dialect City City %reas %reasure urerr of Manila Manila inform informed ed Ameri American can Bible Bible Societ Society y that that it &as violat violating ing severa severall 'rdina 'rdinances nces for operati operating ng &ithout &ithout the necess necessary ary permi permitt and licens license, e, thereb thereby y re(uir re(uiring ing the corporation to secure the permit and license fees. %o avoid closing of its business, American Bible Society paid the City of Manila its permit and license license fees under protest. protest. American American Bible filed a complaint, complaint, (uestioning (uestioning the constitut constitutionali ionality ty and legality of the 'rdinances )*)# and +, and prayed for a refund of the payment made to the City of Manila. %hey contended 1.) %hey had been in the Philippines since !"## and &ere not re(uired to pay any license fee or sales ta, 2.) it never made any profit from the sale of its  bibles

ISSUE: /' the city ta &ould impair petitioner0s free eercise and en1oyment of its religious

 profession2 constitut tution ional al guaran guaranty ty of the free free eerci eercise se and en1oym en1oyment ent of religi religious ous HELD HELD:: YES, ES, the consti  profession and &orship carries &ith it the right to disseminate religious information. Any restraints of such right can only be 1ustified like other restraints of freedom of epression on the grounds that there is a clear and present danger of any substantive evil &hich the State has the right to prevent. 3t may be true that in the case at bar the price asked for the bibles and other religious pamphlets &as in some instances a little bit higher than the actual cost of the same but this cannot mean that appellant &as engaged in the business or occupation of selling said 4merchandise4 for profit. 5or  this reason &e believe that the City of Manila 'rdinance o. )*)# re(uiring the payment of  license fee cannot be applied to appellant, for in doing so it &ould impair its free eercise and

en1oyment of its religious profession and &orship as &ell as its rights of dissemination of  religious beliefs. /ith respect to 'rdinance o. + &hich re(uires the obtention of the Mayor6s permit before any person can engage in any of the businesses, trades or occupations enumerated therein, /e do not find that it imposes any charge upon the en1oyment of a right granted by the Constitution, nor  ta the eercise of religious practices. But as the City of Manila is po&erless to license or ta the  business of plaintiff Society, /e find that 'rdinance o. + is also inapplicable to said  business, trade or occupation of the plaintiff.

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