The Yellow Wood: Diverging Roads on Mandatory Religious Exemption Regimes in the United States and the Philippines

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This Article traces the differences in the interpretations of the Free Exercise Clause (FEC) under the Philippine and United States (U.S.) Constitutions, highlighting the differences despite the fact that the former originated from the latter. The Author then provides a historical survey of U.S. and Philippine case law regarding the F.E.C. vis-à-vis mandatory religious exemption model, and goes on to establish the potential dilemmas and biases that Philippine courts may encounter in light of the U.S.’s history with the model. Finally, the Author criticizes some of the Supreme Court’s decisions on benevolent neutrality, lamenting the fact that the “religious nature of the Filipinos” has ultimately led Philippine jurisprudence down the wrong path.