Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law – PART 2: Constitution of Liberty 51 – 60
51. What is the procedure to be followed in the application of rally permits before the City or Municipal Mayor in accordance with BP Bilang 880?
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. (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)
52. Is BP 880 unconstitutional for being vague (Void for Vagueness Doctrine) and overbroad (Overbreadth Doctrine)?
No. It is very clear that it deals only on public assemblies that deals with rallies, mass actions and similar acts and not all kinds of public assemblies. As such, it is not vague.
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.
53. Is the Calibrated Pre-emptive Response (CPR) of the Arroyo Administration towards rallyists constitutional?
The 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, the policy of dispersing rallyists through water cannons, 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. (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)
54. Distinguish “clear and present danger”, “dangerous tendency rule” and “balancing of interest test”.
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)
Dangerous tendency rule (If the words uttered create a dangerous tendency which the State has the right to prevent, then such words are punishable)
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.)
55. May Senator Juan Ponce Enrile prevent the movie producer of the EDSA I Revolution movie from including his participation during the uprising since it violates his right to privacy?
No, as between Enrile’s right to privacy and the freedom of expression on the part of the movie producer, the latter’s right prevail because Enrile’s part in the movie deals solely on his acts as a public officer then. To exclude him as integral part of the revolution would be a distortion of history. (AYER PRODUCTION VS. JUDGE CAPULONG, JUAN PONCE ENRILE, ET AL., 160 SCRA 861)
56. May the mother of a murdered Mayor stop the filming of the life story of her son which would include his alleged love affairs which would blacken his memory?
Yes. As between the right to privacy invoked by the mother and the freedom of expression invoked by the movie producer, the state shall balance their respective interests. Since the movie producer is primarily after profits only, the right to privacy shall prevail. (Lagunzad vs. Gonzales).
57. What are the two (2) aspects of the RIGHT TO RELIGIOUS PROFESSION AND WORSHIP ? Distinguish each.
- Freedom to believe; and
- Freedom to act.
IN the first, such freedom is absolute. He may indulge in his own theories about life and death; worship any god he chooses, or none at all. He may not be punished even if he cannot prove what he believes.
In the second, if the individual externalizes what he believes, his freedom to do so becomes subject to the authority of the State. This is so because religious freedom can be exercised only with due regard to the rights of others. Example: “Go forth and multiply—cannot marry several times just to comply.
58. May a Jehovah’s Witnesses Member who is the Court Interpreter of RTC Branch 253, Las Pinas City, be held liable for “grossly immoral conduct” for living with a married man while her very own marriage was still subsisting?
No. As held in ESTRADA VS. SOLEDAD ESCRITOR, 492 SCRA 1 (Resolution of the Motion for Reconsideration), 408 SCRA 1, the Supreme Court held that she is not liable for grossly immoral conduct because:
- She is a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society;
- That the conjugal arrangement was in conformity with their religious beliefs;
- That the conjugal arrangement with Quilapio has the approval of her congregation.
Escritor likewise claimed that she had executed a “DECLARATION OF PLEDGING FAITHFULNESS” in accordance with her religion which allows members of the Jehovah’s witnesses who have been abandoned by their spouses to enter into marital relations. The Declaration thus makes the resulting union moral and binding within the congregation all over the world except in countries where divorce is allowed. Escritor’s conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized as she has made out a case for exemption from the law based on her fundamental right to religion.
59. May children of Jehovah’s Witnesses in public schools be forced to sing the National Anthem; recite the Patriotic Pledge; and Salute the Flag under pain of being expelled for non-compliance?
No since such is in violation of their religious beliefs. (ROEL EBRALINAG, ET AL VS. THE DIVISION SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS OF CEBU, March 1, 1993). Religious freedom is superior to the statute requiring the pupils to sing the National Anthem; recite the Patriotic Pledge; and Salute the Flag. The doctrine laid down in Gerona vs. Secretary of Education was reversed.
60. How may the right to travel be impaired?
The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.
Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law (Doctrinal Rulings, Requisites and Definitions)
July, 2008 by Atty. Larry D. Gacayan
College of Law, University of the Cordilleras
Posted on July 8, 2014, in Political Law and tagged Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law – PART 2: Constitution of Liberty 51 – 60. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.