You are on page 1of 5

ANGEL BERNADETH A.

ARGEL

JD-1

NEWSOUNDS BROADCASTING NETWORK INC. and CONSOLIDATED BROADCASTING SYSTEM, INC., Petitioners, -versus- HON. CEASAR G. DY, FELICISIMO G. MEER, BAGNOS MAXIMO, RACMA FERNANDEZ-GARCIA and THE CITY OF CAUAYAN, Respondents. G.R. Nos. 170270 & 179411, April 2, 2009 FACTS: Petitioners are authorized by law to operate radio stations in Cauayan City, and had been doing so for some years undisturbed by local authorities. Beginning in 2002, respondents in their official capacities impeded the ability of petitioners to freely broadcast, if not broadcast at all. These actions have ranged from withholding permits to operate to the physical closure of those stations. Petitioner were required to submit requirements for the reclassification of the land wherein the said stations are operating. Such requirements then as required were never listed in the list of requirements in the renewal/application of any permit issued by Cauayan City. And notably, petitioners had never been required to submit such papers before. ISSUE: Whether or not the right to free expression of the petitioners was violated by respondents by the closure of the station. HELD: Yes. The right to free expression of the petitioner was violated by the respondents. That the acts imputed against respondents constitute a prior restraint on the freedom of expression of respondents who happen to be members of the press is clear enough. The circumstances of this case dictate that respondents closure of petitioners radio stations is clearly tainted with ill motives. It must be pointed out that in the 2001 elections, Bombo Radyo was aggressive in exposing the widespread election irregularities in Isabela that appear to have favored respondent Dy and other members of the Dy political dynasty. Bombo Radyo is a rival station of DWDY who is also owned by the family DY. Also, in an article found in the Philippine Daily inquirer dated February 2004, respondent Dy was quoted as saying that he will "disenfranchise the radio station." Such statement manifests and confirms that respondents denial of petitioners renewal applications on the ground that the Property is commercial is merely a pretext and that their real agenda is to remove petitioners from Cauayan City and suppress the latters voice. Therefore the right to free expression of the petitioners constitutional right to press freedom was blatantly violated by the respondents.

ANGEL BERNADETH A. ARGEL

JD 1

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE ENGAGEMENT NETWORK, INC., Petitioner -versus- ANTI-TERRORISM COUNCIL, THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, Respondent G.R. No. 178552, Oct. 5, 2010,

FACTS: This case involves the issue of constitutionality of RA 9372 or THE HUMAN SECURITY ACT (antiterrorism law). Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition for the application of the said act. ISSUE: Whether or not the RA 9372 is unconstitutional for it goes against the overbreadth doctrine. HELD: No. RA 9372 is constitutional. Overbreadth doctrine cannot be applied. The overbreadth doctrine, as grounds for a facial challenge, are not applicable to penal laws. A litigant cannot thus successfully mount a facial challenge against a criminal statute on overbreadth grounds. Penal statutes have general in terrorem effect resulting from their very existence, and, if facial challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State may well be prevented from enacting laws against socially harmful conduct. In the area of criminal law, the law cannot take chances as in the area of free speech. The rationale is obvious. If a facial challenge to a penal statute is permitted, the prosecution of crimes may be hampered. No prosecution would be possible. A facial challenge against a penal statute is, at best, amorphous and speculative. It would, essentially, force the court to consider third parties who are not before it. Such a test will impair the States ability to deal with crime. If warranted, there would be nothing that can hinder an accused from defeating the States power to prosecute on a mere showing that, as applied to third parties, the penal statute is vague or overbroad, notwithstanding that the law is clear as applied to him. Therefore RA 9372 is constitutional. Overbreadth doctrine cannot be applied.

ANGEL BERNADETH A. ARGEL

JD - 1

INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES represented by its National President, Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz, H. HARRY L. ROQUE, and JOEL RUIZ BUTUYAN, Petitioners - versus - HONORABLE MANILA MAYOR JOSE LITO ATIENZA Respondent. G.R. No. 17 5241, February 24, 2010

FACTS: On June 15, 2006, the IBP, through its then National President Jose Anselmo Cadiz, filed with the Office of the City Mayor of Manila a letter application for a permit to rally at the foot of Mendiola Bridge on June 22, 2006 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to be participated in by IBP officers and members, law students and multi-sectoral organizations. Respondent issued a permit dated June 16, 2006 allowing the IBP to stage a rally on given date but indicated therein Plaza Miranda as the venue, instead of Mendiola Bridge, which permit the IBP received on June 19, 2006. ISSUE: Whether or not the right to free assembly of the petitioners were violated. HELD: Yes. The right to free assembly of the petitioners were violated. It must be noted that under B.P. Blg. 880 Sec 6 (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. It shall be noted that Atienza indeed issued the said permit however modified the venue. And in modifying the permit outright, he gravely abused his discretion when he did not immediately inform the IBP who should have been heard first on the matter of his perceived imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil that may warrant the changing of the venue. The opportunity to be heard precedes the action on the permit, since the applicant may directly go to court after an unfavorable action on the permit. Therefore Mayor Atienza gravely abused his discretion and violated the right to free assembly of the petitioners.

ANGEL BERNADETH A. ARGEL

JD 1

BAYAN, KARAPATAN, ET AL., Petitioner -versus- EDUARDO ERMITA, ET AL., Respondent G.R. No. 169838, April 25, 2006

FACTS: The petitioners, Bayan, et al., alleged that their right to freedom assembly as an as organizations and individuals were violated when the rally they participated in on October 6, 2005 was violently dispersed by policemen implementing Batas Pambansa No. 880. Petitioners contended that it is a clear violation of the Constitution for it requires a permit before one can stage a public assembly regardless of the presence or absence of a clear and present danger. ISSUE: Whether or not BP No. 880 violates Art. III Sec. 4 of the Philippine Constitution as it requires a permit to organization before they can stage a public assembly. HELD: NO. BP No. 880 is not a violation of the right to freedom of assembly. It must be remembered that the right, while sacrosanct, is not absolute. It may be 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. 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. B.P. No. 880 thus readily shows that it refers to all kinds of public assemblies that would use public places. 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 rights. Therefore the constitutionality of Batas Pambansa No. 880 is sustained. It is not a violation of the constitution.

ANGEL BERNADETH A. ARGEL

JD 1

ALEJANDRO ESTRADA, Petitoner -versus- SOLEDAD ESCRITOR, Respondent A.M. No. P-02-1651, June 22, 2006

FACTS: Estrada filed and administrative complaint against Escritor for living with a man not her husband and having borne a child within this live-in arrangement. Escritor is then a court interpreter of RTC Branch 253, Las Pinas City. Estrada believes that Escritor is committing an immoral act. Escritor was already a widow when she entered the judiciary in 1999. She started living with Luciano Quilapio, Jr. without the benefit of marriage more than twenty years ago when her husband was still alive but living with another woman. They have a son. After ten years of living together, she executed on July 28, 1991 a Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness in conformity with their religious beliefs and has the approval of her congregation, the Jehovahs Witnesses and the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society. ISSUE: Whether or not Escritors can invoke freedom of religion in her claim of religious belief and practice. HELD: Yes. Escritor can invoke the guarantee of freedom of religion. The administrative complaint was dismissed. The OSG categorically concedes that the sincerity and centrality of Escritors claimed religious belief and practice are beyond serious doubt. She is not merely using the Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness to avoid punishment for immorality. Ministers from her congregation testified on the authenticity of this practice and that this is to make the union of their members under such circumstances honorable before God and men. In this particular case and under these distinct circumstances, Escritors conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized. Therefore Escritors has made out a case for exemption from the law based on her fundamental right to freedom of religion.