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Does contract between Baguio City and The Way to Happiness Philippines violate the Constitution?

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by COS and NOI News, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Claim that contract between Baguio City and the Scientology-linked The Way to Happiness Philippines Foundation Inc. is in violation of the Constitution.

    Baguio City gov’t in constitutional controversy

    https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2020/01/05/baguio-city-govt-in-constitutional-controversy/

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Published 22 hours ago on January 5, 2020 12:20 AM

    By Victor Avecilla

    There’s a legal controversy in Baguio, and it involves the separation of Church and State as mandated by the Constitution.

    Under Section 29 (2), Article VI of the 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….”

    Last month, the Baguio-Benguet Ecumenical Group (BBEG) revealed that the Baguio City government headed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong will pay P4 million in public funds for a so-called leadership and values training course being given to city government employees by the Way to Happiness Philippines Foundation Inc.

    The BBEG asserts that the foundation has very close ties to the late L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, a controversial religion established in the United States in the 1950s.

    [SNIP]

    The BBEG told the Baguio City Council that employing a religious organization like the Way to Happiness Philippines Foundation Inc. to do what is essentially government work violates the constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State cited above.

    One foundation official claims its members are not Scientologists, and are volunteers from various faiths who use Hubbard’s book as an inspiration for a moral, value-centered lifestyle.

    Mayor Magalong sided with the foundation. Although he opined that the training provided by the foundation is not anchored on religion, he did not explain the reason for his statement.

    From all available indications, the Way to Happiness Philippines Foundation Inc. appears to be engaged in a religious activity, akin to the promotion of the religion called Scientology.

    Its title alone is a giveaway. Naming the foundation after a cornerstone book used by an established international religion strongly suggests a link between the foundation and that religion.'

    Since the Way to Happiness Philippines Foundation Inc. has the badges of a religious organization, the P4 million deal between it and the Baguio City government invites a taxpayer class suit, an anti-graft case even, for violating the separation of Church and State clause of the Constitution.

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