Constitutional Law Chapter VI – Freedom of Speech, Press, Expression, etc.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

CHAPTER VI – FREEDOM OF SPEECH, PRESS, EXPRESSION, etc.


Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for the redress of their grievances.

NOTE: Applicable provisions of the Human Security Act/Anti-Terrorism Law, Republic Act No. 9372, Approved on March 6, 2007 and effective on July 15, 2007 (This Law shall be automatically suspended one (1) month before and two (2) months after the holding of any election)

Section 26 provides that persons who have been charged with terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism—even if they have been granted bail because evidence of guilt is not strong—can be:

  • Detained under house arrest;
  • Restricted from traveling; and/or
  • Prohibited from using any cellular phones, computers, or other means of communications with people outside their residence.

1. Rule on criticisms against acts of public officers

Read:

1. Espuelas vs. People, 90 Phil. 524

2. US vs. Bustos, 37 Phil. 731 (A public official should not be  onion-skinned with reference to comments upon his official acts. The interest of the government and the society demands full discussion of public affairs)

3. P. vs. Perez, 45 Phil. 599

4. Mercado vs. CFI, 116 SCRA 93

2. Freedom of the press, in general

Read:

BAGUIO MIDLAND COURIER & CECILLE AFABLE VS. COURT OF APPEALS & RAMON LABO, JR., 444 SCRA 28 [November 25, 2004]

Freedom of Expression; the public has the right to be informed on the mental, moral and physical fitness of candidates for public office.

FACTS:

1.            In the January 3, 1988 issue of the Baguio Midland Courier (BMC),  Cecille Afable, the Editor-in-Chief, in her column “In and Out of Baguio”  made the following comments:

“Of all the candidates for Mayor of Baguio City), Labo has the most imponderables about him. People would ask: “can he read and write”? Why is he always talking about his Japanese father-in-law? Is he really a Japanes Senator or a barrio Kapitan? Is it true that he will send P18M aid to Baguio? Somebody wanted to put an advertisement of Labo in the Midland Courier but was refused because he has not yet paid his account of the last time he was a candidate for Congress. We will accept all advertisements for him if he pays his old account first.”

2.            In the same column, Cecille Afable wrote the following comments in her  January 10, 1988 column at the Courier:

“I heard that the ‘Dumpty in the Egg’ is campaigning for Cortes. Not fair. Some real doctors are also busy campaigning against Labo because he has not also paid their medical services with them. Since he is donating millions he should also settle his small debts like the reportedly insignificant amount of P27,000 only. If he wins, several teachers were signifying to resign and leave Baguio forever, and Pangasinan will be the franca-liqua of Baguio.”

3.            As a result of the above articles, Ramon Labor, Jr. filed a complaint for Damages  before the regional trial Court of Baguio City as he claimed said articles were libelous. He likewise filed a separate criminal complaint before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio but was dismissed;

4.            Labo claimed that the said articles were tainted with malice because he was allegedly described as “Dumpty in the Egg”  or one “who is a failure in his business” which is false because he is a very successful businessman or to mean “zero or a big lie”;  that he is a “balasubas” due to his alleged failure to pay his medical expenses;

The petitioners, however, were able to prove that Labo has an unpaid obligation to the Courier in the amount of P27,415.00  for the ads placed by his campaigners for the 1984 Batasang Pambansa elections;

The Regional Trial Court, Branch 6, Baguio City, in its Decision dated June 14, 1990 dismissed Labo’s complaint for damages on the ground that the article of petitioner Afable was privileged and constituted fair comment on matters of public interest as it dealt with the integrity, reputation and honesty of private respondent Labo who was a candidate for Mayor of Baguio City;

On January 7, 1992, the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC Decision and ordered the petitioners to pay Ramon Labo, Jr.  damages in the total amount of P350,000.00 after concluding that the “Dumpty in the Egg” refers to no one but Labo himself.

Hence, the Petition to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:

1.            Was Labo the “Dumpty in the Egg” described in the questioned article/

2.            Were the articles subject of the case libelous or privileged/

HELD:

1.            The Court of Appeals is wrong when it held that Labo is the “Dumpty in the Egg” in the questioned article. This is so because the article stated that “The Dumpty in the Egg is campaigning for Cortes”, another candidate for mayor and opponent of Labo himself. It is unbelievable that Labo campaigned for his opponent and against himself. Although such gracious attitude on the part of Labo would have been commendable, it is contrary to common human experience. As pointed out by the petitioners, had he done that, it is doubtful whether he could have won as City Mayor of Baguio in the 1988 elections, which he actually did. In line with the doctrine in BORJAL VS. CA, 310 SCRA 1, that ‘it is also not sufficient that the offended party recognized himself as the person attacked or defamed, but it must be shown that at least a 3rd person could identify him as the object of the libelous publication’, the case should be dismissed since Labo utterly failed to dispose of this responsibility.

2.            Labo claims that the petitioners could not invoke “public interest” to justify the publication since he was not yet a public official at that time. This argument is without merit since he was already a candidate for City mayor of Baguio. As such, the article is still within the mantle of protection guaranteed by the freedom of expression provided in the Constitution since it is the public’s right to be informed of the mental, moral and physical fitness of candidates for public office. This was recognized as early as the case of US VS. SEDANO, 14 Phil. 338 [1909] and the case of NEW YORK TIMES VS. SULLIVAN, 376 U.S. 254 where the US Supreme Court held:

“…it is of the utmost consequence that the people should discuss the character and qualifications of candidates for their suffrages. The importance to the State and to society of such discussions is so vast, and the advantages derived so great, that they more than counterbalance the inconvenience of private persons whose conduct may be involved, and occasional injury to the reputations of individuals must yield to the public welfare, although at times such injury may be great. The public benefit from publicity is so great and the chance of injury to private character so small, that such discussion must be privileged. “

Clearly, the questioned articles constitute fair comment on a matter of public interest as it dealt with the character of the private respondent who was running for the top elective post in Baguio City at that time.

            2. PABLITO V. SANIDAD VS. COMELEC,

   G.R. NO. 90878, January 29, 1990

 

Freedom of expression and of the press

(Note: Unanimous en banc decision)

Medialdea, J.

 

Facts:

1. On October 23, 1989, RA 6766, entitled “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR AN ORGANIC ACT FOR THE CORDILLERA AUTONOMOUS REGION” was enacted into law;

2. Pursuant to said law, the City of Baguio and Provinces of Benguet, Abra, Mt. Province, Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao, all comprising the autonomous region shall take part in a plebiscite originally scheduled for December 27, 1989 but was reset to January 30, 1990 specifically for the ratification or rejection of the said act;

3. By virtue of the 1987 Constitution and the Omnibus Election Code (BP 881), the Comelec issued Comelec Resolution No. 2167, Section 19 of which provides:

“Section 19. Prohibition on columnist, commentators or announcers.- During the plebiscite campaign period, on the day before and on plebiscite day, no mass media columnist, commentator, announcer or personality shall use his column or radio or television time to campaign for or against the plebiscite issues.”

4. On November 20, 1989, petitioner PABLITO V. SANIDAD who is a columnist (“OVERVIEW”) for the Baguio Midland Courier, a weekly newspaper circulated in the City of Baguio and the Cordilleras, filed a petition for Prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction against the Comelec to enjoin the latter from enforcing Section 19 of resolution No. 2167. Petitioner claims that the said provision is violative of his constitutional freedom of expression and of the press and it also constitutes a prior restraint because it imposes subsequent punishment for those who violate the same;

5. On November 28, 1989, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the respondent from enforcing Section 19 of Resolution No. 2167;

6. On January 9, 1990, Comelec through the Solicitor General filed its Comment and moved for the dismissal of the petition on the ground that Section 19 of Resolution No. 2167 does not absolutely bar the petitioner from expressing his views because under Section 90 and 92 of BP 881, he may still express his views or campaign for or against the act through the Comelec space and airtime.

Held:

What is granted by Art. IX-C of the Constitution to the Comelec is the power to supervise and regulate the use and enjoyment of franchises, permits or other grants issued for the operation of transportation or other public utilities to the end that equal opportunity, time and space, and the right to reply, including reasonable, equal rates therefor, for public information campaigns and forums among candidates are insured. The evil sought to be prevented by this provision is the possibility that a franchise holder may favor or give undue advantage to a candidate in terms of advertising time and space. This is also the reason why a columnist, commentator or announcer is required to take a leave of absence from his work during the campaign period if he is a candidate.

HOWEVER, NEITHER ARTICLE IX-C OF THE CONSTITUTION NOR SECTION 11(B), 2ND PAR. OF RA 6646 CAN BE CONSTRUED TO MEAN THAT THE COMELEC HAS ALSO BEEN GRANTED THE RIGHT TO SUPERVISE AND REGULATE THE EXERCISE BY MEDIA PRACTITIONERS THEMSELVES OF THEIR RIGHT TO  EXPRESSION DURING THE PLEBISCITE PERIODS. Media practitioners exercising their freedom of expression during the plebiscite periods are neither the franchise holders nor the candidates. In fact, there are no candidates in a plebiscite.

While it is true that the petitioner is not absolutely barred from campaigning for or against the Organic Act, said fact does not cure the constitutional infirmity of Section 19, Comelec Resolution No. 2167. This is so because IT IS STILL A RESTRICTION ON HIS CHOICE OF THE FORUM WHERE HE MAY EXPRESS HIS VIEW.

Plebiscite issues are matters of public concern and importance. The people’s right to be informed and to be able to freely and intelligently make a decision would be better served by access to an unabridged discussion of the issues, INCLUDING THE FORUM. The people affected by the issues presented in a plebiscite should not be unduly burdened by restrictions on the forum where the right to expression may be exercised.

ACCORDINGLY, Section 19 of Comelec Resolution No. 2167 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Read also:

1.            In re: Ramon Tulfo,March 19, 199

2.             In re: Atty. Emil Jurado, July 12, 1990

3.            Burgos vs. Chief of Staff, 133 SCRA 800

4.            Corro vs. Lising, 137 SCRA 448

5.            Babst vs. NIB, 132 SCRA 316

6.            Elizalde vs. Gutierrez,76 SCRA 448 (In order that any news item relating to a judicial proceeding will not be actionable, the same must be [a] a true and fair report of the actual proceedings; [b] must be done in good faith; and [c] no comments nor remarks shall be made by the writer}

7.             Policarpio vs. Manila Times, 5 SCRA 148

8.            Lopez vs. CA, 34 SCRA 116

9.            New York Times vs. Sullivan,376 U.S.254

10.          Liwayway Publishing vs. PCGG, April 15,l988

3. Freedom of expression in general

    Read:

1.            RANDY DAVID VS. ARROYO, May 3, 2006, 489 SCRA 160;

2.            Adiong vs. Comelec, March 31, 1992 (putting of decals and stickers in one’s car is within the protected freedom of expression)

3.            National Press Club vs. Comelec, March 5, 1992. Real also the dissenting and separate opinions of the justices. (Preventing campaigns through radio, TV and newspapers is valid in order to even the playing field between rich and poor candidates)

4.            Zaldivar vs. Sandiganbayan, GR No. 7960-707 &          Zaldivar vs. Gonzales, GR No. 80578, February          1, 1989

5.            Eastern Broadcasting vs. Dans,137 SCRA 628

6.            Newsweek vs. IAC, 142 SCRA 171

7.             Kapisanan vs. Camara Shoes, 11 SCRA 477

8.            IN RE: Atty. Tipon, 79 SCRA 372

9.            Lacsa vs. IAC, May 23,1988

10.         Kapunan vs. De Villa, December 6, 1988

4. Not within the protection of the freedom of     expression clause of the Constitution

1. Obscenity; test of

Read:

a. P. vs. Kottinger, 45 Phil. 352

a.            P vs. GO PIN, August 8, 1955

Tests:

a.            Whether the average person applying to contemporary community standards would find the  work appeals to prurient interest;

b.            Whether the work depicts or describes a patently offensive sexual conduct;

c.            Whether the work as a whole lacks serious literary , artistic, political or scientific value.

c. Miller vs. California, 37 L. Ed. 2d 419

d. Ginsberg vs. New York,390 U.S. 629

e. Pita vs. CA, 178 SCRA 362 (A City Mayor may not order the warrantless seizure of magazines which he believes to be obscene; otherwise, he will become the complainant, prosecutor and judge at the same time. He should obtain a search warrant from a judge)

2. Libel or slander; test of-

Read:

a. Lopez and Manila Times cases, supra

b. Quisumbing vs. Lopez, 96 Phil. 510

3. Cases undersub-judice

Read:

a. P. vs. Alarcon, 69 Phil. 265

5. Freedom of assembly and to petition the government      for redress of grievances

GESITE et al. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 444 SCRA 51

Freedom of public school teachers to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances; right of public school teachers to form union.

            The petitioners admitted that they participated in concerted mass actions in Metro Manila from September to the first half of October, 1990 which temporarily disrupted classes in Metro Manila but they claimed that they were not on strike. They claimed that they were merely exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of their grievances. Thus, they may not be penalized administratively.

HELD:

The issue of whether or not the mass action launched by the public school teachers during the period from September up to the 1st half of October, 1990 was a strike or not has been decided in the case of MANILA PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS ASSOCIATION VS. LAGUIO, 200 SCRA 323 where it was held that “these mass actions were to all intents and purposes a strike; they constituted a concerted and unauthorized stoppage of, or absence from, work which it was the teachers’ duty to perform, undertaken for essentially economic reasons.”

It is undisputed fact that there was a work stoppage and that petitioners’ purpose was to realize their demands by withholding their services. The fact that the conventional term “strike” was not used by the striking employees to describe their common course of action is inconsequential, SINCE THE SUBSTANCE OF THE SITUATION, AND NOT ITS APPEARANCE, WILL BE DEEMED CONTROLLING.

Despite the constitutional right to form associations under the Constitution, employees in the public service may not engage in strikes, mass leaves, walkouts and other forms of mass actions that will lead to temporary stoppage or disruption of public service. The right of government employees to organize IS LIMITED TO THE FORMATIONS OF UNIONS OR ASSOCIATIONS ONLY, WITHOUT INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO STRIKE. (Bangalisan vs. CA, 276 SCRA 619)

The petitioners are not therefore entitled to their salaries during their suspension because the general proposition is that a public official is not entitled to any compensation if he had not rendered any service.

BAYAN, KARAPATAN, KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP),  and GABRIELA vs. EDUARDO ERMITA, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, Manila City Mayor LITO ATIENZA, Chief of the Philippine National Police, Gen. ARTURO M. LOMIBAO, NCRPO Chief Maj. Gen. VIDAL QUEROL, and Western Police District Chief Gen. PEDRO BULAONG,  G.R. No. 169848, May, 2006

AZCUNA, J.:


The Facts:

Petitioners come in three groups.

The first petitioners, Bayan, et al., in G.R. No. 169838, allege that they are citizens and taxpayers of the Philippines and that their rights as organizations and individuals were violated when the rally they participated in on October 6, 2005 was violently dispersed by policemen implementing Batas Pambansa (B.P.) No. 880.

The second group consists of 26 individual petitioners, Jess del Prado, et al., in G.R. No. 169848, who allege that they were injured, arrested and detained when a peaceful mass action they held on September 26, 2005 was preempted and violently dispersed by the police.  They further assert that on October 5, 2005, a group they participated in marched to Malacañang to protest issuances of the Palace which, they claim, put the country under an “undeclared” martial rule, and the protest was likewise dispersed violently and many among them were arrested and suffered injuries.

The third group, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), et al., petitioners in G.R. No. 169881, allege that they conduct peaceful mass actions and that their rights as organizations and those of their individual members as citizens, specifically the right to peaceful assembly, are affected by Batas Pambansa No. 880 and the policy of “Calibrated Preemptive Response” (CPR) being followed to implement it.

KMU, et al., claim that on October 4, 2005, a rally KMU co-sponsored was to be conducted at the Mendiola bridge but police blocked them along C.M. Recto and Lepanto Streets and forcibly dispersed them, causing injuries to several of their members.  They further allege that on October 6, 2005, a multi-sectoral rally which KMU also co-sponsored was scheduled to proceed along España Avenue in front of the University of Santo Tomas and going towards Mendiola bridge.  Police officers blocked them along Morayta Street and prevented them from proceeding further.  They were then forcibly dispersed, causing injuries on one of them. Three other rallyists were arrested.

All petitioners assail Batas Pambansa No. 880, some of them in toto and others only Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a), and 14(a), as well as the policy of CPR.  They seek to stop violent dispersals of rallies under the “no permit, no rally” policy and the CPR policy recently announced.

B.P. No. 880, “The Public Assembly Act of 1985,” provides:

Batas Pambansa Blg. 880

An Act Ensuring The Free Exercise By The People Of Their Right Peaceably To Assemble And Petition The Government [And] For Other Purposes.

Be it enacted by the Batasang Pambansa in session assembled:

Section 1. Title . – This Act shall be known as “The Public Assembly Act of 1985.”

Sec. 2.  Declaration of policy. – The constitutional right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances is essential and vital to the strength and stability of the State.  To this end, the State shall ensure the free exercise of such right without prejudice to the rights of others to life, liberty and equal protection of the law.

Sec. 3.  Definition of terms. – For purposes of this Act:

(b)      “Public place” shall include any highway, boulevard, avenue, road, street, bridge or other thoroughfare, park, plaza square, and/or any open space of public ownership where the people are allowed access.

(c)      “Maximum tolerance” means the highest degree of restraint that the military, police and other peace keeping authorities shall observe during a public assembly or in the dispersal of the same.

Sec. 4.  Permit when required and when not required.–  A written permit shall be required for any person or persons to organize and hold a public assembly in a public place.  However, no permit shall be required if the public assembly shall be done or made in a freedom park duly established by law or ordinance or in private property, in which case only the consent of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required, or in the campus of a government-owned and operated educational institution which shall be subject to the rules and regulations of said educational institution. Political meetings or rallies held during any election campaign period as provided for by law are not covered by this Act.

Sec. 5.  Application requirements.–  All applications for a permit shall comply with the following guidelines:

1.            The applications shall be in writing and shall include the names of the leaders or organizers; the purpose of such public assembly; the date, time and duration thereof, and place or streets to be used for the intended activity; and the probable number of persons participating, the transport and the public address systems to be used.

2.            The application shall incorporate the duty and responsibility of applicant under Section 8 hereof.

3.            The application shall be filed with the office of the mayor of the city or municipality in whose jurisdiction the intended activity is to be held, at least five (5) working days before the scheduled public assembly.

4.            Upon receipt of the application, which must be duly acknowledged in writing, the office of the city or municipal mayor shall cause the same to immediately be posted at a conspicuous place in the city or municipal building.

Sec. 6.  Action to be taken on the application. –

1.            It shall be the duty of the mayor or any official acting in his behalf to issue or grant a permit unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the public assembly will create a clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health.

2.            The mayor or any official acting in his behalf shall act on the application within two (2) working days from the date the application was filed, failing which, the permit shall be deemed granted.  Should for any reason the mayor or any official acting in his behalf refuse to accept the application for a permit, said application shall be posted by the applicant on the premises of  the office of the mayor and shall be deemed to have been filed.

3.            If the mayor is of the view that there is imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil warranting the denial or modification of the permit, he shall immediately inform the applicant who must be heard on the matter.

4.            The action on the permit shall be in writing and served on the applica[nt] within twenty-four hours.

5.            If the mayor or any official acting in his behalf denies the application or modifies the terms thereof in his permit, the applicant may contest the decision in an appropriate court of law.

6.            In case suit is brought before the Metropolitan Trial Court, the Municipal Trial Court, the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, the Regional Trial Court, or the Intermediate Appellate court, its decisions may be appealed to the appropriate court within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the same.  No appeal bond and record on appeal shall be required.  A decision granting such permit or modifying if in terms satisfactory to the applicant shall be immediately executory.

7.            All cases filed in court under this section shall be decided within twenty-four (24) hours from date of filing.  Cases filed hereunder shall be immediately endorsed to the executive judge for disposition or, in his absence, to the next in rank.

8.            In all cases, any decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court.

CPR, on the other hand, is a policy set forth in a press release by Malacañang dated September 21, 2005, shown in Annex “A” to the Petition in G.R. No. 169848, thus:

Malacañang                       Official

Manila, Philippines               NEWS

Release No. 2                                       September 21, 2005


STATEMENT OF EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA

On Unlawful Mass Actions

In view of intelligence reports pointing to credible plans of anti-government groups to inflame the political situation, sow disorder and incite people against the duty constituted authorities, we have instructed the PNP as well as the local government units to strictly enforce a “no permit, no rally” policy, disperse groups that run afoul of this standard and arrest all persons violating the laws of the land as well as ordinances on the proper conduct of mass actions and demonstrations.

The rule of calibrated preemptive response is now in force, in lieu of maximum tolerance.  The authorities will not stand aside while those with ill intent are herding a witting or unwitting mass of people and inciting them into actions that are inimical to public order, and the peace of mind of the national community.

Unlawful mass actions will be dispersed.  The majority of law-abiding citizens have the right to be protected by a vigilant and proactive government.

We appeal to the detractors of the government to engage in lawful and peaceful conduct befitting of a democratic society.

The President’s call for unity and reconciliation stands, based on the rule of law.

Petitioners Bayan, et al., contend that Batas Pambansa No. 880 is clearly a violation of the Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties of which the Philippines is a signatory.

They argue that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit before one can stage a public assembly regardless of the presence or absence of a clear and present danger.  It also curtails the choice of venue and is thus repugnant to the freedom of expression clause as the time and place of a public assembly form part of the message for which the expression is sought.  Furthermore, it is not content-neutral as it does not apply to mass actions in support of the government.  The words “lawful cause,” “opinion,” “protesting or influencing” suggest the exposition of some cause not espoused by the government.  Also, the phrase “maximum tolerance” shows that the law applies to assemblies against the government because they are being tolerated.  As a content-based legislation, it cannot pass the strict scrutiny test.

            Furthermore, the law delegates powers to the Mayor without providing clear standards.  The two standards stated in the laws (clear and present danger and imminent and grave danger) are inconsistent.

Regarding the CPR policy, it is void for being an ultra vires act that alters the standard of maximum tolerance set forth in B.P. No. 880, aside from being void for being vague and for lack of publication.

Finally, petitioners KMU, et al., argue that the Constitution sets no limits on the right to assembly and therefore B.P. No. 880 cannot put the prior requirement of securing a permit.  And even assuming that the legislature can set limits to this right, the limits provided are unreasonable:  First, allowing the Mayor to deny the permit on clear and convincing evidence of a clear and present danger is too comprehensive.  Second, the five-day requirement to apply for a permit is too long as certain events require instant public assembly, otherwise interest on the issue would possibly wane.

As to the CPR policy, they argue that it is preemptive, that the government takes action even before the rallyists can perform their act, and that no law, ordinance or executive order supports the policy.  Furthermore, it contravenes the maximum tolerance policy of B.P. No. 880 and violates the Constitution as it causes a chilling effect on the exercise by the people of the right to peaceably assemble.

I s s u e s:

1.            On the constitutionality of Batas Pambansa No. 880, specifically Sections 4, 5, 6, 12 13(a) and 14(a) thereof, and Republic Act No. 7160:

1.            Are these content-neutral or content-based regulations?

2.            Are they void on grounds of overbreadth or vagueness?

3.            Do they constitute prior restraint?

4.            Are they undue delegations of powers to Mayors?

5.            Do they violate international human rights treaties and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

2.            On the constitutionality and legality of the policy of Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR):

1.            Is the policy void on its face or due to vagueness?

2.            Is it void for lack of publication?

3.            Is the policy of CPR void as applied to the rallies of September 26 and October 4, 5 and 6, 2005?

H e l d:

Petitioners’ standing cannot be seriously challenged.  Their right as citizens to engage in peaceful assembly and exercise the right of petition, as guaranteed by the Constitution, is directly affected by B.P. No. 880 which requires a permit for all who would publicly assemble in the nation’s streets and parks.  They have, in fact, purposely engaged in public assemblies without the required permits to press their claim that no such permit can be validly required without violating the Constitutional guarantee.  Respondents, on the other hand, have challenged such action as contrary to law and dispersed the public assemblies held without the permit.

Section 4 of Article III of the Constitution provides:

Sec. 4.  No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

The first point to mark is that the right to peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances is, together with freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press, a right that enjoys primacy in the realm of constitutional protection.  For these rights constitute the very basis of a functional democratic polity, without which all the other rights would be meaningless and unprotected.  As stated in Jacinto v. CA, the Court, as early as the onset of this century, in U.S. v. Apurado  already upheld the right to assembly and petition, as follows:

There is no question as to the petitioners’ rights to peaceful assembly to petition the government for a redress of grievances and, for that matter, to organize or form associations for purposes not contrary to law, as well as to engage in peaceful concerted activities.  These rights are guaranteed by no less than the Constitution, particularly Sections 4 and 8 of the Bill of Rights, Section 2(5) of Article IX, and Section 3 of Article XIII. Jurisprudence abounds with hallowed pronouncements defending and promoting the people’s exercise of these rights.  As early as the onset of this century, this Court in U.S. vs. Apurado, already upheld the right to assembly and petition and even went as far as to acknowledge:

“It is rather to be expected that more or less disorder will mark the public assembly of the people to protest against grievances whether real or imaginary, because on such occasions feeling is always wrought to a high pitch of excitement, and the greater, the grievance and the more intense the feeling, the less perfect, as a rule will be the disciplinary control of the leaders over their irresponsible followers.  But if the prosecution be permitted to seize upon every instance of such disorderly conduct by individual members of a crowd as an excuse to characterize the assembly as a seditious and tumultuous rising against the authorities, then the right to assemble and to petition for redress of grievances would expose all those who took part therein to the severest and most unmerited punishment, if the purposes which they sought to attain did not happen to be pleasing to the prosecuting authorities.  If instances of disorderly conduct occur on such occasions, the guilty individuals should be sought out and punished therefore, but the utmost discretion must be exercised in drawing the line between disorderly and seditious conduct and between an essentially peaceable assembly and a tumultuous uprising.”

Again, in Primicias v. Fugoso, the Court likewise sustained the primacy of freedom of speech and to assembly and petition over comfort and convenience in the use of streets and parks.

Next, however, it must be remembered that the right, while sacrosanct, is not absolute.  In Primicias, this Court said:

The right to freedom of speech, and to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances, are fundamental personal rights of the people recognized and guaranteed by the constitutions of democratic countries.  But it is a settled principle growing out of the nature of well-ordered civil societies that the exercise of those rights is not absolute for it may be so regulated that it shall not be injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having equal rights, nor injurious to the rights of the community or society.  The power to regulate the exercise of such and other constitutional rights is termed the sovereign “police power,” which is the power to prescribe regulations, to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety, and general welfare of the people.  This sovereign police power is exercised by the government through its legislative branch by the enactment of laws regulating those and other constitutional and civil rights, and it may be delegated to political subdivisions, such as towns, municipalities and cities by authorizing their legislative bodies called municipal and city councils enact ordinances for purpose

Reyes v. Bagatsing further expounded on the right and its limits, as follows:    

It is thus clear that the Court is called upon to protect the exercise of the cognate rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, arising from the denial of a permit.  The Constitution is quite explicit:  “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances.”  Free speech, like free press, may be identified with the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully any matter of public concern without censorship or punishment.  There is to be then no previous restraint on the communication of views or subsequent liability whether in libel suits, prosecution for sedition, or action for damages, or contempt proceedings unless there be a “clear and present danger of a substantive evil that [the State] has a right to prevent.”  Freedom of assembly connotes the right of the people to meet peaceably for consultation and discussion of matters of public concern.  It is entitled to be accorded the utmost deference and respect.  It is not to be limited, much less denied, except on a showing, as is the case with freedom of expression, of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that the state has a right to prevent.  Even prior to the 1935 Constitution, Justice Malcolm had occasion to stress that it is a necessary consequence of our republican institutions and complements the right of free speech.  To paraphrase the opinion of Justice Rutledge, speaking for the majority of the American Supreme Court in Thomas v. Collins, it was not by accident or coincidence that the rights to freedom of speech and of the press were coupled in a single guarantee with the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances.  All these rights, while not identical, are inseparable.  In every case, therefore, where there is a limitation placed on the exercise of this right, the judiciary is called upon to examine the effects of the challenged governmental actuation.  The sole justification for a limitation on the exercise of this right, so fundamental to the maintenance of democratic institutions, is the danger, of a character both grave and imminent, of a serious evil to public safety, public morals, public health, or any other legitimate public interest.

3. Nowhere is the rationale that underlies the freedom of expression and peaceable assembly better expressed than in this excerpt from an opinion of Justice Frankfurter:  “It must never be forgotten, however, that the Bill of Rights was the child of the Enlightenment.  Back of the guaranty of free speech lay faith in the power of an appeal to reason by all the peaceful means for gaining access to the mind.  It was in order to avert force and explosions due to restrictions upon rational modes of communication that the guaranty of free speech was given a generous scope.  But utterance in a context of violence can lose its significance as an appeal to reason and become part of an instrument of force.  Such utterance was not meant to be sheltered by the Constitution.”  What was rightfully stressed is the abandonment of reason, the utterance, whether verbal or printed, being in a context of violence.  It must always be remembered that this right likewise provides for a safety valve, allowing parties the opportunity to give vent to their views, even if contrary to the prevailing climate of opinion.  For if the peaceful means of communication cannot be availed of, resort to non-peaceful means may be the only alternative.  Nor is this the sole reason for the expression of dissent.  It means more than just the right to be heard of the person who feels aggrieved or who is dissatisfied with things as they are.  Its value may lie in the fact that there may be something worth hearing from the dissenter.  That is to ensure a true ferment of ideas.  There are, of course, well-defined limits.  What is guaranteed is peaceable assembly.  One may not advocate disorder in the name of protest, much less preach rebellion under the cloak of dissent.  The Constitution frowns on disorder or tumult attending a rally or assembly.  Resort to force is ruled out and outbreaks of violence to be avoided.  The utmost calm though is not required.  As pointed out in an early Philippine case, penned in 1907 to be precise, United States v. Apurado:  “It is rather to be expected that more or less disorder will mark the public assembly of the people to protest against grievances whether real or imaginary, because on such occasions feeling is always wrought to a high pitch of excitement, and the greater the grievance and the more intense the feeling, the less perfect, as a rule, will be the disciplinary control of the leaders over their irresponsible followers.”  It bears repeating that for the constitutional right to be invoked, riotous conduct, injury to property, and acts of vandalism must be avoided.  To give free rein to one’s destructive urges is to call for condemnation.  It is to make a mockery of the high estate occupied by intellectual liberty in our scheme of values.

There can be no legal objection, absent the existence of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil, on the choice of Luneta as the place where the peace rally would start.  The Philippines is committed to the view expressed in the plurality opinion, of 1939 vintage of, Justice Roberts in Hague v. CIO:  “Whenever the title of streets and parks may rest, they have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions.  Such use of the streets and public places has, from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights and liberties of citizens.  The privilege of a citizen of the United States to use the streets and parks for communication of views on national questions may be regulated in the interest of all; it is not absolute, but relative, and must be exercised in subordination to the general comfort and convenience, and in consonance with peace and good order; but must not, in the guise of respondents, be abridged or denied.”  The above excerpt was quoted with approval in Primicias v. Fugoso.  Primicias made explicit what was implicit in Municipality of Cavite v. Rojas, a 1915 decision, where this Court categorically affirmed that plazas or parks and streets are outside the commerce of man and thus nullified a contract that leased Plaza Soledad of plaintiff-municipality.  Reference was made to such plaza “being a promenade for public use,” which certainly is not the only purpose that it could serve.  To repeat, there can be no valid reason why a permit should not be granted for the proposed march and rally starting from a public park that is the Luneta.

4.       Neither can there be any valid objection to the use of the streets to the gates of the US embassy, hardly two blocks away at the Roxas Boulevard.  Primicias v. Fugoso has resolved any lurking doubt on the matter.  In holding that the then Mayor Fugoso of the City of Manila should grant a permit for a public meeting at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, this Court categorically declared:  “Our conclusion finds support in the decision in the case of Willis Cox v. State of New Hampshire, 312 U.S., 569.  In that case, the statute of New Hampshire P.L. chap. 145, section 2, providing that no parade or procession upon any ground abutting thereon, shall be permitted unless a special license therefor shall first be obtained from the selectmen of the town or from licensing committee,’ was construed by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire as not conferring upon the licensing board unfettered discretion to refuse to grant the license, and held valid.  And the Supreme Court of the United States, in its decision (1941) penned by Chief Justice Hughes affirming the judgment of the State Supreme Court, held that ‘a statute requiring persons using the public streets for a parade or procession to procure a special license therefor from the local authorities is not an unconstitutional abridgment of the rights of assembly or of freedom of speech and press, where, as the statute is construed by the state courts, the licensing authorities are strictly limited, in the issuance of licenses, to a consideration of the time, place, and manner of the parade or procession, with a view to conserving the public convenience and of affording an opportunity to provide proper policing, and are not invested with arbitrary discretion to issue or refuse license, * * *.  “Nor should the point made by Chief Justice Hughes in a subsequent portion of the opinion be ignored: “Civil liberties, as guaranteed by the Constitution, imply the existence of an organized society maintaining public order without which liberty itself would be lost in the excesses of unrestricted abuses.  The authority of a municipality to impose regulations in order to assure the safety and convenience of the people in the use of public highways has never been regarded as inconsistent with civil liberties but rather as one of the means of safeguarding the good order upon which they ultimately depend.  The control of travel on the streets of cities is the most familiar illustration of this recognition of social need.  Where a restriction of the use of highways in that relation is designed to promote the public convenience in the interest of all, it cannot be disregarded by the attempted exercise of some civil right which in other circumstances would be entitled to protection.”

x x x

          6.       x x x The principle under American doctrines was given utterance by Chief Justice Hughes in these words:  “The question, if the rights of free speech and peaceable assembly are to be preserved, is not as to the auspices under which the meeting is held but as to its purpose; not as to the relations of the speakers, but whether their utterances transcend the bounds of the freedom of speech which the Constitution protects.”  There could be danger to public peace and safety if such a gathering were marked by turbulence.  That would deprive it of its peaceful character.  It is true that the licensing official, here respondent Mayor, is not devoid of discretion in determining whether or not a permit would be granted.  It is not, however, unfettered discretion.  While prudence requires that there be a realistic appraisal not of what may possibly occur but of what may probably occur, given all the relevant circumstances, still the assumption – especially so where the assembly is scheduled for a specific public place – is that the permit must be for the assembly being held there.  The exercise of such a right, in the language of Justice Roberts, speaking for the American Supreme Court, is not to be “abridged on the plea that it may be exercised in some other place.”

x x x

          8.       By way of a summary.  The applicants for a permit to hold an assembly should inform the licensing authority of the date, the public place where and the time when it will take place.  If it were a private place, only the consent of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required.  Such application should be filed well ahead in time to enable the public official concerned to appraise whether there may be valid objections to the grant of the permit or to its grant but at another public place.  It is an indispensable condition to such refusal or modification that the clear and present danger test be the standard for the decision reached.  If he is of the view that there is such an imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil, the applicants must be heard on the matter.  Thereafter, his decision, whether favorable or adverse, must be transmitted to them at the earliest opportunity.  Thus if so minded, they can have recourse to the proper judicial authority.  Free speech and peaceable assembly, along with the other intellectual freedoms, are highly ranked in our scheme of constitutional values.  It cannot be too strongly stressed that on the judiciary, — even more so than on the other departments – rests the grave and delicate responsibility of assuring respect for and deference to such preferred rights.  No verbal formula, no sanctifying phrase can, of course, dispense with what has been so felicitiously termed by Justice Holmes “as the sovereign prerogative of judgment.”  Nonetheless, the presumption must be to incline the weight of the scales of justice on the side of such rights, enjoying as they do precedence and primacy. x x x.

B.P. No. 880 was enacted after this Court rendered its decision in Reyes.

The provisions of B.P. No. 880 practically codify the ruling in Reyes:

Reyes v. Bagatsing

(G.R. No. L-65366, November 9, 1983, 125 SCRA 553, 569)

8. By way of a summary.  The applicants for a permit to hold an assembly should inform the licensing authority of the date, the public place where and the time when it will take place.  If it were a private place, only the consent of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required.  Such application should be filed well ahead in time to enable the public official concerned to appraise whether there may be valid objections to the grant of the permit or to its grant but at another public place.  It is an indispensable condition to such refusal or modification that the clear and present danger test be the standard for the decision reached.  If he is of the view that there is such an imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil, the applicants must be heard on the matter.  Thereafter, his decision, whether favorable or adverse, must be transmitted to them at the earliest opportunity.  Thus if so minded, they can have recourse to the proper judicial authority.

B.P. No. 880

 Sec. 4.  Permit when required and when not required.–  A written permit shall be required for any person or persons to organize and hold a public assembly in a public place.  However, no permit shall be required if the public assembly shall be done or made in a freedom park duly established by law or ordinance or in private property, in which case only the consent of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required, or in the campus of a government-owned and operated educational institution which shall be subject to the rules and regulations of said educational institution. Political meetings or rallies held during any election campaign period as provided for by law are not covered by this Act.

Sec. 5.  Application requirements.–  All applications for a permit shall comply with the following guidelines:

(a) The applications shall be in writing and shall include the names of the leaders or organizers; the purpose of such public assembly; the date, time and duration thereof, and place or streets to be used for the intended activity; and the probable number of persons participating, the transport and the public address systems to be used.

(b) The application shall incorporate the duty and responsibility of applicant under Section 8 hereof.

(c) The application shall be filed with the office of the mayor of the city or municipality in whose jurisdiction the intended activity is to be held, at least five (5) working days before the scheduled public assembly.

(d) Upon receipt of the application, which must be duly acknowledged in writing, the office of the city or municipal mayor shall cause the same to immediately be posted at a conspicuous place in the city or municipal building.

Sec. 6.  Action to be taken on the application. –

(a) It shall be the duty of the mayor or any official acting in his behalf to issue or grant a permit unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the public assembly will create a clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health.

(b) The mayor or any official acting in his behalf shall act on the application within two (2) working days from the date the application was filed, failing which, the permit shall be deemed granted.  Should for any reason the mayor or any official acting in his behalf refuse to accept the application for a permit, said application shall be posted by the applicant on the premises of  the office of the mayor and shall be deemed to have been filed.

(c) If the mayor is of the view that there is imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil warranting the denial or modification of the permit, he shall immediately inform the applicant who must be heard on the matter.

(d) The action on the permit shall be in writing and served on the applica[nt] within twenty-four hours.

(e) If the mayor or any official acting in his behalf denies the application or modifies the terms thereof in his permit, the applicant may contest the decision in an appropriate court of law.

(f) In case suit is brought before the Metropolitan Trial Court, the Municipal Trial Court, the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, the Regional Trial Court, or the Intermediate Appellate Court, its decisions may be appealed to the appropriate court within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the same.  No appeal bond and record on appeal shall be required.  A decision granting such permit or modifying it in terms satisfactory to the applicant shall be immediately executory.

(g) All cases filed in court under this section shall be decided within twenty-four (24) hours from date of filing.  Cases filed hereunder shall be immediately endorsed to the executive judge for disposition or, in his absence, to the next in rank.

(h) In all cases, any decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court.

(i) Telegraphic appeals to be followed by formal appeals are hereby allowed.

It is very clear, therefore, that B.P. No. 880 is not an absolute ban of public assemblies but a restriction that simply regulates the time, place and manner of the assemblies.  This was adverted to in Osmeña v. Comelec,[1] where the Court referred to it as a “content-neutral” regulation of the time, place, and manner of holding public assemblies.[2]

A fair and impartial reading of B.P. No. 880 thus readily shows that it refers to all kinds of public assemblies[3] that would use public places.  The reference to “lawful cause” does not make it content-based because assemblies really have to be for lawful causes, otherwise they would not be “peaceable” and entitled to protection.  Neither are the words “opinion,” “protesting” and “influencing” in the definition of public assembly content based, since they can refer to any subject.  The words “petitioning the government for redress of grievances” come from the wording of the Constitution, so its use cannot be avoided.  Finally, maximum tolerance is for the protection and benefit of all rallyists and is independent of the content of the expressions in the rally.

Furthermore, the permit can only be denied on the ground of clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health.  This is a recognized exception to the exercise of the right even under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Neither is the law overbroad.  It regulates the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly and petition only to the extent needed to avoid a clear and present danger of the substantive evils Congress has the right to prevent.

There is, likewise, no prior restraint, since the content of the speech is not relevant to the regulation.

As to the delegation of powers to the mayor, the law provides a precise and sufficient standard – the clear and present danger test stated in Sec. 6(a).  The reference to “imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil” in Sec. 6(c) substantially means the same thing and is not an inconsistent standard.  As to whether respondent Mayor has the same power independently under Republic Act No. 7160[4] is thus not necessary to resolve in these proceedings, and was not pursued by the parties in their arguments.

Finally, for those who cannot wait, Section 15 of the law provides for an alternative forum through the creation of freedom parks where no prior permit is needed for peaceful assembly and petition at any time:

Sec. 15.  Freedom parks. – Every city and municipality in the country shall within six months after the effectivity of this Act establish or designate at least one suitable “freedom park” or mall in their respective jurisdictions which, as far as practicable, shall be centrally located within the poblacion where demonstrations and meetings may be held at any time without the need of any prior permit.

In the cities and municipalities of Metropolitan Manila, the respective mayors shall establish the freedom parks within the period of six months from the effectivity this Act.

2

The Court now comes to the matter of the CPR.  As stated earlier, the Solicitor General has conceded that the use of the term should now be discontinued, since it does not mean anything other than the maximum tolerance policy set forth in B.P. No. 880.  This is stated in the Affidavit of respondent Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, submitted by the Solicitor General, thus:

The truth of the matter is the policy of “calibrated preemptive response” is in consonance with the legal definition of “maximum tolerance” under Section 3 (c) of B.P. Blg. 880, which is the “highest degree of restraint that the military, police and other peacekeeping authorities shall observe during a public assembly or in the dispersal of the same.”  Unfortunately, however, the phrase “maximum tolerance” has acquired a different meaning over the years.  Many have taken it to mean inaction on the part of law enforcers even in the face of mayhem and serious threats to public order.  More so, other felt that they need not bother secure a permit when holding rallies thinking this would be “tolerated.”  Clearly, the popular connotation of “maximum tolerance” has departed from its real essence under B.P. Blg. 880.

It should be emphasized that the policy of maximum tolerance is provided under the same law which requires all pubic assemblies to have a permit, which allows the dispersal of rallies without a permit, and which recognizes certain instances when water cannons may be used.  This could only mean that “maximum tolerance” is not in conflict with a “no permit, no rally policy” or with the dispersal and use of water cannons under certain circumstances for indeed, the maximum amount of tolerance required is dependent on how peaceful or unruly a mass action is.  Our law enforcers should calibrate their response based on the circumstances on the ground with the view to preempting the outbreak of violence.

Thus, when I stated that calibrated preemptive response is being enforced in lieu of maximum tolerance I clearly was not referring to its legal definition but to the distorted and much abused definition that it has now acquired.  I only wanted to disabuse the minds of the public from the notion that law enforcers would shirk their responsibility of keeping the peace even when confronted with dangerously threatening behavior.  I wanted to send a message that we would no longer be lax in enforcing the law but would henceforth follow it to the letter.  Thus I said, “we have instructed the PNP as well as the local government units to strictly enforce a no permit, no rally policy . . . arrest all persons violating the laws of the land . . . unlawful mass actions will be dispersed.”  None of these is at loggerheads with the letter and spirit of Batas Pambansa Blg. 880.  It is thus absurd for complainants to even claim that I ordered my co-respondents to violate any law.

In sum, this Court reiterates its basic policy of upholding the fundamental rights of our people, especially freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.   For this reason, the so-called calibrated preemptive response policy has no place in our legal firmament and must be struck down as a darkness that shrouds freedom.  It merely confuses our people and is used by some police agents to justify abuses.  On the other hand, B.P. No. 880 cannot be condemned as unconstitutional; it does not curtail or unduly restrict freedoms; it merely regulates the use of public places as to the time, place and manner of assemblies.  Far from being insidious, “maximum tolerance” is for the benefit of rallyists, not the government.  The delegation to the mayors of the power to issue rally “permits” is valid because it is subject to the constitutionally-sound “clear and present danger” standard.

WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED in part,  and Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR), insofar as it would purport to differ from or be in lieu of maximum tolerance, is NULL and VOID and respondents are ENJOINED to REFRAIN from using it and to STRICTLY OBSERVE the requirements of maximum tolerance.

 Read:

1. Right of assembly..31 SCRA 734 and 742

2. Evangelista vs. Earnshaw, 57 Phil 255

3. Primicias vs. Fuguso, 80 Phil. 71

4. De la Cruz vs. Ela, 99 Phil. 346

5. Navarro vs. Villegas, 31 SCRA 731

6. Philippine Blooming Mills Case,51 SCRA 189

7. Reyes vs. Bagatsing, 125 SCRA 553;see         guidelines

8. Ruiz vs. Gordon, 126 SCRA 233

9. Villar vs. TIP, 135 SCRA 705

10. Malabanan vs. Ramento, 129 SCRA 359

11. Carpio vs. Guevara, 106 SCRA 685

12. Nestle’ Phils. vs. Sanchez, 154 SCRA 542

13. Arreza vs. Araneta University Foundation, 137          SCRA 94

6. Freedom from prior restraint

  Read:

1. Gonzales vs. Kalaw Katigbak, 137 SCRA 717

2. New York Times vs. U.S., 403 U.S. 713 (Any system of prior restraints of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption against its validity)

3. Near vs. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697

4. Times Film vs. City of Chicago, 365 U.S. 43

5. Freedman vs. Maryland, 380 U.S. 51

5.            Clear and present danger and dangerous tendency rule (whether the words used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that the State has the right to prevent)

7-a. Dangerous tendency rule (If the words uttered create a dangerous tendency which the State has the right to prevent, then such words are  punishable)

  Read:

1. Cabansag vs. Fernandez, 102 Phil. 152

2. Read again the Reyes and Ruiz cases, supra

3. Read again Zaldivar vs. Sandiganbayan, GR No.          7960-707& Zaldivar vs. Gonzales, GR No.          80578, February 1, 1989

8. The balancing-of-interest test (When a particular conduct is regulated in the interest of the public order, and the regulation results in an indirect, conditional, partial abridgment of speech, the duty of the courts is to determine which of the 2 conflicting interests demand greater protection under the circumstances presented.)

Read:

AYER PRODUCTION VS. JUDGE CAPULONG, JUAN PONCE ENRILE, ET AL., 160 SCRA 861

Read also:

1. Lagunzad vs. Gonzales, 92 SCRA 476

2. Gitlow vs. New York, 268 U.S. 652, including           the criticism on this test by Justice Holmes

3. See also Zaldivar case above

Reference:

Constitutional Law Reviewer by Atty. Larry D. Gacayan (2008)

College of Law, University of the Cordilleras

Baguio City


[1]         G.R. No. 132231, March 31, 1998, 288 SCRA 447.

[2]         Ibid, p. 478.

[3]         Except picketing and other concerted action in strike areas by workers and employees resulting from a labor dispute, which are governed by the Labor Code and other labor laws; political meeting or rallies held during any election campaign period, which are governed by the Election Code and other election related laws; and public assemblies in the campus of a government-owned and operated educational institution, which shall be subject to the rules and regulations of said educational institution. (Sec. 3[a] and Sec. 4 of B.P. No. 880).

[4]         The Local Government Code.  Specifically, Section 16 stating the general welfare clause, thus:

Sec. 16.  General Welfare. – Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.  Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice, promote full employment among their residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.

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Trying to help law students and others by posting reviewers on this website. I encourage lawyers and law students to please help me moderate and answer some queries made on this site regarding legal matters. Thank you.

Posted on May 13, 2011, in Constitutional Law and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. This didn’t really help, i needed all the freedom’s and right’s :/

  2. darren joseph delprado

    This provided me with the exact information i needed for my research!! thanks alot!! <3

  3. darren joseph delprado

    where can i find other case digests involving freedom of speech from year 2000 and up.. please.. i need a reply as soon as possible.. or email me at delpradodarrenjoseph@yahoo.com thanks!

  1. Pingback: An Elusive Quest for Freedom ( MCPIF vs RA 10175) | ktolentino11

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