(Question XIV, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)
To fulfill a campaign promise to the poor folk in a far-flung area in Mindanao, the President requested his friend, Pastor Roy, to devote his ministry to them. The President would pay Pastor Roy a monthly stipend of ₱50,000.00 from his discretionary fund, and would also erect a modest house of worship in the locality in an area of the latter’s choice.
Does the President thereby violate any provisions of the Constitution? Explain your answer. (3%)
Under the 1987 Constitution, no public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher, or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium. Rule
In the case at bar, the President used public funds from his discretionary funds to support the ministry of Pastor Roy via the monthly stipend and construction of a modest house of worship. Apply
Thus, the President violated the Constitutional prohibition against using public funds for the use, benefit, or support of a religion. Conclusion
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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