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In Re: Column of Ramon Tulfo

Column of Ramon Tulfo
Facts:In Oct. 13, 1989, Tulfo wrote an article in his column in PDI 'On Target' stating that the
Supreme Court rendered an idiotic decision in legalizing checkpoints, and again on Oct. 16,
1989, where he called the Supreme Court stupid and "sangkatutak na mga bobo justices of
the Philippine Supreme Court". Tulfo was required to show cause why he should not be
punished for contempt. Tulfo said that he was just reacting emotionally because he had been
a victim of harassmen in the checkpoints, and "idiotic" meant illogical and unwise, and "bobo"
was just quoted from other attorneys, and since the case had been decided and terminated,
there was not contempts. Lastly, the article does not pose any clear and present danger to
the Supreme court.
Issue:Wheter or not Tulfo is in contempt
Held:Yes.
1. At the time Tulfo wrote the article, the checkpoints case had not yet been decided upon,
and the Supreme Court was still acting on an MR filed from the CA.
2. Power to punish is inherent as it is essential for self-preservation. Contempt of ocurt is
defiance of the authority, justice and dignity of the courts. It brings disrepute to the court.
There are two kinds of publications which can be punished for contempt:
a. those whose object is to affect the decision in a pending case.
b. those whose object is to bring courts to discredit.
Tulfo's article constituted both.
3. It should have been okay to criticize if respectful language was used, but if its object is only
to degrade and ridicule, then it is clearly an obstruction of justice. Nothing constructive can be
gained from them. Being emotional is no excuse for being insulting. Quoting is not an excuse
also, because at the end of his article, Tulfo said, "So you bobo justices, watch out!" Also, he
said he was not sorry for having written the articles.
Tulfo is found in contempt of court and is gravely censured.
Burgos v. Chief of Staff, AFP [GR 64261, 26 December 1984] En Banc, Escolin (J): 10
concur, 1 took no part Facts: On 7 December 1982, Judge Ernani Cruz-Paño, Executive
Judge of the then CFI Rizal [Quezon City], issued 2 search warrants where the premises at
19, Road 3, Project 6, Quezon City, and 784 Units C & D, RMS Building, Quezon Avenue,
Quezon City, business addresses of the "Metropolitan Mail" and "We Forum" newspapers,
respectively, were searched, and office and printing machines, equipment, paraphernalia,
motor vehicles and other articles used in the printing, publication and distribution of the said
newspapers, as well as numerous papers, documents, books and other written literature
alleged to be in the possession and control of Jose Burgos, Jr. publisher-editor of the "We
Forum" newspaper, were seized. A petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with
preliminary mandatory and prohibitory injunction was filed after 6 months following the raid to
question the validity of said search warrants, and to enjoin the Judge Advocate General of the
AFP, the city fiscal of Quezon City, et.al. from using the articles seized as evidence in
Criminal Case Q- 022782 of the RTC Quezon City (People v. Burgos). The prayer of
preliminary prohibitory injunction was rendered moot and academic when, on 7 July 1983, the
Solicitor General manifested that said articles would not be used until final resolution of the
legality of the seizure of said articles. Issue: Whether the continued sealing of the printing
machines in the offices of “Metropolitan Mail” and “We Forum” is anathematic to the

democratic framework. Held: The premises searched were the business and printing offices
of the "Metropolitan Mail" and the "We Forum newspapers. As a consequence of the search
and seizure, these premises of the Metropolitan Mail and We Forum were padlocked and
sealed, with the further result that the printing and publication of said newspapers were
discontinued. Such closure is in the nature of previous restraint or censorship abhorrent to
the freedom of the press guaranteed under the fundamental law, and constitutes a virtual
denial of Burgos, et. al.'s freedom to express themselves in print. Thus state of being is
patently anathematic to a democratic framework where a free, alert and even militant press is
essential for the political enlightenment and growth of the citizenry. Although the public
officers would justify the continued sealing of the printing machines on the ground that they
have been sequestered under Section 8 of PD 885, as amended, which authorizes "the
sequestration of the property of any person, natural or artificial, engaged in subversive
activities against the government and its duly constituted authorities in accordance with
implementing rules and regulations as may be issued by the Secretary of National Defense."
It is doubtful, however, if sequestration could validly be effected in view of the absence of any
implementing rules and regulations promulgated by the Minister of National Defense.

ROMMEL CORRO, petitioner,
vs.
HON. ESTEBAN LISING Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch
XCV HON. REMIGIO ZARI Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 98; CITY FISCAL'S
OFFICE, Quezon City; LT. COL. BERLIN A. CASTILLO and 1ST LT. GODOFREDO M.
IGNACIO, respondents,
Reynaldo L. Bagatsing for petitioner.
RELOVA, J.:

On September 29, 1983, respondent Regional Trial Court judge Esteban Lising of Quezon
City, upon application filed by Lt. Col. Berlin Castillo of the Philippine Constabulary Criminal
Investigation Service, issued Search Warrant No. Q-00002 authorizing the search and
seizure of—

repeat, rendered moot and academic by the recent Agrava Report. (p. 27,
Rollo)
On January 28, 1985, respondent Judge Lising denied the motion in a resolution, pertinent
portions of which state:

1. Printed copies of Philippine Times;
2. Manuscripts/drafts of articles for publication in the Philippine Times;
3. Newspaper dummies of the Philippine Times;
4. Subversive documents, articles, printed matters, handbills, leaflets,
banners;
5. Typewriters, duplicating machines, mimeographing and tape recording
machines, video machines and tapes
which have been used and are being used as instrument and means of committing the crime
of inciting to sedition defined and penalized under Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended by PD 1835 ... (p. 24, Rollo)
On November 6, 1984, petitioner filed an urgent motion to recall warrant and to return
documents/personal properties alleging among others that:
2. ... the properties seized are typewriters, duplicating machines,
mimeographing and tape recording machines, video machines and tapes
which are not in any way, inanimate or mute things as they are, connected
with the offense of inciting to sedition.
3. More so, documents or papers seized purporting to do the body of the
crime has been rendered moot and academic due to the findings of the
Agrava Board that a military conspiracy was responsible for the slaying of the
late Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. on August 21, 1983 at the Manila
International Airport. The Agrava Board which has the exclusive jurisdiction to
determine the facts and circumstances behind the killing had virtually
affirmed by evidence testamentary and documentary the fact that soldiers
killed Benigno Aquino, Jr.
4. More so, the grave offense of libel, RTC, Q.C. Branch XCV has dismissed
said case against the accused on all documents pertinent and more so as we

... The said articles presently form part of the evidence of the prosecution
and they are not under the control of the prosecuting arm of the government.
Under these circumstances, the proper forum from which the petition to
withdraw the articles should be addressed, is the Office of the City Fiscal,
Quezon City and not with this Branch of the Court. It is to be further noted
that it is not even with this Branch of the Court that the offense of inciting to
sedition is pending. (p 29, Rollo)
Hence, this petition for certiorari and mandamus, with application for preliminary injunction
and restraining order to enjoin respondent Regional Trial Court, National Capital Region,
Branch 98 from proceeding with the trial of Criminal Case No. S3-Q-29243, praying (a) that
Search Warrant No. Q-00002 issued by respondent Judge Esteban M. Lising be declared null
and void ab initio and that a mandatory injunction be issued directing respondents City
Fiscal's Office of Quezon City and Lt. Col. Berlin Castillo and 1st Lt. Godofredo Ignacio jointly
and severally to return immediately the documents/properties illegally seized from herein
petitioner and that final injunction be issued enjoining respondents City Fiscal's Office of
Quezon City, Lt. Col. Castillo and 1st Lt. Ignacio from utilizing said documents/properties as
evidence in Criminal Case No. 29243; and (b) that respondent PC-CIS officers Lt. Col. Berlin
A. Castillo and lst Lt. Godofredo Ignacio be directed to reopen the padlocked office premises
of the Philippine Times at 610 Mezzanine Floor, Gochengco Building, T.M., Kalaw, Ermita,
Manila.
In Our Resolution of February 19, 1985, respondents were required to file their comment. The
plea for temporary restraining order was granted and respondents City Fiscal's Office of
Quezon City, Lt. Col. Berlin Castillo and 1st Lt. Godofredo Ignacio were enjoined from
introducing as evidence for the state the documents/properties seized under Search Warrant
No. Q-00002 in Criminal Cage No. Q-29243 (Sedition case against petitioner), pending
before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 98, effective immediately and
continuing until further orders from the Court.
Respondents would have this Court dismiss the petition on the ground that (1) the present
action is premature because petitioner should have filed a motion for reconsideration of
respondent Judge Lising's order of January 28, 1985; (2) probable cause exists justifying the
issuance of a search warrant; (3) the articles seized were adequately described in the search

Kalaw. Ermita. in the case of Matute vs. Article IV of the 1973 Constitution provides: SEC. Ry." Further. an application for search warrant must state with particularly the alleged subversive materials published or intended to be published by the publisher and editor of the Philippine Times. (p. (p. St. Phil.. contains articles tending to incite distrust and hatred for the Government of the Philippines or any of its duly constituted authorities.. 28 Phil. 26 SCRA 768. Co. Sr.. L-16038.. (8) the petition is barred by laches. (t)he rule requiring the filing of a motion for reconsideration before an application for a writ of certiorari can be entertained was never intended to be applied without considering the circumstances.. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. 23. the items confiscated from the premises of the office of the Philippine Times at 610 Mezzanine Floor. "mere generalization will not suffice. as will warrant a cautious man in the belief that his actions.M.warrant. 3 SCRA 465.." The records of this petition clearly disclose that the issues herein raised have already been presented to and passed upon by the court a quo. Gochengco Bldg. Manila were the following: 1. 189. Court of Appeals. taints the proceeding against him in the court below not only with irregularity but with nullity (Luzon Surety Co. et al. vs. et al. . In fact. — that abuses may not be committed Bache & Co. 1835. the deprivation of petitioners' fundamental right to due process taints the proceeding against them in the court below not only with irregularity but also with nullity. As held in Bache & Co. Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Rule 126 of the New Rules of Court.. Marbella et al.no search warrant or warrant of arrest issue except upon probable cause to be determined by the judge. "The evident purpose and intent of this requirement is to limit the things to be seized to those.. 1960). supported by facts and circumstances. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.. vs. (5) the padlocking of the searched premises was with the consent of petitioner's wife. This is not always so. Inc. Court of Appeals.S.). Ago. There is merit in the petition. vs. Rollo) and." A search warrant should particularly describe the place to be searched and the things to be seized. Respondents contend that petitioner should have filed a motion for reconsideration of the order in question before coming to Us. absent of the existence of probable cause. or when special circumstances warrant immediate and more direct action. to the end that unreasonable searches and seizures may not be committed. as a consequence of the search warrant issued. supra). unless the lower court had first been given an opportunity to pass upon the same. Ruiz.. 905 and in Gonzales vs. M & M. v. As We have stated in Burgos. this Court ruled that "it is only when questions are raised for the first time before the high court in a certiorari case that the writ shall not issue. and the means taken in prosecuting it. states that: SEC. and. vs. Section 3. the filing of the motion for reconsideration in said court before certiorari can be instituted in the Supreme Court is no longer a pre-requisite.. . When the questions raised before the Supreme Court are the same as those which were squarely raised in and passed upon by the lower court." The affidavit of Col. Inc. Requisites for issuing search warrant. among others— . Castillo states that in several issues of the Philippine Times: .. 30. 33 Minn. Rommel Corro. the affidavit of Lt. 37 SCRA 823. The rule does not apply where. 3. in Pajo. Paul. — A search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined by the judge or justice of the peace after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. (4) a search was conducted in an orderly manner. after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. the said periodical published by Rommel Corro. Ruiz. 108 Phil. Sept. this rule does not apply where the proceeding in which the error occurred is a patent nullity or where 'the deprivation of petitioner's fundamental right to due process . we found that the said publication in fact foments distrust and hatred against the government of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities. Addison. 566)." Likewise. (Phil. They can not serve as basis for the issuance of search warrant. are legally just and proper (Burton vs. Rollo) The above statements are mere conclusions of law and will not satisfy the requirements of probable cause. and. 22. T.. Probable cause may be defined as "such reasons." Thus. 133 SCRA 800. We held that "while as a matter of policy a motion for reconsideration in the lower court has often been considered a condition sine qua non for the granting of a writ of certiorari. Ignacio reads. Section 3. and only those. 3. One bundle of assorted negative. (6) the findings of the Agrava Board is irrelevant to the issue of the validity of the search warrant.to leave the officers of the law with no discretion regarding what articles they should seize. . or such other responsible officer as may be authorized by law. (7) press freedom is not an issue.. vs. defined and penalized by Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Presidential Decree No. cited in U. particularly described in the search warrant.

This state of being is patently anathematic to a democratic framework Laches is the failure or neglect. the printing and publication of said newspaper were discontinued. accordingly. he was invited by the Director-General PC/INP. When respondent judge denied the motion. 8. 14 & 15): 7. Diokno. 9. and even typewriters. manuscripts/drafts of articles for publication. WHEREFORE. 68976. 9. J-2479373. he came to Us. 13. Having failed to act seasonably. In his petition. No. 3. the search warrant issued by respondent judge allowed seizure of printed copies of the Philippine Times. In Burgos. One bundle of assorted lay out. a preventive detention action was served upon him. SET ASIDE. he had to file a petition for habeas corpus. Godofredo M. Col. Sibonghanoy.. 9003011. 1983 is declared null and void and. L-21450. In the same month. two alleged speeches of Aquino and a speech of one various artist. Consequently. 12. Castillo and lst Lt. one (1) month and six (6) days when petitioner filed his motion for the recall of the warrant and the return of the documents/personal properties. Three (3) bundles of Philippine Times latest issue for Baguio City (p. respondents claim that petitioner is guilty of laches. Thereafter. The negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time. It was only on November 8. Humberto B. 20 SCRA 383. regardless of whether the transactions were legal or illegal. 4. and constitutes a virtual denial of petitioners' freedom to express themselves in print. newspaper dummies. contravene the explicit comment of the Bill of Rights that the things to be seized should be particularly described and defeat its major objective of eliminating general warrants. Gochengco Bldg. releasing Rommel Corro on recognizance of his lawyers. alert and even militant press is essential for the political enlightenment and growth of the citizenry. 1983. Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 1983 and was executed on the very same day. Basco. 8. Respondents do not deny the fact that the business office of the "Philippine Times" of which petitioner was the publisher-editor was padlocked and sealed. The consequence is. supra. November 1984. 1968. the claim that petitioner had abandoned his right to the possession of the seized properties is incorrect. etc. Corro alleged that on October 1. . to do that which by exercising due diligence. April 15. OneTypewriterAdler-short with No." Finally. the language used is so all embracing as to include all conceivable records and equipment of petitioner regardless of whether they are legal or illegal. Thus. Sr. Three folders of assorted articles/writings used by Philippine Times news and other paraphernalias. respondents Lt. 10. One bundle Dummies. We held that "[sluch closure is in the nature of previous restraint or censorship abhorrent to the freedom of the press guaranteed under the fundamental law. or one (1) year. SO ORDERED. Berlin A. mimeographing and tape recording machines. Kalaw. Further. petitioner filed his motion to recall warrant and to return the seized documents. Four tape — alleged speech of Mayor Climaco. articles. 1983. et al.2. this Court held that search warrants authorizing the seizure of books of accounts and records "showing all the business transactions" of certain persons.. and subsequently detained. 11. vs. 5. Search Warrant No. Minister Juan Ponce Enrile. where a free. 1983. Reynaldo Bagatsing and Edilberto Balce. One Typewriter Remington Brand Long Carriage with No. 23 SCRA 35). In the case at bar. Manila.. duplicating machines. Ermita. entitled: In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Rommel Corro Angle Corro vs. 1984. 7. for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time. Attys. 26. warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it (Tijam vs. T.R. 6. Ten bundles of assorted copies of Philippine Times issued on different dates (Nos.M. Q-00002 issued by the respondent judge on September 29. and on October 7. Rollo) In Stonehill vs. less than forty-two (42) hours after the military operatives shut down his newspaper on September 29. subversive documents. 6. could or should have been done earlier. Ignacio are ordered to REOPEN the padlocked office premises of the Philippine Times at 610 Mezzanine Floor. it was only on November 6. The prayer for a writ of mandatory injunction for the return of the seized articles is GRANTED and all properties seized thereunder are hereby ordered RELEASED to petitioner. The search warrant under consideration was in the nature of a general warrant which is constitutionally objectionable. respondents argue that while the search warrant was issued on September 29. 1984 when this Court issued its Resolution in G. he was charged with the crime of inciting to sedition before the City Fiscal's Office in Quezon City. Considering the above circumstances.

. Lorna Kalaw-Tirol. Coronel. 5 When respondent Judge ignored such a fundamental constitutional principle. Estanislao 3 comes to mind: "This is contrary to the legal tradition of the Philippines dating back to the landmark case of United States v. board or person acting without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion vis-a-vis certain proceedings pending before it. The libel cases adverted to are not pending before the NIB or any other respondent. associations and even their private lives. National Intelligence Board [GR L-62992. It summarized the testimony of Jaime Jose in a pending rape case wherein the name of Vincent Crisologo. et. and interrogating them. Renato Ecarma. Finally. Artemio Tidier. the right to seek redress when libeled is a personal and individual privilege of the aggrieved party. PRUDENCIO R. GUTIERREZ. Floro Crisologo ( N. the offended party in the information for libel. Sylvia Mayuga. Wilfredo Estrada (Ret. At different dates since July 1980. Gen. a newspaper of general circulation. Ilocos Sur ) as among his four companions the night of the alleged rape of a former nightclub hostess last year. Sheila S. Doyo. Manila. The alleged offending news item was a reproduction of a news item coming from the Philippine News Service. Europa was the Editor-in-Chief. and the filing of libel suits against Suarez and Dayo. 1977 MANUEL ELIZALDE. Further. 2 concur in result. beliefs. Maglipon. a criminal complaint for libel was filed by Brig. every libel prosecution should be tested by the rigorous and exacting standard of whether or not it could be violative of such fundamental guarantee. where Justice Malcolm emphasized that to prevent dilution of the constitutional right to free speech and free press. FERNANDO. Odette Alcantara. GUERRERO. Moreover. Domini Torrevillas-Suarez. 4 It is easily understandable then why in the motion to quash. EUROPA. Issue: Whether the issuance by the NIB of letters of invitation to Babst. L-33615 April 22. Jo-Ann Q. Elizalde were the Publisher and Assistant Publisher and Prudencio R. claim to have been illegally obtained. one of four principal accused in the celebrated Maggie de la Riva rape case. Ceres P.). feelings. 2 on leave. Gen. and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Balbino Diego. Bustos. which Babst. the charges of forcible abduction with rape and robbery filed against him and his companions by Zenaida de la Cruz. al. and no one among the officials has the authority to restrain any of his subordinates who has been libeled from vindicating his right by instituting a libel suit. al. et. al. 28 September 1984] Resolution En Banc. Presiding Judge.al. Jose mentioned Vincent Crisologo as among his companions while testifying in his defense before Judge Francisco de la Rosa of the local court of first instance. The complaint included an staggering P10 million claim for damages. Eustaquio Peralta. vs. Col. The same rule applies to the issue of admissibility as evidence of matters that have been elicited in the course of an inquiry or interrogation conducted by the NIB. 1 concur in separate opinion. et. petitioners. both nightclub hostesses. CFI-Ilocos Sur. Col. however. son of Rep. 2 dissent in separate opinions Facts: Arlene Babst. Babst. No.e. NBI Asst. which was superseded by the amended and supplemental petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction. This excerpt from the recent case of Bocobo v. It reads thus: "Jaime Jose implicated Tuesday Vincent Crisologo. Director Ponciano Fernando. Provincial Fiscal of Ilocos Sur. feature article writers and reporters of various local publications. Gen. Jose. HON. furnished the Evening News. on which the author had been interrogated by Brig. denied. MARIO J. FRED J. 28. Jose claimed that both Zenaida and Araceli went voluntarily with his . and (b) from filing libel suits on matters that have been the subject of inquiry by the National Intelligence Board (NIB). Aside from the interrogations. Plana (J): 6 concur. the issue of validity of the libel. against Domini Torrevillas-Suarez. The writ of prohibition is directed against a tribunal. are illegal and unconstitutional as they are violative of the constitutional guarantee on free expression since they have the effect of imposing restrictive guidelines and norms on mass media. of which petitioners Manuel Elizalde and Fred J. Branch III. although other grounds were alleged as warranting the dismissal of the information.R. Brig. the proper basis for a certiorari and prohibition proceeding was laid. Cielo Buenaventura. (An information for libel has since been filed with the Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Region against Suarez and Doyo. Jr. G. Held: Prohibition will not issue in respect of the libel charges now pending in court against Suarez and Doyo and similar suits that might be filed. the main reliance was on the Bustos doctrine. et. And the NIB does not appear to have anything to do with Gen. Ceres Doyo based on an article written by Doyo and published in the 28 March 1982 issue of the Panorama. was mentioned. a reputable news-gathering agency. i. their subsequent interrogation. Gutierrez 1 to grant motion to quash of petitioners. seeking to prohibit the respondents (a) from issuing subpoenas or letters of invitation to Babst. of an item reproducing in full a dispatch from the Philippine News Service. some of them have allegedly been summoned by military authorities who have subjected them to sustained interrogation on various aspects of their works. et. charges by reason of their alleged collision with freedom of expression. notwithstanding the invocation of their constitutional right to freedom of expression 2 that led to this suit for certiorari and prohibition. Petitioners are entitled to the remedies sought. Galileo Kintanar.Babst vs. All that could be alleged in the information against them was the publication in the Evening News. J: It was the refusal of respondent Judge Mario J.. Col. Tadiar's private right to complain of libel. editor of the Panorama. filed a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction. before the court where the libel cases are pending or where they may be filed. who were the accused in a prosecution for libel. Tadiar has filed the libel case against Suarez and Doyo in his personal capacity. Col. al. sentiments.respondents. et al. ELIZALDE. represented in this instance by JESUS F. and Araceli Sy. is a matter that should be raised in the proper forum. and Ma. he is not even a member of the NIB. on 9 February 1983 with the Office of the City Fiscal.) On 3 March 1983. are columnists.

though as incidental result. Petitioners were prosecuted for libel because the Evening News carried in its issue of September 1. The taxi driver. and the orderly administration of government have demanded protection for public opinion. That was all. They then proceeded to Queen's Court motel. this petition for certiorari and prohibition was filed with this Court. Bustos 8 decided almost sixty years ago. and consistently with good faith and reasonable care. The inevitable and incontestable result has been the development and adoption of the doctrine of privilege. Thereafter. 17 By no stretch of the imagination then could it be said that the Philippine News . An opposition was then filed by an assistant provincial fiscal on September 25. 12At the beginning of this decade. Jesus F. 'which looks to the free and unfettered administration of justice. Even prior to the 1935 Constitution. the two girls named Vincent Crisologo as among the accused. is even more explicit on the matter. It was a faithful and accurate summary of what was testified to by a witness in a pending rape case. He apparently was equally unaware of this relevant paragraph in the Malcolm opinion: "A privileged communication should not be subjected to microscopic examination to discover grounds of malice or falsity. there was a motion to quash filed by petitioners on August 14. 6 This was the continuation of such news item: "The girls charged that they were robbed by Jose and his friends of cash and jewelry inside the hotel. press reporters and edition usually have to race with their deadlines. Jose said. the two girls complained when he and his companions failed to give the girls any money. 1966.. As noted at the outset. 7 The alleged offended party. In the preparation of stories. . to a point of suppression. they call for the utmost care on the part of the judiciary to assure that in safeguarding the interest of the party allegedly offended. Jose testified that he and Tillman were about to go to a party in Mandaluyong. 11 a 1955 decision. this Court in Lopez v. To be more specific. Lopez.Abbott v. 1967 a news item furnished it by the Philippine News Service. It would have been a plain and simple distortion thereof if such a fact were omitted by the Philippine News Service. Jose said that after the party they proceeded to Pasay City where Crisologo and a companion went to Bayside nightclub to look for Crisologo's girl friend. The Evening News in turn published such item. also Identified Vincent Crisologo among the five youths in the incident. Rizal. [that it] should now be protected and carried forward as one would protect and preserve the covenant of liberty itself. The information is dated February 5. An extensive motion for reconsideration submitted on February 23. in the epochal Malcolm opinion in United States v. Such excessive scrutiny would defeat the protection which the law throws over privileged communications.. it appears quite obvious that respondent Judge did infringe on the constitutional right of petitioners to press freedom when it denied the motion to quash. they should not be held to account. which contained a similar provision mandating a free press. Vincent Crisologo. 1971 having proved futile in view of an order of denial a month later from respondent Judge. This Court has since then been committed to such an authoritative doctrine. The name of the alleged offended party. Jose said that Zenaida called Vincent and shouted for them to stop. July 4. 14 2. was repeatedly mentioned in such testimony. under the previous organic act. a taxicab overtook them. no culpability could be imputed to petitioners for the alleged offending publication without doing violence to the concept of privileged communication implicit in freedom of the press.. However. 1970. It cannot justify a prosecution for libel. This is a case therefore that falls squarely within the protection of the free press provision found in the Constitution. The order by respondent Judge denying the motion to quash came on December 17. . 16 Considering how ample is the protection afforded a person alleged to have injured another's reputation. The ultimate test is that of bona fides. 1970. 1970. The cab allegedly carried Zenaida and Araceli. Shortly before 2 a. it may in some instances afford an immunity to the evildisposed and malignant slanderer.group to the Queen's Court motel here in the early morning of July 4. 1970. 1966. In their original complaint filed with the fiscal's office. certiorari and prohibition lie.." 9 Thus it is clear that a prosecution for libel lacks justification if the offending words find sanctuary within the shelter of the free press guarantee. the welfare of society.m. As was so well put by Justice Malcolm in Bustos: "Public policy. 15 He then quoted this excerpt from an American Supreme Court decision. Guerrero. the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916. Crisologo and his friend went out of the club and they all proceeded to the Barbecue Plaza where they drank liquor. Minutes later. enunciated the principle that the freedom of the press is "so sacred to the people of these Islands and won at so dear a cost. If the cases mean anything at all then. 1918. Court of Appeals 13 expressed its commitment to such a principle in these words: "No inroads on press freedom should be allowed in the guise of punitive action visited on what otherwise could be characterized as libel whether in the form of printed words or a defamatory imputation resulting from the publication of respondent's picture with the offensive caption as in the case here complained of. on the night of July 3. according to the information filed by respondent Provincial Fiscal. 1. 10 The opinion of Chief Justice Paras in Quisumbing v. for honest mistakes or imperfection in the choice of words. Jose said that young Crisologo wanted to borrow his car since his car would be used by his congressman father. to emphasize what has so clearly emerged. National Bank of Commerce: "The doctrine of privileged communication rests upon public policy.. the group allegedly started for home in Jose's two-toned Mercedez Benz car. to be precise on March 8. Jose said Zenaida and Crisologo went to a room together. That such news item possessed a defamatory aspect is beside the point. is Vincent Crisologo. Jose said. Thus: "The newspapers should be given such leeway and tolerance as to enable them to courageously and effectively perform their important role in our democracy. But the girls later executed an affidavit saying that they were mistaken in Identifying Crisologo as among the five men who allegedly abused them. when Crisologo with three companions arrived. On the way. a realistic account of the obligation of a news media to disseminate information of a public attendant on the business of publishing cannot be ignored. whose vehicle was used by Miss de la Cruz. this Court.

this Court found occasion to express ills opinion on privileged communications. argues that the headline (libelous per se) added by the respondents rendered the same actionable. without any comments or remarks.. We are of the opinion and so hold that no error was committed by the lower court in considering the questioned remarks of the appellee as privileged and in consequently dismissing the information for lack of cause of action. in turn.. 20 Nor is it to indulge merely in general propositions. as it does in the present case.. alleged offending publication is apparent. because said headline is not borne out by the facts recited in the context.. Lopez: "The Court of Appeals found 'that the context of the article in question. Aquino. as they seem in this case. it would become evident that the facts thus alleged in the information would not constitute an offense of libel. Rivera. The news item was the result of a press release in connection with an official investigation of the Anti-Usury Division. even if it is true in the absence of "good intention" and "justifiable motive" thus: "A fair and true report. to wit: . B. There was no attempt to sensationalize. Such excessive scrunity would defeat the protection which the law throws over privileged communication. People v. The theory of the petitioner. this Court has adopted a liberal attitude in favor of the writer in matter of the relevancy of allegedly libelous statements in judicial pleadings. or speech delivered in said proceedings. What was testified to was to that effect. while assuming that the article in question is privileged. The petitioner. because the petitioner had thereby been branded and condemned as a 4 usurer' when as a matter of fact no criminal charge was even filed against him for the crime of usury in any court of justice. there is no allegation of the irrelevancy or impertinency of the questioned statements to the cause. made in good faith.S. stripped of incidentals. We believe that nobody reading the whole news item would come to the conclusion that the petitioner had been accused or convicted of . 4. It succinctly set forth the facts. contending that the trial judge's conclusion on the face of the information that defendant-appellee was prompted only by good motives assumes a fact to he proved. 27Nonetheless. 21 this Court precisely sustained a court of first instance when it quashed an information for libel. 731. the privilege becomes at once apparent and defendant need not wait until the trial and produce evidence before he can raise the question of privilege. or of any statement. N. impartial and true report of official or public proceeding authorized by law. Respondent Judge ought not to have betrayed lack of sensitivity to the categorical pronouncements of this Court in the above three decisions that call for application. the newspaper publisher was not held liable. The doctrine of privileged communication moreover is explicitly provided for in the Revised Penal Code. It did not go beyond the actual report of official actuations. relying on press freedom to show that the fact charged do not constitute an offense." How else could it have been expressed? That was to portray with accuracy what was contained in the news item. Considering the above. . As pointed out in the opinion of Justice Barrera. The article merely reported a raid on the 'business offices of three alleged money lenders. yet when in the information itself it appears. report. 37 Phil... v. or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions. the accused. respondent Andres. 25 In a third case. Again there is relevance to the following excerpt from Quisumbing v. it was pointed out: "As heretofore stated.. Bustos. A privileged communication should not be subjected to miscroscopic examination to discover grounds of malice or falsity. In People v. In U. of any judicial. The Chief Justice then explained why: "We are of the opinion that the appealed decision is correct. the competence of a court to continue with a pending case ceases. The tone is both neutral and objective. an accurate report of the official proceedings taken by the Anti-Usury Division. It has been a well-settled doctrine since Conde v. that the communication alleged to be libelous is contained in an appropriate pleading in a court proceeding. inconvenience." 22 That contention was rejected in this wise: "While there is some point to this contention. 18 3. 23 Similarly. a motion to quash was sustained in the later case of People v. Andres to demonstrate that it is fitting and appropriate for a court of first instance to dismiss an information on a motion to quash where the privileged character of the. Nor is a different conclusion called for just because the heading of the news item arising from the testimony of Jaime Jose was worded thus: "LINK CRISOLOGO SON TO PASAY RAPE CASE. and that the alleged privileged nature of defendant-appellee's publication is a matter of defense and is not a proper ground for dismissal of the complaint for libel .. and was a substantial. Andres. legislative. if not a faithful reproduction of the said press release which was. I. 19 that under such circumstances. its headline NBI MEN RAID OFFICES OF 3 CITY USURERS. to be really pertinent and relevant to defendant's plea for reconsideration based on complainant's supposed partiality and abuse of power from which defendant has a right to seek relief in vindication of his client's interest as a litigant in complainant's court. is libelous per se. And if added to this. a jurisdictional issue was raised. it was argued by the prosecution "that the trial court erred in dismissing the case on a mere motion to quash. as an exception to the general principle that every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious. It is worthy to mention here that in the information for libel. The prosecution in its pleadings before the lower court could not deny the accuracy of what was reported.' and related the steps actually taken or to be taken by the proper officials relative to the investigation. 26 reference was made toPeople v. impartial and accurate report of an official investigation of the Anti-Usury Division of the National Bureau of Investigation and therefore privileged. . Petitioners then ought not to have been subjected to the annoyance. admittedly not forming part of the basic press release but merely added by the respondents. Alvarez.Service and the Evening News exhibited mala fides by the mere fact of narrating in a news item the testimony of a witness in a rape case just because it did cast a reflection on the conduct of a third party. is a fair. et al. and trouble of going to a distant province and defend themselves against a charge unwarrant under well-settled norms of constitutional dimension. or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature. 24 In the opinion of Justice Regala. is that while the body of the news item may be considered as being fair. the questioned imputations appear. There being a denial of a constitutional right.

Funds Use by Colleague” Daily Mirror (Aug 13. E. and the importance to be attached thereto. plaintiff avers that the Aug 11 article had the effect of conveying the idea that the offenses imputed to her were more serious than they really were. She also said that the article did not mention that fact that the number of stencils involved in the charge was only 18 or 20. and it must . 1971 made permanent. who was responsible for the dismissal of the complainant from her employment. 1955. Reyes. 1970 as well as the order of respondent Judge of March 25. the amount or value of the property embezzled is material to said offense. concur. respondent Judge or any person who may have taken his place being prohibited from taking any action in Criminal Case No.. The headline of the Aug 11 article was given prominence with a 6-column (about 11 inches) banner headline of 1-inch types. naturally would lead one to think that the persons involved were usurers. Moreover. defendants had no means of knowing such “details. although the trips actually were made from Jul 8-Aug 31. the complaints for said offenses having been filed by Reyes. 1956 and in the Daily Mirror of August 13. CFI dismissed the complaint on the ground that the plaintiff had not proven that defendants had acted maliciously in publishing the articles. but. Pending completion. But. By omitting these details. The fact that the raid was conducted by anti-usury agents following receipt of a complaint against the petitioner and two others. CONSTANTE C. Antonio and Concepcion Jr. defendants could have ascertained the “details” had they wanted to. Hence. legislative or other official proceedings. as a news item. Alba had shown that plaintiff was guilty and that. Col. one of her subordinates in the Commission. AGUILAR CRUZ and CONSORCIO BORJE FACTS: Policarpio was executive secretary of UNESCO Nat’l Commission. she had filed charges against Herminia Reyes. and that the falsification imputed to her was said to have been committed by claiming that certain expenses for which she had sought reimbursement were incurred in trips during the period from July 1 – Sept 30 1955. ROLDAN. the penalty for estafa/embezzlement depends partly upon the amount of the damage caused to the offended party. As such. to the effect that plaintiff “was charged with malversation & estafa by the Pres’l Complaint & Action Commission” (PCAC) is not true. THE MANILA TIMES PUBLICATION CO. in turn. for publishing two defamatory. VILLA-REAL.” Prior to Aug 11. which are not of confidential nature. As regards the number of sheets & the nature of the falsification charged. Policarpio filed a libel suit to Manila Times Publishing Co. JJ. LUMEN POLICARPIO vs. 1956): “WOMAN OFFICIAL SUED PCAC RAPS L. INC. 1956): “PALACE OPENS INVESTIGATION OF RAPS AGAINST POLICARPIO Alba Probes Administrative Phase of Fraud Charges Against Unesco Woman Official. Its sub-title – ‘PCAC raps Policarpio on fraud” – printed in bold 1 cm type is not true. Nothing in the headline or the context of the article suggested the Idea that the petitioner was already charged with or convicted of the crime of usury. Newspapers must enjoy a certain degrees of discretion in determining the manner in which a given event should be presented to the public. as a consequence. Defendants contend that though the complaints were filed. Fiscal Sets Prelim Quiz of Criminal Suit on Aug 22” The articles contain news on Reyes’ charges against Policarpio for having malversed public property and of having fraudulently sought reimbursement of supposed official expenses. they argue that these “details” do not affect the truthfulness of the article as a whole. It was said that Policarpio used several sheets of government stencils for her private and personal use. Newspapers may publish news items relative to judicial. Neither is it true that said “criminal action was initiated as a result of current administrative investigation. No costs. 1956 which are as follows: Saturday Mirror (Aug 11. 28 WHEREFORE. The number of stencil sheets used was actually mentioned in the Aug 13 article. although portions thereof were inaccurate or false. We agree with the Court of Appeals that the headline complained of may fairly be said to contain a correct description of the news story. because the public is entitled to know the truth with respect to such proceedings. that the sum allegedly misappropriated by her was only P54. also. libelous and false articles/news items in Saturday Mirror of August 11. the writ of certiorari prayed for is granted and the order of respondent Judge denying the motion to quash of December 17. a publication containing derogatory information must be not only true. Reyes’ complaint alleged that Policarpio had asked for refund of expenses for use of her car when she had actually made the trip aboard an army plane. 1971 denying the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners are set aside and nullified.. ISSUE: Whether or not the defendant is guilty of having published libelous/defamatory articles HELD: Yes. and that its presentation in a sensational manner is not per se illegal. MANUEL V. the statement in the 1st paragraph of the article. hence. coupled with the announcement by the Chief of the NBI Anti-Usury Division that criminal action would be filed in the city fiscal's office. not by the PCAC but by Reyes. imparts the ideal that the probability of guilt is greater than when the complaints are filed by a private individual. 11-V for Libel except for the purpose of dismissing the same. fair. & caused the latter to be separated from the service. Also. this inaccuracy is insignificant & immaterial to the case for the fact is that said complaints were filed. It is obvious that the filing of criminal complaints by another agency of the Govt. particularly after an investigation conducted by the same. Policarpio was said to be absent from the Bayambang conference for which she also sought a refund of expenses. like the PCAC. wspecially when the latter is a former subordinate of the alleged offender.usury. filed counter-charges which were referred for investigation. The writ of prohibition is likewise granted and the restraining order issued on June 10..” Plaintiff maintains that the effect of these false statements was to give the general impression that said investigation by Col. Besides. POLICARPIO ON FRAUDS Unesco Official Head Accused on Supplies.. PCAC had filed the corresponding complaints w/ the fiscal’s office. The other charge refers to the supposed reimbursements she had made for a trip to Quezon and Pangasinan. Alba had already taken the testimony of witnesses. Reyes filed a complaint against Policarpio for alleged malversation of public funds & another complaint for estafa thru falsification of public documents. to enjoy immunity.

were on file. the Philippines defense establishment rushed to the island a platoon of scout rangers led by Major Wilfredo Encarnacion. as well as on other dailies. only two individuals able to read and write.000 for attorney's fees. due to a series of killings committed since Christmas of 1995. There is reinforcement to such a view in the new Civil Code providing for the recovery of moral damages for libel. 31 July 1970] First Division. truly rather to be chosen than great riches. such an error occurred. slander or any other form of defamation. 2 concur in result. made in good faith. Court of Appeals [GR L-26549. the report of Fidel Cruz. in fact was. the pictures that were published on both occasions were that of Fidel G. As soon. Lopez and Gatbonton published the picture of Fidel Cruz. libeling a person results in depriving him of his good reputation. of value. and thereby expose him to public hatred. businessman and contractor. the Aug 11 article presented her in a worse predicament than that in which she. He utilized it to inform authorities in Manila that the people in the place were living in terror. we inadvertently published the picture of former Mayor Fidel G. It turned out that the photographs of Cruz and that of Fidel Cruz. Cruz of Sta. this rectification or clarification does not wipe out the responsibility arising from the publication of the Aug 11 article. The businessman Fidel G." The magazine on both occasions carried photographs of the person purporting to be Fidel Cruz. however. is a libel on the person whose picture is published. It likewise indicated the number of stencil sheets involved." No inroads on press . and P1. in 'Our Own Who's Who feature in the Year End Quiz' of This Week in lieu of the health inspector Fidel Cruz. Gatbonton. Mention was made that while Fidel Cruz story turned out to he false. who was connected with a story about a murderer running loose on Calayan Island. RPC provides that “Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious even if it be true. another P5. Upon arriving at the reported killermenaced Babuyan Claro. I f they did not.000 as moral damages. if brought to light the misery of the people living in that place. Then in the 29 January 1956 issue of This Week Magazine.000 as actual damages. Held: A libel was defined as a "malicious defamation. the photographs and the correction moreover were enclosed by four lines. then the publication would actually be malicious. except. or the like. or reputation." to use his own descriptive word. Major Wilfredo Encarnacion branded as a "hoax. or publish the alleged or natural defects of one who is alive. Fernando (J): 4 concur. We here express our profound regrets that. who nevertheless did the country a good turn by calling the government's attention to that forsaken and desolate corner of the Republic. Art. they were guilty of negligence in making said statement. food and clothing being scarce. HELD: Decision reversed. devoted a pictorial article to it in its issue of 15 January 1956. and as such subjects the offender to a fine or imprisonment. What is more." Together with the foregoing correction. the two photographs were inadvertently switched. and the item was placed in a conspicuous place in order to call the attention of the readers to such amends being made. Viewed from this angle. This Week Magazine of the Manila Chronicle. Unfortunately. the type used was bolder than ordinary. 354. aside from containing information derogatory to the plaintiff. printing. After trial duly had. sending a distress signal to a passing United States Airforce plane which in turn relayed the message to Manila. Bulacan. a news story of a sanitary inspector assigned to the Babuyan Islands. w/o any comments or remarks…. its sub-title “PCAC raps Policarpio on fraud” is a comment or remark. To redress this personal wrong money damages are awarded to the injured person. Cruz sued Lopez and Gatbonton in the Court of First Instance of Manila for the recovery of damages alleging the defamatory character of the above publication of his picture. Cruz." There was an express provision in such legislation for a tort or a quasidelict action arising from libel. Issue: Whether the claim of freedom of the press negates Lopez’ and Gatbonton’s liability arising from libel. Accordingly. then edited by Juan T. of which Eugenio Lopez was the publisher. by stating that neither Col. Fidel Cruz by name. instead of the alleged killers. We note that the Aug 13 article rectified a major inaccuracy in the 1st article.” In the case at bar. atty’s fees plus cost. who merely wanted transportation home to Manila. a businessman-contractor from Santa Maria. That was the term employed by the other newspapers when referring to the incident. the "January News Quiz" included an item on the central figure in what was known as the Calayan Hoax. Maria. That judgment was affirmed on appeal to the appellate Court. an impairment of it is a personal wrong. Losing no time. the same Fidel Cruz. either defendants knew the truth or they did not. Bulacan. tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead or to impeach the honesty. Alba nor the PCAC had filed the complaints. there appeared on the front page of The Manila Chronicle. expressed either in writing. 1 dissents in separate opinion Facts: In the early part of January 1956. Earlier in its Special Year End Quiz appearing in its issue of 18 January 1956. or ridicule. But. the defamatory imputations contained in said article are “presumed to be malicious” In falsely stating that the complaints were filed by PCAC. and hence is of peculiar moment to the state as the guardian of the public peace. in the library of the Manila Chronicle in accordance with the standard procedure observed in other newspaper offices. however. cooked up a story about a murderer running loose on the island of Calayan so that he could be ferried back to civilization. According to the standard treatise of Newell on Slander and Libel: "Publication of a person's photograph in connection with an article libelous of a third person. as the inadvertent error was brought to the attention of Lopez and Gatbonton. where the acts set out in the article are imputed to such person. Lopez vs. among other things. an American Army plane dropping on the beach of an island an emergency-sustenance kit containing. a man. contempt. Since reputation is a thing. but when the news quiz format was prepared. reference was made to a health inspector who suddenly felt "lonely" in his isolated post. In view of this finding. or by signs or pictures. He was given the appellation of "Hoax of the Year. the following correction was immediately published in This Week Magazine on January 27. “A fair and true report. He was not ignored.be made in good faith and without any comments or remarks. besides being false. If they did. a two-way radio set. or if they acted under a misapprehension of the facts. Defendants ordered to pay plaintiff moral damages. sanitary inspector." Why libel law has both a criminal and a civil aspect is explained by Hale in his Law of the Press thus: "On the one hand. with almost everybody sick. he was awarded P5. the publication of defamatory statements tends strongly to induce breach of the peace by the person defamed. Major Encarnacion and his men found. Lopez and Gatbonton filed the petition for certiorari. On the other hand. Said article was not a fair and true report of the proceedings therein alluded to. although it should mitigate it. virtue. 1957: "While we were rushing to meet the deadline for January 13th issue of This Week. libel is a crime. if no good intention & justifiable motive for making it is shown.

(US Automotive hereafter) seeking to annul and set aside two writs of sequestration issued by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (Commission hereafter) on February 12. 79126 April 15. to emphasize what has so clearly emerged.617 Bulletin shares. their successors. It should be noted that there was no proof of any actual pecuniary loss arising from the above publication. However. In both corporations. 2 In Liwayway.S. 1986. or their representatives from taking part or intervening...R. DIAZ AND COMMISSIONER MARY CONCEPCION BAUTISTA. petitioner. U. and to direct the immediate acceptance by the Commission of Bulletin's offer to debosit in cash." all of general and national circulation. This is not to deny that the party responsible invites the institution either of a criminal prosecution or a civil suit. In G. Emiho T. respondents. 1988 BULLETIN PUBLISHING CORPORATION (BULLETIN). 1987 by Liwayway Publishing. AUTOMOTIVE CO. their successors." and three weekly vernacular magazines. DIAZ. namely. automotive Co. Inc.. DEPUTY MINISTER. If the cases mean anything at all then. Automotive sequestering the President/Chairman's shares of stocks in the Liwayway as of April 15. pending and subject to final determination/adjudication of the ownership of said shares and to lift the sequestration order of April 11.808. This is merely to underscore the primacy that freedom of the press enjoys. to prohibit the voting of Bulletin shares by respondents.S.R.. a specific amount for the value of sequestered shares in the Bulletin pursuant to the restrictions on their transferability as provided in its Articles of Incorporation. he held 2.S. 1987 two writs of sequestration. Liwayway and Bulletin are domestic corporations engaged in the business of publication of newspapers and magazines. one addressed to the President/Chairman of the Board of the U. the Commission had issued on February 12." "Bisaya" and "Bannawag. 77422 is a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction and/or restraining order filed on February 24. while.5 thereof as treasury shares and 765. vs. prohibition and mandamus with prayer for preliminary writ of injunction and urgent ex-parte restraining order filed on July 27.S. PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG) SECRETARY RAMON A. The former publishes a daily newspaper. they call for the utmost care on the part of the judiciary to assure that in safeguarding the interest of the party allegedly offended.." LIWAYWAY PUBLISHING. a realistic account of the obligation of a news media to disseminate information of a public character and to comment thereon as well as the conditions attendant on the business of publishing cannot be ignored. Yap is the biggest stockholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors. 1987 on the shares of stocks of U.861 subscribed shares. (Liwayway hereafter) and U. held 318. Automotive in Liwayway. 1986. 1986.: I. considering the value the law justly places on a man's reputation. INC.S. It is worthwhile to recall what Justice Malcolm referred to as the tolerant attitude on the part of appellate courts on this score. INC. 3 TEEHANKEE. Mr. in any acts.R. vs. Inc. "Liwayway." while the latter publishes the "Manila Bulletin" a daily newspaper and its weekly magazines. in the management of Bulletin. AND U. 1 a corporation wholly owned and controlled by him and his family.R. directly or indirectly. to enjoin respondents. LIWAYWAY CASE These two cases are jointly resolved because of the common identity of and related issues by the parties.. the "Balita. RESOLUTION G. if any. the correction promptly made by Lopez and Gatbonton would thus call for a reduction in the damages awarded. The "Philippine Panorama. Automotive Co. It ranks rather high in the hierarchy of legal values.J. No. As of February 21. 1987 by Bulletin Publishing Corporation (Bulletin hereafter) to set aside the April 14. HON. under escrow.5 with 198. as well as the implementing directive addressed to the Central Bank Governor of even date and to prohibit the Commission from conducting proceedings in connection with the said sequestration. MARY CONCEPCION BAUTISTA COMMISSIONER. RAMON A. respondents. without prejudice to the writing of an extended opinion. owned almost 70% of total Liwayway issued shares . with any banking institution as may be designated by this Court. HON. U.S. on their representatives. 79126 is a petition for certiorari. "(B)y April. petitioners. Automotive.. G.052. so as to protect the interest of the government.084 shares out of the total outstanding Bulletin shares of 567. It must be admitted that what was done did invite such a dire consequence.freedom should be allowed in the guise of punitive action visited in what otherwise could be characterized as libel whether in the form of printed words or a defamatory imputation resulting from the publication of Cruz's picture with the offensive caption as in complained of. G. and the other . 1987 order issued by the Commission which declared their intent to vote the "sequestered shares" in Bulletin. C. . 1986. 77422. the usual practice being "more likely to reduce damages for libel than to increase them. PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT.

including safety deposit boxes. respondent Commission is not naming anyone at this time.000. On February 27.(MIPTI) which he later endorsed to the new MIPTI Chairman. trust accounts. 1987. Inc. as well as the Commission's then Vice-Chairman. Yap admits that he owns 2. He had resigned from the chairmanship of BASECO since October 20. Marcos and their prima facie sufficiently in this wise: The then Solicitor General. bearer certificates and unnumbered accounts. transfers or remittances from funds or assets under any type of deposit accounts. founder of U. and they agreed further to preserve the status quo ante pending joining of the issues on the merits or a showing of some irregularity that would warrant the Commission's intervention. But with the closing out of this case. He acquired the original 240 shares by subscription at the time of incorporation and augmented by stock dividends to the present stockholding of 2. assured the Court that Liwayway's funds would not be choked off and that the Commission would not in any way interfere or intervene in the management or operations of the publication nor with its editorial policy or reportage or in any way impinge upon its freedom. As to the sequestration orders. modifying its previous memorandum of February 12th and asking him to instruct all banks to honor all checks of Liwayway and further stating that "(A)lthough mention is made in the letter of the naming of a fiscal agent. 1987. Inc. the Commission requested the Central Bank to instruct all commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions not to allow any withdrawals. Inc. the Solicitor General filed his manifestation as undertaken by him. Yap. Ramon Diaz. 1986. On the same date. to all banks not to allow any withdrawals or remittances from its funds. is a "crony" if not downright "dummy" of the deposed President Ferdinand Marcos. Accordingly. now Secretary of Justice.S. Regarding the BASECO certificates of shares of stocks purportedly belonging to Yap and endorsed to "someone" whose name was left in blank — this Court should require the respondents to produce the originals of said stock certificates in order to verify the claim that they have been endorsed in blank. He has never been a stockholder nor an officer of the Jai-Alai Corporation. he never received any cash dividend nor profited from BASECO. Sedfrey Ordoñez. It was brought out that Liwayway made over P8 million in 1986 and paid more than half of that in income tax. The Court gave due faith and credence thereto and the above-cited undertakings of the Commission. has strongly countered the Commission's allegations as to his alleged business association with Mr. Automotive in Liwayway Publishing. Mr. to assure compliance regardless of any change in the composition of the Commission or of other public officials concerned. and/or money market placements. 3.508 shares of stocks of BASECO which constitute less than 2% of the total 218. the Court will formalize the parties' agreement through the issuance of an injunction to the same effect. the Commission claims that Emilio Yap. He resigned as chairman of the Board before the Aquino administration. now Chairman. except for "payment of regular salaries and wages" which would virtually shut down its publications. 5. 1987. On the issue of freedom of the press. 2. (hereafter HMH&M).508 shares. as hereafter ordered and the denial of petitioner's plea to lift the sequestration orders. except those which may pertain to payment of regular salaries and wages of Liwayway and HM Holding and Management. as of April 15.addressed to the President/Chairman of the Board of Liwayway sequestering all shares of stocks pertaining to U.S. at the Commission's behest. stocks and bonds. . submitting a copy of the Commission's letter dated February 26. unnecessary by the Commission's manifestation and undertakings. Automotive Co.. He owned only one qualifying share in the Manila International Port Terminals. petitioners filed its manifestation and reply to the opposition alleging the following: 1. 1983. Out of his duly paid investment of P60. to the CB Governor.819 outstanding shares of stocks of the company. in lieu of a temporary restraining order which has been rendered On March 2. Petitioners' plea for a temporary restraining order was heard on February 26. Jose Fernandez. Mr. considering the Central Bank's blanket memorandum. 4. 1987. the hearing being limited to whether a restraining order should issue to restrain the commission against denying Liwayway the use and availment of its funds in the banks to put out its regular publications as well as against the Commission's interference or intervention in the management or operations of Liwayway. organized long before martial law. This renders moot this particular issue of unwarranted intervention of the Commission and impairment of press freedom. the Court noted with commendation the Solicitor General's pledge at the hearing that the Commission will not in any way act in such a way as to impinge upon the freedom of expression or freedom to publish the newspaper. in turn. the Court enjoined faithful compliance therewith by all concerned.

. (46. 1986 an order sequestering the shares of former President Marcos. stated that only Mr. Eduardo Cojuangco.5 Bulletin shares of Mr. Campos' shares were voluntarily surrendered. without the shadow of government participation in the same. the true ownership of the shares has still to be determined by the Sandiganbayan where Civil Case No. 7. and Jose Y. Emilio Yap. Jr.626 shares). G. Emilio T. Jr." As in the Liwayway case. Cesar Zalamea. Campos for a total price of P8. No." is pending. their nominees or agents in the Bulletin Publishing Corporation. 606380 and voucher and 121. 1987.96 per PTC Check No. agents or representatives to cease and desist from voting Bulletin shares.626 minority sequestered shares in the name of Mr. it contended that unless there is a confession or admission that the said shares are "ill-gotten assets" of Mr. the Commission sold to it 46. Respondents' comment alleged that the Commission will vote only the shares of Cesar Zalamea (121. Campos 46. decided also this month. and the parties' conflicting factual contentions have to be threshed out and adjudged in the Sandiganbayan. 0022 entitled "Republic . 1987. Marcos became president.5 shares which were the subject of the sequestration order and that the shares of Emilio Yap were excluded by virtue of the Commission's order dated March 16. that governmental presence in petitioner's board will most certainly cast that shadow and threaten the independence of the press as an institution of mass media protected and guaranteed by the Constitution. under sequestration. 1988.174. Eduardo Cojuangco. 1987. as second biggest stockholder on the invitation of Gen. But as the Court has consistently held and reiterated in PCGG vs. in any acts in the management of the Bulletin daily newspaper. however.506. directly or indirectly. In an order dated April 14. respondents urge the dismissal of the petition "for want of factual basis. 1986 is limited to a minority of 214.424.6.S. 79126. in the amount of P8. the Commission concedes that it may not lawfully intervene and participate in the management and operations of a private mass media such as Bulletin for the purpose of maintaining its freedom and independence as guaranteed by the Constitution and therefore the temporary restraining order heretofore issued on July 28. 1988 that on July 31. 1987 ordering the respondents.178 shares 4 Subsequently.. Menzi long before Mr. the Commission declared their intent to vote the sequestered shares. Respondents' memorandum of January 26. II. which is vested with exclusive jurisdiction over the case. unless subsequent events or circumstances call for such exercise pursuant to law.R. Campos at the time of its issuance. issued on October 15. 1987 which awaits the Commission's acceptance. denies being a party therein. It is petitioner's contention that what is at stake here is the freedom of our press institutions to independently manage their own affairs and effectively preserve editorial policies and objectives. 1987 ordering the Commission or its representative to "cease and desist from voting the shares or otherwise from intervening directly or indirectly in the management of petitioner Bulletin" will be made permanent. The issue left for resolution is whether the Commission may continue to refuse to accept the cash deposit offered for the present balance of 46. their successors. 77663. Automotive and treasury shares are all in the respective possession of the registered owners and have not been endorsed to anyone. Eduardo Cojuangco as prayed for in the petition.5 shares) for a total of 214. 607590. In their Memorandum. 46. The Court issued a temporary retraining order on July 28. on July 27. hence.32 per PTC Check No. Peña. He invested in the Bulletin in 1961.R. Petitioner. respondents Commission and members expressly have declared that the Commission no longer intends to exercise its right to vote the sequestered shares. Marcos and/or his cronies. Campos (46.. or otherwise from taking part or intervening.620. Subject to said admission. Jr. 1987. vs. All original stock certificates issued to U. Eduardo Cojuangco.178 Bulletin shares of Cesar Zalamea for a total price of P21. the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. 1987.5 shares in the name of Messrs.470.926.620. the instant petition was filed seeking the nullification of the above mentioned order. Jr. As to the remaining 46.620. 607887 and voucher issued on October 15.626 shares Jose Y.5 shares . Thus. In G. as follows: Cesar Zalamea 121. the petitioner has offered to deposit in cash the value of the shares with the Commission. It is admitted of record that the Sequestration Order of April 22. however. Yap. and Jose Y. BULLETIN CASE Cojuangco. the Commission issued on April 22.244. et al. Thus.178 shares). that the Commission's present role is confined largely to monitoring Bulletin's activities in terms of preventing any dissipation and disposition of funds and assets and does not extend to the exercise of the voting of the shares. Jr. On the matter of the shares of Cojuangco and Zalamea. petitioner alleged in its memorandum of January 2.626 Bulletin shares of Mr.. Eduardo Cojuangco. they were accepted by the Commission. however. the Commission considers it premature to enter into any transaction affecting those shares pending determination of their ownership.424.06 per PTC Check No. Jose Y.173.

the rights of the parties and of the government. Eduardo Cojuangco. Jr. In view of the foregoing. Jr.926.174. free from liens and encumbrances. it has acknowledged the recognized vested right of the Bulletin to purchase Bulletin shares that may be put up for sale. if any. Eduardo Cojuangco. In both situations. on July 31. the transaction will end here. pending final determination/adjudication of the matter.96 and accepted PTC Check No.626 shares under any of the following two (2) alternatives specifically proposed by petitioner: Alternative "A" — To standby as full payment plus whatever interest earnings thereon upon final judgment of the Court declaring the Republic of the Philippines as owners of the 46. 607887 and Voucher issued on October 15. Petitioner's Addendum).470. Inc. 606380 and Voucher (pp. 607590. pertaining to the deposed President Marcos. or to corporations. Petitioner's Addendum). 1987 (pp. Eduardo Cojuangco. The Commission has nothing to lose and everything to gain by accepting the cash deposit offered by petitioner for the shares in the name of Mr.173. (2) The PCGG also sold to petitioner Bulletin 121. 11 of the Constitution which provides: "Sec. Sec. under sequestration. 13-14. Cesar C. when and if we dispose of those shares.5 Bulletin shares of Mr. XVI. 11-12. This Resolution is issued to uphold the freedom of our press institutions to independently manage their affairs and effectively preserve their editorial policies and objectives. the first step to take is to offer the same to the corporation.06 per PTC Check No. he recognized the restrictions on the transferability of Bulletin shares accruing in favor of petitioner Bulletin when he wrote.174. Jose Y. This cash deposit including interest earning is to be applied on the said 46. The offer of cash deposit is in line with the government program on privatization and in keeping with constitutional guarantee of press freedom and to maintain private mass media free from government intervention in its management directly or indirectly. Petitioner correctly maintains that its offer in good faith to PCGG of the cash deposit for the sequestered shares will protect the interest of the government. now as (Annex 'A').5 shares and that the Bulletin shares of Emilio Yap owned by him since 1961 were excluded from the said sequestration." In the letter dated July 8. cooperatives or associations. The cash deposit being offered by petitioner is similar in nature and purpose to a cash bond put up for a litigant during the pendency of the case.424. this is immaterial in the light of the resolution of the case providing for the exercise of petitioner Bulletin's right of preemption over such shares. 1987. and the corporation may offer it to the other stockholders if it so desires.32 plus whatever interest earnings thereon upon final judgment by the Court declaring that Mr.32 per PTC check No. since the government is barred anyway from acquiring ownership and management of private mass media such as the Bulletin Publishing. Jr. under Art. As already noted hereinabove. and converting them into cash to be returned to the people in government projects such as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).470.626 shares.Total 214. But we cannot avoid the circumstance that the corporation itself will desire to buy the stocks and therefore.506. issued in the name of the government. there is a counter-allegation on the part of the Commission that it had not sold the Zalamea shares but there are indications that it had accepted the check and voucher therefor as stated herein. The Commission itself has recognized that government presence in petitioner's Board will most certainly cast that shadow and . in the amount of P8.178 Bulletin shares of Mr. wholly-owned and managed by such citizens. 11(1). (pp. are adequately protected. issued on October 15. PCGG sold to petitioner Bulletin 46. (1) Thus. Zalamea for a total price of P21. by virtue of the Commission's order of March 16. is the true owner of the 46. 1987. 1987. and which awaits PCGG acceptance. Petitioner's Addendum).620. without the shadow of government participation and intervention.626 Bulletin shares of Mr. The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines. (3) As to the remaining 46. Whatever be the case. Campos for a total price of P8. 12-13. Likewise.244. petitioner Bulletin has consistently offered to deposit in cash the value of the shares with respondent PCGG.626 shares. duly endorsed in favor of the Bulletin Publishing Corporation. or Alternative "B" — To immediately return to Bulletin Publishing Corporation the cash deposit in the amount of P8. in consonance with the Commission's very purpose and objective of preserving the assets and ill-gotten wealth that may be recovered. accompanied by the corresponding original stock certificates. 1987 of Commission Chairman Diaz to Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa sa Media ng Pilipinas (KAMMP).

Petitioner . was on their way to the Commission on Elections office in Shariff Aguak to file Mangudadatu’s Certificate of Candidacy1 when they were accosted by a group of about 100 armed men at a checkpoint in Sitio Malating. a convoy of seven vehicles carrying the relatives of then Maguindanao vice-mayor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu. TETCH TORRES.174. CECILIA VICTORIA OREÑA-DRILON. Making permanent the temporary restraining order heretofore issued on July 28. The hostages were systematically killed by shooting them at close range with automatic weapons. GEMMA OQUENDO. Zalamea Bulletin shares to petitioner (supra. MALOU MANGAHAS. p. and Edu Punay (Punay). as well as lawyers and journalists. Maria Ressa. Cecilia Victoria Oreña-Drilon (Drilon). QUINSAYAS. NENITA OQUENDO. Directing the Commission to accept the cash deposit of P8. and Q-10. judgment is rendered.R. PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER. some four to ten kilometers from their destination. Subsequently. CARPIO. 1987. Q-09-162216-31. Gemma Oquendo (Gemma). represented The Case Before the Court is a petition for Contempt filed by Atty.626 sequestered shares in the name of Mr. 2. and EDU PUNAY. G. Respondents. DANILO GOZO. No. MELINDA QUINTOS DE JESUS.. and 2. Quinsayas and the other respondents. Respondents Atty. REYNALDO HULOG. et al. 77422. PHILIP SIGFRID A. SOPHIA DEDACE. Quinsayas. Esmael Mangudadatu (Mangudadatu). Branch 221. Fortun (petitioner) against Atty. through the Head of its News Group. In the Bulletin case. Quinsayas. Remanding the case regarding the issue of ownership of the said sequestered Bulletin shares for determination and adjudication to the Sandiganbayan. 13. INC. GMA NETWORK INC. criminal cases for Murder were filed and raffled to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.. Philippine Star (PhilStar) represented by its Editor-in-Chief Isaac Belmonte. Redmond Batario (Batario).96 for the sequestered shares of Bulletin in the name of Mr. Dismissing the petition for a writ of prohibition to enjoin respondents from enforcing in any manner the writs of sequestration heretofore issued over the questioned Liwayway shares whose ownership will have to be tried and determined in the Sandiganbayan. REDMOND BATARIO.: 1. and docketed as Criminal Cases No. Q-09-162148-172. et al. Nenita Oquendo (Nenita). 79126. Eduardo Cojuangco. MA. and likewise directing the Commission to accept the cash deposit. Cesar Zalamea under the same alternatives already mentioned. Malou Mangahas (Mangahas).470. ABS-CBN CORPORATION. Q-10-162652. Melinda Quintos De Jesus (De Jesus). Dennis Ayon (Ayon). JOSE PAVIA. and respondent media groups and personalities are collectively referred to in this case as respondents. Jose Pavia (Pavia). [2]) of P21. Jr. Quinsayas (Atty. for the 46. by its Editor-in-Chief Letty Jimenez Magsanoc. who are not from the media. G. Philip Sigfrid A. A total of 57 victims were killed. The Antecedent Facts On 23 November 2009. ABSCBN Corporation (ABS-CBN) through the Head of its News Group Maria Ressa (Ressa). Ma. ESMAEL MANGUDADATU. FORTUN. Petitioner. Petitioner also named as respondents GMA Network. J. judgment is likewise rendered. are referred to in this case as Atty. enjoining the Commission from any act interfering or intervening in any way or manner with the management or operations or afffirms of petitioner Liwayway Publishing. Inc. No. Sophia Dedace (Dedace). and hence had given up its initial Idea to vote the sequestered shares in petitioner Bulletin. par. As per agreement of the parties as set forth in the Resolution of March 3. Atty. Ampatuan. (PDI) represented by its Editor-in-Chief Letty Jimenez Magsanoc. Prima Jesusa B. Inc. and their bodies and vehicles were dumped in mass graves and covered with the use of a backhoe. and Danilo Gozo (Gozo). Tetch Torres (Torres).244.threaten the independence of the press which is protected and guaranteed by the Constitution. (GMA Network) through its news editors Raffy Jimenez and Victor Sollorano. in the Liwayway case. Maguindanao. and 3. DECISION ACCORDINGLY.32 offered by petitions.163766. expressly subject to the alternative conditions (A and B) hereinabove set forth. Quinsayas). DENNIS AYON. Inc. vs. if it has not actually sold the Cesar C. Reynaldo Hulog (Hulog). Ampatuan town. PHILIPPINE STAR represented by its Editor-in-Chief Isaac Belmonte.926. through its new editors Raffy Jimenez and Victor Sollorano. Philippine Daily Inquirer. PRIMA JESUSA B.2 The group was taken hostage and brought to a hilly and sparsely-populated part of Sitio Magating. 3 The gruesome aftermath of the hostage-taking was later discovered and shocked the world. 1.4 These gruesome killings became known as the Maguindanao Massacre. Barangay Salman.R. 30 of them journalists. 1987.

et al. Quinsayas.). ***** ***** ***** "Respondent Attorney Fortun’s act of misleading the prosecution and trial court is a dishonest/deceitful conduct violative of Code of Professional Responsibility. asked questions and allowed Atty. GMA Network alleged that the publication had already been done and completed when Atty. a field reporter for the judiciary. In its Comment. read the complaint. Jr. Petitioner further alleged that in announcing their "causes of action" in the disbarment case. (3) it was published following articles written about petitioner’s advocacy for the rights of an accused and negated the impact of these articles on the public. including GMA Network. written by Torres. filed a disbarment complaint against petitioner before this Court. GMA News also acted in good faith in posting the news on its website." 7 Further. Channel 23 aired on national television a program entitled "ANC Presents: Crying for Justice: the Maguindanao Massacre. Jr. Petitioner alleged that on 22 November 2010. (2) it was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre to fuel hatred. did not violate the confidentiality rule. the members of the media who reported the news and the media groups that published it on their website. impede and degrade the administration of justice by filing countless causes of action. 2009. Quinsayas in a television program viewed nationwide Petitioner alleged that the public circulation of the disbarment complaint against him exposed this Court and its investigators to outside influence and public interference. Petitioner was allegedly singled out and identified in the program as the lead counsel of the Ampatuan family. written by Dedace. Petitioner further alleged that respondent media groups and personalities conspired with Atty. by publishing the confidential materials on their respective media platforms. Quinsayas. petitioner alleged that on 23 November 2010. 6 Petitioner further alleged that on 23 November 2010. Petitioner alleged that opinion writers wrote about and commented on the disbarment complaint which opened his professional and personal reputation to attack. which according to petitioner also stated details of the disbarment case. and (4) respondents knew that the charges were baseless as petitioner always opted for speedy trial and protection of the accused’s rights at trial. 8827. the program’s host. Jr. including its principal points. actively disseminated the details of the disbarment complaint against him in violation of Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court on the confidential nature of disbarment proceedings. Quinsayas to discuss the disbarment case against petitioner. Maguindanao Governor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu and four others filed a 33 page complaint against lawyer Sigrid Fortun whom they accused of "engaging in every conceivable chichancery or artifice to unduly delay the proceedings by using and abusing legal remedies available. he diminished the public confidence in the law and the legal profession. rendering him unfit to be called a member of the Bar. Quinsayas distributed copies of the disbarment complaint and thus. Fortun had astutely embarked in an untiring quest to obstruct. thus: "Attorney Fortun used and abused legal remedies available and allowed under under the rules. The disbarment case is still pending. contempt and scorn for Ampatuan. et al."5 On even date. as follows: "Respondent Atty. "In so doing. Inquirer. Atty. In November 2010. others seek disbarment of Ampatuan lawyer. respondents were only seeking the approval and sympathy of the public against him and Ampatuan. GMA Network denied that it conspired with the other respondents in publishing the news. GMA Network alleged that it posted the disbarment . all in the hope of burying the principal issue of his client’s participation or guilt in the murder of 57 people that ill-fated day of November 23.C. GMA Network alleged that it has no newspaper or any publication where it could have printed the article. Jr. considering the following: (1) the bases of the charges were not new but were based on incidents that supposedly took place in January 2010. PhilStar published an article. Quinsayas. (Ampatuan. He alleged that the purpose of respondents in publishing the disbarment complaint was to malign his personal and professional reputation. Petitioner alleged that Atty. and his counsel and violated the accused’s right to presumption of innocence and due process. et al." Drilon. A. entitled "Mangudadatu.net. GMA News TV internet website posted an article. acted in good faith and without malice when she forwarded the news to the news desk. It alleged that it did not broadcast the disbarment complaint on its television station. Petitioner pointed out that Drilon discussed the disbarment complaint with Atty." a portion of which reads: On Monday. muddled the issues and diverted the attention away from the main subject matter of the cases. GMA Network further alleged that Dedace. which gave details of the disbarment allegations." read the complaint.is the counsel for Datu Andal Ampatuan. written by Punay. also published an article." the petitioners said. the website of PDI. the principal accused in the murder cases. docketed as Bar Matter No.

She alleged that she acted in good faith and without malice in forwarding her news story to the news desk and that she had no intention to. commonly known as ANC. Her beat includes the Supreme Court. dates. critical. Ayon. Finally. Ressa alleged that she had no participation in the production and showing of the broadcast on 23 November 2010. are two different corporations. ABS-CBN and Drilon further alleged that prior to the broadcast of the program on 23 November 2010. ABS-CBN alleged that ABS-CBN News Channel.m. PDI alleged in its Comment that it shares content with the Inquirer. also filed a joint Comment claiming that the alleged posting and publication of the articles were not established as a fact. with separate legal personalities. influence or interfere in the proceedings of the disbarment case. They denied petitioner’s allegation that they conspired with the other respondents in violating the confidentiality rule in disbarment proceedings. Quinsayas arrived. Drilon even cautioned against the revelation of petitioner’s name in the program." is a subsidiary of ABS-CBN but it has its own juridical personality although SNN and ABS-CBN have interlocking directors. affairs and character. she was on terminal leave beginning 30 October 2010 in advance to the expiration of her contract on 3 January 2011. ABS-CBN and Drilon filed a joint Comment. and untruthful comment. is maintained and operated by Sarimanok Network News (SNN) and not by ABS-CBN. Atty. the filing of the disbarment complaint against petitioner was already the subject of widespread news and already of public knowledge. In her Comment. Quinsayas. Hulog. without any unfair. she received an advice from fellow field reporter Mark Merueñas that the lawyer of Mangudadatu would be filing a disbarment case against petitioner. GMA Network alleged that it had no intention to malign petitioner’s personal and professional reputation in posting the news about the disbarment complaint on its website. Torres8 alleged in her Comment that on 17 November 2010. Torres maintained that she acted in good faith in writing the news report because the Maguindanao Massacre was a matter of public concern and the allegations in the disbarment complaint were in connection with petitioner’s handling of the case.net website through a syndication but the latter has its own editors and publish materials that are not found on the broadsheet. They also assailed the penalty of imprisonment prayed for by petitioner as too harsh. and Mangahas. Dedace alleged that on 22 November 2010. and could not. in their capacity as members of the Board of Trustees of the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists. and the Department of Justice. Dedace alleged that she did not breach the rule on confidentiality of disbarment proceedings against lawyers when she reported the filing of the disbarment complaint against petitioner. Atty. days or places to show the alleged confederation in the dissemination of the disbarment complaint. Dedace prepared and sent her news story to GMA Network where it went to the editor. They alleged that the program was not a publication intended to embarrass petitioner who was not even identified as the respondent in the disbarment complaint. and only after it was "published" by Atty. She waited at the Supreme Court.. it does not follow that they were also the ones who caused the publication of the complaint. former counsel for FFFJ. Inc. a private prosecutor told her and several other reporters that a disbarment case would be filed against petitioner. the Court of Appeals. Respondents De Jesus. and Inquirer Interactive. She further alleged that she honestly believed that the filing of the disbarment complaint against petitioner was newsworthy and should be reported as news. Ressa adopts the answer of her co-respondents ABSCBN and Drilon insofar as it was applicable to her case. Since the lead of the story came from a lawyer. ABS-CBN and Drilon alleged that the presentation and hosting of the program were not malicious as there was no criminal intent to violate the confidentiality rule in disbarment proceedings. At around 5:00 p. they alleged that the contempt charge violates their right to equal protection because there were other reports and publications of the disbarment complaint but the publishers were not included in the charge. They alleged that petitioner did not provide the name of any particular person. and one may not be held responsible for the acts of the other. The disbarment case was actually filed on 22 November 2010 when Torres received a copy of the complaint. However.complaint. In their joint Comment. Respondents alleged . (FFFJ) and Atty. They alleged that while they were the ones who filed the disbarment complaint against petitioner. Nenita. et al. Inc. who furnished copies of the disbarment complaint to the media reporters. which produced the program "ANC Presents: Crying for Justice: the Maguindanao Massacre. It alleged that Philippine Daily Inquirer. Batario. respondents Mangudadatu. Torres did not consider that writing a story about the filing of the disbarment complaint might amount to contempt of court. Inc. Quinsayas. They alleged that the program was a commemoration of the Maguindanao Massacre and was not a report solely on the disbarment complaint against petitioner which took only a few minutes of the one-hour program. Dedace clarified that she is a field news reporter of GMA Network and not a writer of the GMA News TV website. Torres further asserted that petitioner is a public figure and the public has a legitimate interest in his doings. Torres alleged that the writing of the story was an independent act and she did not conspire with any of the other respondents. Ressa alleged that she was the former head of ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs Group and the former Managing Director of ANC. Quinsayas gave copies of the petition to news reporters and Dedace received one. SNN. In her Comment. and Gemma alleged that petitioner failed to prove that they actively participated in disseminating details of the disbarment complaint against him.

GMA Network did not deny that it posted the details of the disbarment complaint on its website. there is authority indicating that since the purpose of civil contempt proceedings is remedial. In their joint Comment. PhilStar and Punay alleged that on 22 November 2010. The Ruling of this Court First. an offense against the party in whose behalf the violated order is made. The article also did not violate petitioner’s right to privacy because petitioner is a public figure and the public has a legitimate interest in his doings. They alleged that Punay reported the plan of Mangudadatu. PhilStar and Punay alleged that their news article. et al. GMA Network’s defense is that it has no newspaper or any publication where the article could be printed. and the proceedings to punish it are punitive. They further alleged that assuming the news article is not a privileged communication. They maintained that the news article did not impede. On the other hand. the proceedings to punish a civil contempt are remedial and for the purpose of the preservation of the right of private persons. They alleged that the news article on the disbarment complaint is a qualified privileged communication.9 Atty.that petitioner did not submit certified true copies of the articles and he only offered to submit a digital video disk (DVD) copy of the televised program where Atty. it is an act obstructing the administration of justice which tends to bring the court into disrepute or disrespect. civil contempt consists in failing to do something ordered to be done by a court in a civil action for the benefit of the opposing party therein and is.13 The records of this case showed that the filing of the disbarment complaint against petitioner had been published and was the subject of a televised broadcast by respondent media groups and personalities. It has been held that civil contempt is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor. Quinsayas. Quinsayas distributed copies of the disbarment complaint to the media. without any comments from the author. It came out before the disbarment complaint was actually filed. the contempt charge filed by petitioner is in the nature of a criminal contempt.12 this Court made a distinction between criminal and civil contempt. Atty. good faith or the absence of intent to violate the court’s order is not a defense in civil contempt. truthful. and of the press under the Constitution. in addition. In People v. it did not broadcast the disbarment complaint in its television station. and that no one can be punished for a criminal contempt unless the evidence makes it clear that he intended to commit it. speech. A criminal contempt. The article was straightforward. The Court declared: A criminal contempt is conduct that is directed against the dignity and authority of the court or a judge acting judicially. Godoy. et al. were able to file the disbarment complaint the following day. interfere with. therefore. or on 23 November 2010. and that the publication was already completed when Atty. et al. It merely said that it has no publication where the article could be printed and that . was published on 23 November 2010. it is covered by the protection of the freedom of expression. petitioner failed to support his allegations that they actively disseminated the details of the disbarment complaint. They alleged that the article was a true. and accurate report on the disbarment complaint. went to this Court to file the disbarment complaint but they were not able to file it on that day. Pavia died during the pendency of this case10 and was no longer included in the Comment filed for the FFFJ Trustees. It has further been stated that intent is a necessary element in criminal contempt. which was about the plan to file a disbarment complaint against petitioner. and accurate. and character. On the other hand. Quinsayas was allegedly interviewed by Drilon. They further alleged that they did not commit any contemptible act. assuming the articles were published. 11 Gozo did not file a separate comment. the defendant’s intent in committing the contempt is immaterial. being directed against the dignity and authority of the court. to file the disbarment complaint against petitioner as it involved public interest and he perceived it to be a newsworthy subject. They also alleged that the case is a criminal contempt proceeding and intent to commit contempt of court must be shown by proof beyond reasonable doubt. The Issue The only issue in this case is whether respondents violated the confidentiality rule in disbarment proceedings. We shall discuss the defenses and arguments raised by respondents. Gozo resigned as member of the FFFJ Trustees and was no longer represented by the FFFJ counsel in filing its comment. Inc. They further claimed that it is improbable. Respondents alleged that. warranting a finding of guilt for indirect contempt of court. or embarrass the administration of justice. if not impossible. Quinsayas. GMA Network. is an offense against organized society and. is also held to be an offense against public justice which raises an issue between the public and the accused. fair. affairs. Hence. On the contrary. but a power of the court. for the article to influence the outcome of the case or sway this Court in making its decision.

ABS-CBN alleged that SNN controls the line-up of shows of ANC.net. The purpose of the rule is not only to enable this Court to make its investigations free from any extraneous influence or interference. Therefore. Torres. We have ruled that a subsidiary has an independent and separate juridical personality distinct from that of its parent company and that any suit against the the latter does not bind the former and vice-versa. is already publication considering that it was done on GMA Network’s online news website.net. The Court explained the purpose of the rule.21 . but also to protect the personal and professional reputation of attorneys and judges from the baseless charges of disgruntled. the Philippines’ most widely circulated broadsheet. and Edu Punay Basically. and irresponsible clients and litigants. Maria Ressa Respondent Ressa alleged that she was on terminal leave when the program about the Maguindanao Massacre was aired on ANC and that she had no hand in its production. PDI averred that it only shares its contents with Inquirer. and that there was no conspiracy on their part in publishing the disbarment complaint. PDI attached a photocopy of the syndication page stating that "[d]ue to syndication agreements between PDI and Inquirer. Sophia Dedace. vindictive. Castelo. So what is considered a privilege in one may likewise be considered in the other. The Court ruled: While the present case involves an incident of contempt the same is akin to a case of libel for both constitute limitations upon freedom of the press or freedom of expression guaranteed by our Constitution. Inc. it is also to deter the press from publishing administrative cases or portions thereto without authority. should have been made respondent in this case. Such premature publication constitutes a contempt of court. We agree with ABS-CBN on this issue. petitioner’s name was not mentioned at all in the program. Even as the disbarment complaint was briefly discussed in her program.net."15 PDI was not able to fully establish that it has a separate personality from Inquirer. However. Drilon.Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential.net as "the official news website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. .net through a syndication. We have ruled that malicious and unauthorized publication or verbatim reproduction of administrative complaints against lawyers in newspapers by editors and/or reporters may be actionable. 16 A corporation is an artificial being invested by law with a personality separate and distinct from that of other corporations to which it may be connected. Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court provides: Section 18. as follows: x x x. x x x19 In People v. Confidentiality. SNN. the defense of respondents Dedace. that petitioner is a public figure.20 the Court ruled that contempt is akin to libel and that the principle of privileged communication may be invoked in a contempt proceeding.17 Hence. Ressa’s defense was supported by a certification from the Human Resource Account Head of ABS-CBN. however. ABS-CBN Corporation ABS-CBN alleged that SNN is its subsidiary and although they have interlocking directors. this principle regarding privileged communications can also be invoked in favor of appellant. Tetch Torres. The same safeguard should be extended to one whether anchored in freedom of the press or freedom of expression. she further alleged that the television program was a commemoration of the Maguindanao Massacre and not solely about the filing of the disbarment case against petitioner. punishable by either a fine or imprisonment or both at the discretion of the Court. Online posting. that the Maguindanao Massacre is a matter of public interest.the news was not televised. Cecilia Victoria Oreña-Drilon. and Punay was that the disbarment complaint was published without any comment. and a member of the Inquirer Group of Companies. SNN has its own juridical personality separate from its parent company. In Drilon’s case."14 A visit to the website describes Inquirer. 18 This was not disputed by petitioner. some articles published in PDI may not appear in Inquirer. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Violation of Confidentiality Rule by Respondent Media Groups and Personalities Section 18. They also argued that the news reports were part of privileged communication. stating that Ressa went on terminal leave beginning 30 October 2010. not ABS-CBN. in good faith and without malice. the final order of the Supreme Court shall be published like its decisions in other cases.

Disciplinary proceedings against lawyers must still remain private and confidential until their final determination. Nenita. Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court is not a restriction on the freedom of the press. Reynaldo Hulog.1âwphi1 If there is a legitimate public interest. There was also no proof that respondent media groups and personalities posted and published the news to influence this Court on its action on the disbarment case or to deliberately destroy petitioner’s reputation. Nenita. the filing of a disbarment complaint against petitioner is itself a matter of public concern considering that it arose from the Maguindanao Massacre case. if and when he would be involved in a public issue. The Court explained it. Mangahas.The Court recognizes that "publications which are privileged for reasons of public policy are protected by the constitutional guaranty of freedom of speech. Melinda Quintos De Jesus. the public focus is on the conduct of the participant and the content. Esmael Mangudadatu. however. 24 Only the final order of this Court shall be published like its decisions in other cases. Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court. and Gemma were the ones who caused the publication of the disbarment complaint against him." 22 As a general rule. the allegations in the disbarment complaint relate to petitioners supposed actions involving the Maguindanao Massacre case. thus: But even assuming a person would not qualify as a public figure. Batario. Quinsayas to the media of the disbarment complaint. The public’s primary interest is in the event. and Atty. Indeed. since petitioner is a public figure or has become a public figure because he is representing a matter of public concern. the disbarment case was briefly discussed but petitioner was not named. the members of the media were given copies of the disbarment complaint by one of the complainants. are considered as public figure. petitioner failed to substantiate his allegation that Mangudadatu. The distribution by Atty. The Maguindanao Massacre is a very high-profile case. Redmond Batario. Ayon. For he could. Nenita and Ma. legitimate media had a right to publish such fact under freedom of the press. it would not necessarily follow that he could not validly be the subject of a public comment. and Gemma distributed or had a hand in the distribution of the disbarment complaint against petitioner. and Atty. Quinsayas alleged that petitioner was not able to establish the posting and publication of the articles about the disbarment complaint. Dennis Ayon. Hulog. Malou Mangahas. not the participant’s prior anonymity or notoriety. . There was nothing in the records that would show that Mangudadatu. It would have been different if the disbarment case against petitioner was about a private matter as the media would then be bound to respect the confidentiality provision of disbarment proceedings under Section 18. 25 Petitioner also failed to substantiate his claim that respondent media groups and personalities acted in bad faith and that they conspired with one another in their postings and publications of the filing of a disbarment complaint against him. by itself. In the absence of a legitimate public interest in a disbarment complaint. It is understandable that any matter related to the Maguindanao Massacre is considered a matter of public interest and that the personalities involved. Quinsayas Respondents De Jesus. and accurate news report of a disbarment complaint. Section 18. If a matter is a subject of public or general interest. while admitting that they were some of the complainants in the disbarment complaint against petitioner. 30 were journalists. The interest of the public is not on petitioner himself but primarily on his involvement and participation as defense counsel in the Maguindanao Massacre case. Respondent media groups and personalities made a fair and true news report and appeared to have acted in good faith in publishing and posting the details of the disbarment complaint. In this case. Ayon. The Court also recognizes that respondent media groups and personalities merely acted on a news lead they received when they reported the filing of the disbarment complaint. Gemma Oquendo Respondents. Indeed. However. true. media is not prohibited from making a fair. for instance. In the televised broadcast of the commemoration of the Maguindanao Massacre over ANC. Respondent media groups and personalities reported the filing of the disbarment complaint without any comments or remarks but merely as it was – a news item. alleged that there was no proof that they were the ones who disseminated the disbarment complaint. As we will discuss later. including petitioner. and that assuming the posting and publication had been established. Prima Jesusa B. disbarment proceedings are confidential in nature until their final resolution and the final decision of this Court. Of the 57 victims of the massacre. members of the media must preserve the confidentiality of disbarment proceedings during its pendency. It should also be remembered that the filing of the disbarment case against petitioner entered the public domain without any act on the part of the media. and because the event itself that led to the filing of the disbarment case against petitioner is a matter of public concern. it cannot suddenly become less so merely because a private individual is involved or because in some sense the individual did not voluntarily choose to become involved. effect and significance of the conduct.23 (Boldface in the original) Since the disbarment complaint is a matter of public interest. the media has the right to report the filing of the disbarment case as legitimate news. Petitioner failed to prove that respondent media groups and personalities acted with malicious intent. is not sufficient to absolve the media from responsibility for violating the confidentiality rule.

Syllabi Class: Constitutional Law|Commission on Elections|Freedom of Speech Syllabi:1. No. De Leon. Article III of the Bill of Rights provides that no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law. Section 1. namely De Jesus. another cardinal rule prescribed by the Constitution would be violated. which in this case is a privately-owned vehicle. Quinsayas was responsible for the distribution of copies of the disbarment complaint. Salonga v. Freedom of Speech. SO ORDERED. JR. CRUZ Dispositive Portion: WHEREFORE. Indirect contempt against a Regional Trial Court or a court of equivalent or higher rank is punishable by a fine not exceeding P30.4. Quinsayas. we find Atty.petitioner failed to support his allegation that they actively disseminated the details of the disbarment complaint. the restriction as to where the decals and stickers should be posted is so broad that it encompasses even the citizen’s private property. Blo Umpar Adiong vs. Commission on Elections. The COMELEC’s prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places whether public or private except in designated areas provided for by the COMELEC itself is null and void on constitutional grounds. had a hand in the dissemination and publication of the disbarment complaint against him.000). Quinsayas gave copies of the disbarment complaint against Atty.R. Constitutional Law. Hence.S. Division: EN BANC Counsel: Romulo R.3. Commission on Elections. except for Atty.The COMELEC’s prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places whether public or private except in designated areas provided for by the COMELEC itself is null and void on constitutional grounds. Freedom of Speech. Philip Sigfrid A. Commission on Elections. caused the publication in newspapers of statements regarding the filing and pendency of the disbarment proceedings. Freedom of Speech. Atty. Constitutional Law. Relativo.000). Constitutional Law. The qualitative significance of freedom of expression arises from the fact that it is the matrix.2. G. In Relativo v.. (Palko v. the indispensable condition of nearly every other freedom. petitioner failed to prove that. Indeed. Prima Jesusa B. Quinsayas disseminated copies of the disbarment complaint against petitioner to members of the media which act constitutes contempt of court. Quinsayas is bound by Section 18. Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court both as a complainant in the disbarment case against petitioner and as a lawyer. They further alleged that they did not cause the publication of the news articles and thus. Freedom of Speech.The resolution prohibits the posting of decals and stickers not more than eight and one-half (8-1/2) inches in width and fourteen (14) inches in length in any place. the other respondents. Quinsayas GUILTY of indirect contempt for distributing copies of the disbarment complaint against Atty. Atty. 1992 Case Nature: PETITION to review the decision of the Commission on Elections. Atty. Atty. Mangahas. Constitutional Law. 103956. Verily."26 Dedace also stated in her Comment that "Atty. Quinsayas acted wrongly in setting aside the confidentiality rule which every lawyer and member of the legal profession should know. It would appear that only Atty. 134 SCRA 438 [1985]) It is difficult to imagine how the other provisions of the Bill of Rights and the right to free elections may be guaranteed if the freedom to speak and to convince or persuade is denied and taken away. Prima Quinsayas x x x. GMA Network stated that the publication "had already been done and completed when copies of the complaint for disbarment were distributed by one of the disbarment complainants. March 31. Macalintal Ponente: GUTIERREZ.29 In that case. 207 SCRA 712 .000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both. 2347 of the Commission on Elections providing that “decals and stickers may be posted only in any of the authorized posting areas provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof” is DECLARED NULL and VOID. who did not file his separate comment. Fortun and she received one. Connecticut. As a lawyer and an officer of the Court. Quinsayas is familiar with the confidential nature of disbarment proceedings. The prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places whether public or private except in the authorized areas . 319 [1937]. Batario. Hulog. Paño.30 Atty. they did not violate the rule on privacy and confidentiality of disbarment proceedings. Commission on Elections. In its Comment. the complainant in a disbarment case. including mobile places whether public or private except in areas designated by the COMELEC." 27 Atty. Commission on Elections. the indispensable condition of nearly every other freedom.28 the Court ruled that the premature disclosure by publication of the filing and pendency of disbarment proceedings is a violation of the confidentiality rule. 302 U. Fortun to members of the media and we order her to pay a FINE of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20. WHEREFORE. However.This qualitative significance of freedom of expression arises from the fact that it is the matrix. In consequence of this prohibition. the petition is hereby GRANTED. The portion of Section 15(a) of Resolution No. instead of preserving its confidentiality. the restriction as to where the decals and stickers should be posted is so broad that it encompasses even the citizen’s private property which in this case is a privately-owned vehicle. Verily. The Court found him guilty of contempt. we deem it proper to impose on her a fine of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20. and even Gozo.

radio broadcasting or television station." Section 11 (b) prohibits the sale or donation of print space and air time "for campaign or other political purposes" except to the Commission on Elections ("Comelec"). (Emphasis supplied) Section 11 (b) of Republic Act No. Any mass media columnist. (Emphasis supplied) The objective which animates Section 11 (b) is the equalizing. 6646.P. 11 Prohibited Forms of Election Propaganda. the situations of rich and poor candidates by preventing the former from enjoying the undue advantage offered by huge campaign "war chests. the prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places whether public or private except in the authorized areas designated by the COMELEC becomes censorship which cannot be justified by the Constitution. namely. For this purpose. however. Comelec time. announcer or personality who is a candidate for any elective public office shall take a leave of absence from his work as such during the campaign period. which shall be known as "Comelec Space" wherein candidates can announce their candidacy. 881. 881. — In addition to the forms of election propaganda prohibited under Section 85 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 6646 invades and violates the constitutional guarantees comprising freedom of expression. 6646 should be taken together with Sections 90 and 92 of B. the common question raised by petitioners is the constitutionality of Section 11 (b) of Republic Act No. Sections 90 and 92 of the Omnibus Election Code require the Comelec to procure "Comelec space" in newspapers of . media-based election or political propaganda during the election period of 1992. xxx xxx xxx Sec. as far as practicable. Petitioners in these cases consist of representatives of the mass media which are prevented from selling or donating space and time for political advertisements. would bring about a substantial reduction in the quantity or volume of information concerning candidates and issues in the election thereby curtailing and limiting the right of voters to information and opinion. That in the absence of said newspaper. free of charge. publication shall be done in any other magazine or periodical in said province or city. xxx xxx xxx b) for any newspapers. commentator.designated by the COMELEC becomes censorship which cannot be justified by the Constitution. it shall be unlawful. the franchise of all radio broadcasting and television stations are hereby amended so as to provide radio or television time. free of charge. other mass media. It is principally argued by petitioners that Section 11 (b) of Republic Act No. petitioners contend that Section 11 (b) abridges the freedom of speech of candidates. and that the suppression of media-based campaign or political propaganda except those appearing in the Comelec space of the newspapers and on Comelec time of radio and television broadcasts. equally and impartially by the Commission among all candidates within the area in which the newspaper is circulated. 90. Comelec space. Upon the other hand. because it selects and singles out for suppression and repression with criminal sanctions. known as the Electoral Reforms Law of 1987: Sec. The statutory text that petitioners ask us to strike down as unconstitutional is that of Section 11 (b) of Republic Act No.In sum. 92. National Press Club vs Comelec In the three (3) consolidated Petitions before us. Petitioners maintain that the prohibition imposed by Section 11 (b) amounts to censorship. — The Commission shall procure radio and television time to be known as "Comelec Time" which shall be allocated equally and impartially among the candidates within the area of coverage of all radio and television stations. two (2) individuals who are candidates for office (one for national and the other for provincial office) in the coming May 1992 elections. known as the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines. Further. It is asserted that the prohibition is in derogation of media's role. or any person making use of the mass media to sell or to give free of charge print space or air time for campaign or other political purposes except to the Commission as provided under Sections 90 and 92 of Batas Pambansa Blg. only publications of a particular content. 6646. and taxpayers and voters who claim that their right to be informed of election issues and of credentials of the candidates is being curtailed. which provide respectively as follows: Sec. Blg. — The Commission shall procure space in at least one newspaper of general circulation in every province or city: Provided. during the period of the campaign. function and duty to provide adequate channels of public information and public opinion relevant to election issues. 881. Said space shall be allocated.

general circulation in every province or city and "Comelec time" on radio and television stations. That objective is of special importance and urgency in a country which. the character and extent of the limitations resulting from the particular measure being assayed upon freedom of speech and freedom of the press are essential considerations. in connection with "public information campaigns and forums among candidates. Section 11 (b) is limited in the duration of its applicability and enforceability. during the election period. Firstly. One of the basic state policies given constitutional rank by Article II. and by the prevalence of poverty." 1 It seems a modest proposition that the provision of the Bill of Rights which enshrines freedom of speech. the Comelec is statutorily commanded to allocate "Comelec space" and "Comelec time" on a free of charge. honest. Withal. time-honored one — that a statute is presumed to be constitutional and that the party asserting its unconstitutionality must discharge the burden of clearly and convincingly proving that assertion. special privileges." It is difficult to overemphasize the special importance of the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in a democratic polity. it has also been given constitutional status by the terms of Article IX(C) (4) of the 1987 Constitution which provides as follows: Sec. equality of opportunity to proffer oneself for public office. equal and impartial basis among all candidates within the area served by the newspaper or radio and television station involved. is clearly an important value. 6646) in relation to Sections 90 and 92 (of the Omnibus Election Code). Thus. No one seriously disputes the legitimacy or the importance of the objective sought to be secured by Section 11 (b) (of Republic Act No. Further. Section 11 (b) is limited in its applicability in time to election periods. agency. supervise or regulate the enjoyment or utilization of all franchises or permits for the operation of transportation and other public utilities.. or concessions granted by the Government or any subdivision." It is supremely important. In our own society. without regard to the level of financial resources that one may have at one's disposal.for public information campaigns and forums among candidates in connection with the objective of holding free." 2 The technical effect of Article IX (C) (4) of the Constitution may be seen to be that no presumption of invalidity arises in respect of exercises of supervisory or regulatory authority on the part of the Comelec for the purpose of securing equal opportunity among candidates for political office. By virtue of the operation of Article IX (C) (4) of the Constitution. time. For supervision or regulation of the operations of media enterprises is scarcely conceivable without such accompanying limitation. Thus. The Commission [on Elections] may. It is important to note that the restrictive impact upon freedom of speech and freedom of the press of Section 11 (b) is circumscribed by certain important limitations. 3 Put in slightly different terms. the process by which the people identify those who shall have governance over them. the rights of free speech and free press are not unlimited rights for they are not the only important and relevant values even in the most democratic of polities. 4. time. including any government-owned or controlled corporation or its subsidiary. or instrumentality thereof. or whether such act has gone beyond permissible supervision or regulation of media operations so as to constitute unconstitutional repression of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. although such supervision or regulation may result in some limitation of the rights of free speech and free press. "during the election period. (Emphasis supplied) The Comelec has thus been expressly authorized by the Constitution to supervise or regulate the enjoyment or utilization of the franchises or permits for the operation of media of communication and information. however. peaceful. there appears no present necessity to fall back upon basic principles relating to the police power of the State and the requisites for constitutionally valid exercise of that power. is characterized by extreme disparity in income distribution between the economic elite and the rest of society. and the right to reply.e. it is frequently said that these rights are accorded a preferred status in our constitutional hierarchy. in particular when they relate to the purity and integrity of the electoral process itself. and credible elections." as well as uniform and reasonable rates of charges for the use of such media facilities. Section 26 of the Constitution is the egalitarian demand that "the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law. and space. By its Resolution No. and the right to reply. all grants. The Court considers that Section 11 (b) has not gone outside the permissible bounds of supervision or regulation of media operations during election periods. and space. The fundamental purpose of such "supervision or regulation" has been spelled out in the Constitution as the ensuring of "equal opportunity. In the constitutional assaying of legislative provisions like Section 11 (b). Such supervision or regulation shall aim to ensure equal opportunity. to note that objective is not only a concededly legitimate one. media of communication or information. The essential question is whether or not the assailed legislative or administrative provisions constitute a permissible exercise of the power of supervision or regulation of the operations of communication and information enterprises during an election period. the . equal rates therefor. with the bulk of our population falling below that "poverty line. 2328 dated 2 January 1992. orderly. the applicable rule is the general. Constitution) has to be taken in conjunction with Article IX (C) (4) which may be seen to be a special provision applicable during a specific limited period — i. like ours. including reasonable. freedom of expression and freedom of the press (Article III [4].

so long at least as this Court sits.Media practitioners exercising their freedom of expression during plebiscite periods are neither the franchise holders nor the candidates. the candidate or candidates who feel aggrieved have judicial remedies at their disposal. Electoral Commission 7 that the possibility of abuse is no argument against the concession of the power or authority involved. the Comelec is commanded by statute to buy or "procure" "Comelec time" and "Comelec space" in mass media. Some of the petitioners are apparently apprehensive that Comelec might not allocate "Comelec time" or "Comelec space" on a fair and equal basis among the several candidates. Should such apprehensions materialize. a newspaper columnist of the Baguio Midland Courier. Secondly. said: . and programs and so forth. Commission on Elections." 6 (Emphasis partly in the original and partly supplied) There is a third limitation upon the scope of application of Section 11 (b). 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 plebiscite periods. viewed in . . The points that may appropriately be underscored are that Section 11 (b) does not cut off the flow of media reporting. for there is no power or authority in human society that is not susceptible of being abused. on the day before and on plebiscite day. 5 In Sanidad. 19. 2167 has no statutory basis. radio broadcasting and television stations remain quite free to carry out their regular and normal information and communication operations. Moreover. announcer or personality shall use his column or radio or television time to campaign for or against the plebiscite issues. Section 19 of Comelec Resolution No.Therefore. What Section 11 (b).A. Analysis of Section 11 (b) shows that it purports to apply only to the purchase and sale.. 2167 had been promulgated by the Comelec in connection with the plebiscite mandated by R. Section 11 (b) is not to be read as reaching any report or commentary other coverage that. has defined the period from 12 January 1992 until 10 June 1992 as the relevant election period. nor in respect of the content of political advertisements which the individual candidates are quite free to present within their respective allocated Comelec time and Comelec space. no mass media columnist. in responsible media. editors or commentators may talk or write about or display on TV screens. commentator. IX-C of the Constitution nor Section 11 [b].A. the Comelec is entitled to the benefit of the presumption that official duty will be or is being regularly carried out. and more importantly. Should it be objected that the Comelec might refrain from procuring "Comelec time" and "Comelec space. there are no candidates involved in the plebiscite. Prohibition on Columnists. There is here no censorship. broadcasters. In sum. 4 of print space and air time for "campaign or other political purposes. There is here no "officious functionary of [a] repressive government" dictating what events or ideas reporters. 2nd par. [N]either Article. of R. candidates who are in fact prejudiced by unequal or unfair allocations effected by Comelec will have appropriate judicial remedies available. As earlier noted. however. their qualifications. opinions and beliefs are not in fact advertisements for particular candidates covertly paid for. whether disguised or otherwise. once again. No. political parties and programs of government. is not paid for by candidates for political office. In fact. among the individual candidates for elective public offices in the province or city served by the newspaper or radio or television station. The Court held that Resolution No. J. Section 11 (b) does not authorize any intervention and much less control on the part of Comelec in respect of the content of the normal operations of media. "for no justifiable reason.Comelec. 6766 on the ratification or adoption of the Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region. Resolution No. through Medialdea." The Court." much the same considerations should be borne in mind. The above limitation in scope of application of Section 11 (b) — that it does not restrict either the reporting of or the expression of belief or opinion or comment upon the qualifications and programs and activities of any and all candidates for office — constitutes the critical distinction which must be made between the instant case and that of Sanidad v. It seems appropriate here to recall what Justice Laurel taught in Angara v. Commentators or Announcers — During the plebiscite campaign period. and it must be presumed that Comelec will carry out that statutory duty in this connection. Until such time. and if it does fail to do so. 2167 constituted a restriction of the freedom of expression of petitioner Sanidad. which space and time Comelec is then affirmatively required to allocate on a fair and equal basis. their qualifications. Section 11 (b) does not reach commentaries and expressions of belief or opinion by reporters or broadcasters or editors or commentators or columnists in respect of candidates. the Court declared unconstitutional Section 19 of Comelec Resolution No. Newspaper. 2167 which provided as follows: Sec. their qualifications and platforms and promises. including purchase and sale disguised as a donation. acting under another specific grant of authority by the Constitution (Article IX [C] [9]). Section 11 (b) is limited in its scope of application." Section 11 (b) does not purport in any way to restrict the reporting by newspapers or radio or television stations of news or news-worthy events relating to candidates. opinion or commentary about candidates. so long at least as such comments. . free of charge. Section 11 (b) exempts from its prohibition the purchase by or donation to the Comelec of print space or air time. We read Section 11 (b) as designed to cover only paid political advertisements of particular candidates.

cannot be gainsaid. My learned brother in the Court Cruz. limit the right of free speech and of access to mass media of the candidates themselves. that "t[he] financial disparity among the candidates is a fact of life that cannot be corrected by legislation except only by the limitation of their respective expenses to a common maximum. also Zaldivar vs. designed to benefit the candidates themselves. Realistically. are commonly intended and crafted. the Petitions should be. That the supervision or regulation of communication and information media is not. For the candidates with deep pockets may purchase radio or television time in many. The limitation. the nature and characteristics of modern mass media. however. WHEREFORE. such repetitive political commercials when fed into the electronic media themselves constitute invasions of the privacy of the general electorate. for political candidates to inform all and sundry about themselves. The Constitution does not. J. through a petition . as it cannot. All other fora remain accessible to candidates. after all. written statements of the candidates themselves. Per Curiam: 15 concur Facts: [Acquired from 27 April 1988 decision] Enrique A. sought. Here lies the core problem of equalization of the situations of the candidates with deep pockets and the candidates with shallow or empty pockets that Article IX(C) (4) of the Constitution and Section 11 (b) seek to address. the major stations or channels. bears a clear and reasonable connection with the constitutional objective set out in Article IX(C) (4) and Article II (26) of the Constitution. by itself or in conjunction with Sections 90 and 92 of the Omnibus Election Code. there is nothing in Section 11 (b) to prevent media reporting of and commentary on pronouncements. in accepted doctrine. Finally. For it is precisely in the unlimited purchase of print space and radio and television time that the resources of the financially affluent candidates are likely to make a crucial difference. is that the regulatory measure under challenge bear a reasonable nexus with the constitutionally sanctioned objective. All it requires.context. Or they may directly or indirectly own or control the stations or channels themselves. The flaw in the prohibition under challenge is that while the rich candidate is barred from buying mass media coverage. and to "Comelec time" and "Comelec space" in such mass media. exact perfection in governmental regulation. in fact does is to limit paid partisan political advertisements to for a other than modern mass media." True enough Section 11 (b) does not. Section 11 (b) does. The right of the general listening and viewing public to be free from such intrusions and their subliminal effects is at least as important as the right of candidates to advertise themselves through modern electronic media and the right of media enterprises to maximize their revenues from the marketing of "packaged" candidates." 8 The paid political advertisement introjected into the electronic media and repeated with minddeadening frequency. in itself. cannot be totally disregarded. listeners and viewers constitute a "captive audience. The requisites of fairness and equal opportunity are. activities. not so much to provoke rational and objective appraisal of candidates' qualifications or programs as to appeal to the non-intellective faculties of the captive and passive audience. remonstrates. especially electronic media. even for political advertisements. if not all. It might be supposed that it is easy enough for a person at home simply to flick off his radio of television set. a forbidden modality is made clear by the Constitution itself in Article IX (C) (4). is not for that reason alone constitutionally infirm. governor of the province of Antique. Zaldivar. however. once again. when so viewed. SO ORDERED Zaldivar vs. That the statutory mechanism which Section 11 (b) brings into operation is designed and may be expected to bring about or promote equal opportunity. But a regulatory measure that is less than perfectly comprehensive or which does not completely obliterate the evil sought to be remedied. and equal time and space. Frequently. Gonzales [GR 80578] Resolution En Banc. For. 1 February 1989]. Sandiganbayan [GR 79690-707. place political candidates on complete and perfect equality inter se without regard to their financial affluence or lack thereof. No pronouncement as to costs. the only limitation upon the free speech of candidates imposed is on the right of candidates to bombard the helpless electorate with paid advertisements commonly repeated in the mass mediaad nauseam. The contemporary reality in the Philippines is that. of course. it nevertheless allows him to spend his funds on other campaign activities also inaccessible to his strained rival. in a very real sense. the limiting impact of Section 11 (b) upon the right to free speech of the candidates themselves may be seen to be not unduly repressive or unreasonable. not so much to inform and educate as to condition and manipulate. It is believed that. But it is rarely that simple. DISMISSED for lack of merit. as they are hereby.

A petition was filed by Eastern Broadcasting to compel the Minister of Transportation and Communications. to allow the reopening of Radio Station DYRE which had been summarily closed on grounds of national security. Prohibition. intelligent and sophisticated handling. (4) the clear and present danger test. 1 concurs in separate opinion. and which compels a court to exonerate a defendant the moment the doctrine is invoked. It is not. the Court found Tanodbayan Gonzalez to be "guilty both of contempt of court in facie curiae and of gross misconduct as an officer of the court and member of the bar. Eastern Broadcasting has no longer any interest in said case. The supervision of radio stations — whether by government or through selfregulation by the industry itself calls for thoughtful. does not lend itself to a simplistic and all embracing interpretation applicable to all utterances in all forums. (2) the National Telecommunications Commission has expressed its willingness to grant to the said new owner Manuel B. under either the "clear and present danger" test or the "balancing-of-interest test" the Corut believes that the statements made by Gonzalez are of such a nature and were made in such a manner and under such circumstances. On 25 March 1985. (3) in view of the foregoing. Eastern Broadcasting alleged that (1) it has already sold its radio broadcasting station in favor of Manuel B. (3) All forms of media. Pastrana the requisite license and franchise to operate the said radio station and to approve the sale of the radio transmitter of said station DYRE. 19 July 1985] Resolution En Banc. Facts: Radio Station DYRE was closed on the ground that the radio station was used to incite people to sedition. The "clear and present danger" doctrine has been an accepted method for marking out the appropriate limits of freedom of speech and of assembly in certain contexts. whether print or broadcast. Broadcasting has to be licensed. 20 SCRA 849). Carreon (Commissioner. City Mayor. Gonzales was heard and given the most ample opportunity to present all defenses. prays that Tanodbayan Gonzalez be restrained from conducting preliminary investigations and filing similar cases with the Sandiganbayan. Rene G. However. Eastern Broadcasting Corporation vs. [Present case] Tanodbayan Gonzales allegedly made contumacious acts or statements in a pleading filed before the Court and in statements given to the media. for the guidance of inferior courts and administrative tribunals exercising quasi-judicial functions. to restrain the Sandiganbayan and Tanodbayan Raul Gonzalez from proceeding with the prosecution and hearing of Criminal Cases 12159 to 12161 and 12163-12177 on the ground that said cases were filed by said Tanodbayan without legal and constitutional authority. arguments and evidence that he wanted to present for the consideration of this Court. 1 took no part. in each appropriate case. however. in other words. In its Resolution dated 2 May 1988. Pastrana as well as its rights and interest in the radio station DYRE in Cebu including its right to operate and its equipment. in the present case. Airwave frequencies have to be allocated among qualified users. Although the prevailing doctrine is that the clear and present danger rule is such a limitation. alleging denial of due process and violation of its right of freedom of speech." The principle requires a court to take conscious and detailed consideration of the interplay of interests observable in a given situation or type of situation' Still. as to transcend the permissible limits of free speech. another criterion for permissible limitation on freedom of speech and of the press. are entitled to the broad protection of the freedom of speech and expression clause. 1 concurs and submits brief statement. This conclusion was implicit in the per curiam Resolution of October 7. Enrique A. which includes such vehicles of the mass media as radio. is not as palpable as a threat of public disorder or rioting but is certainly no less deleterious and more far reaching in its implications for society. Espina suddenly filed a motion to withdraw or dismiss the petition. Held: The "clear and present danger" doctrine is not a magic incantation which dissolves all problems and dispenses with analysis and judgment in the testing of the legitimacy of claims to free speech. or property. television and the movies. Court of Industrial Relations (69 Phil. and Mandamus. 635) should be followed before a broadcast station may be closed or its operations curtailed. since under the 1987 Constitution which took effect on 2 February 1987. Manuel B. the Supreme Court required Tanodbayan Gonzales to explain "why he should not be punished for contempt of court and/or subjected to administrative sanctions" and in respect of which. (J): 6 concur. The Supreme Court granted the consolidated petitions filed by Zaldivar and nullified the criminal informations filed against him in the Sandiganbayan. Gutierrez Jr. al. 1 concurs in dispositive portion. Issue: Whether the statements made by Tanodbayan Gonzales transcended the permissible limits of free speech. absent proof of impending apocalypse. and ordered Raul Gonzalez to cease and desist from conducting investigations and filing criminal cases with the Sandiganbayan or otherwise exercising the powers and functions of the Ombudsman." In the per curiam resolution dated 7 October 1988. relate to threats of physical disorder or overt violence or similar disruptions of public order. Similarly. it is only the Ombudsman (not the present or incumbent Tanodbayan) who has the authority to file cases with the Sandiganbayan. before the Court could promulgate a decision squarely passing upon all the issues raised. The "substantive evil" here involved. and the new owner. (5) The clear and present danger test must take the particular circumstances of broadcast media into account. It is important to point out that the "substantive evil" which the Supreme Court has a right and a duty to prevent does not. on substantially the same ground as the first petition." Gonzales filed a motion for reconsideration. Pastrana is likewise not interested in pursuing the case any further. liberty.for Certiorari. Issue: Whether radio broadcasting enjoys a more limited form Held: The case has become moot and academic. it furnishes an unavoidable standard to which government action must conform in order that any deprivation of life. (2) it is necessary to reiterate that while there is no controlling and precise definition of due process. however. Ceferino S. is the "balancing-of interests test. (6) the freedom to comment on public affairs is essential to the vitality of a representative democracy. Zaldivar. and (7) Broadcast stations deserve the special protection given to all forms of . Eastern Broadcasting through its president. National Telecommunications Commission). Dans [GR L-59329. The Court did not summarily impose punishment upon Gonzales which it could have done under Section 1 of Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court had it chosen to consider Gonzales' acts as constituting "direct contempt. 2 voted for dismissal. What is here at stake is the authority of the Supreme Court to confront and prevent a "substantive evil" consisting not only of the obstruction of a free and fair hearing of a particular case but also the avoidance of the broader evil of the degradation of the judicial system of a country and the destruction of the standards of professional conduct required from members of the bar and officers of the courts. et. Mr. may be valid (Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association v. the only test which has been recognized and applied by courts. the Court issues the following guidelines: (1) The cardinal primary requirements in administrative proceedings laid down by the Court in Ang Tibay v. The test for limitations on freedom of expression continues to be the clear and present danger rule that words are 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 lawmaker has a right to prevent. 1988.

Since they are the most convenient and popular means of disseminating varying views on public issues. or pleasantly entertaining utterances. the freedom of television and radio broadcasting is somewhat lesser in scope than the freedom accorded to newspaper and print media. The television set is also becoming universal. Similar considerations apply in the area of national security. because: First. The broadcast media have also established a uniquely pervasive presence in the lives of all Filipinos. and magazines beyond their humble means. Bookstores and motion picture theaters may be prohibited from making certain material available to children. Newspapers and current books are found only in metropolitan areas and in the poblaciones of municipalities accessible to fast and regular transportation. At the same time. more than other forms of communications. they also deserve special protection.s and mental capabilities. Material presented over the airwaves confronts the citizen. broadcasting is uniquely accessible to children. obsequious. Second.Q. where the listener or viewer is constantly tuning in and out.media by the due process and freedom of expression clauses of the Constitution. the transistor radio is found everywhere. analyze. Necessarily. however.All forms of communication are entitled to the broad protection of the freedom of expression clause. . Radio and television may not be used to organize a rebellion or to signal the start of widespread uprising. but the same selectivity cannot be done in radio or television. Radio and television would have little reason for existence if broadcasts are limited to bland. The impact of the vibrant speech is forceful and immediate. newspapers. the radio audience has lesser opportunity to cogitate. Unlike readers of the printed work. but in the privacy of his home. the government has a right to be protected against broadcasts which incite the listeners to violently overthrow it. Their message may be simultaneously received by a national or regional audience of listeners including the indifferent or unwilling who happen to be within reach of a blaring radio or television set. Radio broadcasting. persons of varying susceptibilities to persuasion. the people have a right to be informed. broadcast media have established a uniquely pervasive presence in the lives of all citizens. Even here. The materials broadcast over the airwaves reach every person of every age. not only in public. Basic needs like food and shelter perforce enjoy high priorities. On the other hand. receives the most limited protection from the free expression clause. A broadcast corporation cannot simply appropriate a certain frequency without regard for government regulation or for the rights of others. persons of different I. Still. persons whose reactions to inflammatory or offensive speech would be difficult to monitor or predict. and reject the utterance. there are low income masses who find the cost of books.