Hence it was grave violation of the non establishment

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policy of neutrality. Hence, it was grave violation of the non-establishment clause for the Comelec to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang Ladlad . Rather than relying on religious belief, the legitimacy of the Assailed Resolutions should depend, instead, on whether the Comelec is able to advance some justification for its rulings beyond mere conformity to religious doctrine. A law could be religious or Kantian or Aquinian or utilitarian in its deepest roots, but it must have an articulable and discernible secular purpose and justification to pass scrutiny of the religion clauses. Recognizing the religious nature of the Filipinos and the elevating influence of religion in society, however, the Philippine constitution's religion clauses prescribe not a strict but a benevolent neutrality. Benevolent neutrality recognizes that government must pursue its secular goals and interests but at the same time strive to uphold religious liberty to the greatest extent possible within flexible constitutional limits. Thus, although the morality contemplated by laws is secular, benevolent neutrality could allow for accommodation of morality based on religion, provided it does not offend compelling state interests. LIBERTY OF ABODE AND FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES-OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE IGNACIO B. MACARINE, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, GEN. LUNA, SURIGAO DEL NORTE A.M. No. MTJ-10-1770, July 18, 2012, J. Brion OCA Circular No. 49-2003 does not restrict but merely regulates, by providing guidelines to be complied by judges and court personnel, before they can go on leave to travel abroad. 99 | P a g e
Political Law Review Facts: OCA Circular No. 49-2003 requires that all foreign travels of judges and court personnel, regardless of the number of days, must be with prior permission from the Cuurt. A travel authority must be secured from the OCA. The complete requirements should be submitted to and received by the OCA at least two weeks before the intended time of travel. Judges and personnel who shall leave the country without travel authority issued by the OCA shall be subject to disciplinary action. Judge Macarine wrote the Court Administrator requesting for authority to travel to Hongkong with his family for the period of September 10 - 14, 2009 where he would celebrate his 65 th birthday. He stated that his travel abroad shall be charged to his annual forced leave. However, he did not submit the corresponding application for leave. For his failure to submit the complete requirements, his request for authority to travel remained unacted upon. He proceeded with his travel abroad without the required travel authority from the OCA. He was then informed by the OCA that his leave of absence for the period of September 9-15, 2009 had been disapproved and his travel considered unauthorized by the Court. His absences shall not be deducted from his leave credits but from his salary corresponding to the seven (7) days that he was absent, pursuant to Section 50 of the Omnibus Rules on Leave.

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