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ALEJANDRO ESTRADA,

petitioner v. SOLEDAD S.
ESCRITOR, respondent
FACTS:
• Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of Las Pinas City.
• She has been living with Quilapio, a man who is not her husband, for
more than twenty five years and had a son with him as well.
• Respondent’s husband died a year before she entered into the
judiciary while Quilapio is still legally married to another woman.
• Complainant Estrada requested the Judge of said RTC to investigate
respondent. According to him, respondent should not be allowed to
remain employed therein for it will appear as if the court allows such
act.
• Respondent claims that their conjugal arrangement is permitted by
her religion—the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower and the
Bible Trace Society. They allegedly have a ‘Declaration of Pledging
Faithfulness’ under the approval of their congregation. Such a
declaration is effective when legal impediments render it impossible
for a couple to legalize their union.
ISSUE:

Whether or not the State could penalize respondent for


such conjugal arrangement.
HELD:

No. The State could not penalize respondent for she is


exercising her right to freedom of religion. The conjugal
arrangement cannot be penalized for it constitutes an
exemption to the law based on her right to freedom of
religion.