15, 2011

Acting on the Special Civil Actions for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for the
Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction, and
mindful of the underlying issues in the cases—the right to life and its supporting rights,
including the right to travel—the majority of the Court (voting 8-5) resolved to
consolidate and require the respondents to comment on the consolidated petitions not
later than Nov. 18, 2011. The court also issued a TOR enjoining respondent from
enforcing DOJ Department Circular No. 41 and Watchlist Orders (to leave the country)
provided that petitioners shall post a cash bond of 2M, appoint a legal representative
common to them on behalf during their absence and they shall inform the embassy in
the place they will be travelling of their whereabouts at all time.

Justice Carpio, in his dissent opined that while the right to travel is a constitutional right
that may be impaired only “in the interest of national security, public safety or public
health, as may be provided by law,” there are recognized exceptions other than those
created by law. Foremost is the restriction on the right to travel of persons charged of
crimes before the courts. here are also restrictions on the right to travel imposed on
government officials and employees. In the present case, petitioners are already
undergoing preliminary investigation in several criminal cases, and charges may be filed
before the courts while petitioners are abroad. In fairness to the Government which is
tasked with the prosecution of crimes, this Court must hear first the Government in oral
argument before deciding on the temporary restraining order which if issued could
frustrate the Government’s right to prosecute. The Government must be heard on how
the charges against petitioners could proceed while petitioners are abroad.

Justice Reyes also disagreed with the Resolution assailing that Department Circular No.
41 and the Watchlist Orders issued thereunder enjoy such presumption of
constitutionality and regularity. He also said that since GMA is subject of a preliminary
investigation an issuance of a watchlist order is allowed. She also failed to demonstrate
the existence of requisites for the issuance of an injunctive writ.

Lastly, Justice Sereno asserts that because of the attachment that petitioner submitted
to this court, her assertions of urgency and life-threatening health conditions were
belied. She should also be estopped for claiming that her constitutional right is being
violated when the claimed violation is caused by her own administrative issuance (DOJ
Circular No. 41). The court must also face the risk of flight frontally and ensure that it is
not unduly favouring an individual to the prejudice of the state, and to do this, must at
minimum, allow the government to be heard before granting the TRO.

Petitioner argues that the expenditure of their taxes on contraceptives violates the guarantee of religious freedom since contraceptives violate their religious beliefs. The provision which requires couples to attend family planning and seminars even if it contravenes their religious beliefs violate the freedom of religion Respondent’s Position 1.IMBONG V. The State is not precluded to pursue its legitimate secular objectives without being dictated upon by policies of any one religion. RH law is a carefully balanced compromise between the interests of the religious objector and that of the citizen who needs access to information 3. effective and quality reproductive health services to ensure maternal and child health 2. RH law seek to serve the public interest by providing accessible. the court issued Status Quo Ante Order. The court also finds no compelling state interest which would limit the free exercise clause of conscientious objectors. The petitioners are misguided in their supposition that State cannot allow the RH law simply because the promotion of contraceptive use is contrary to their religion beliefs. 3. It is a reasonable opportunity for couples to have access to information regarding parenthood and they are not compelled to accept information given to them. enjoining the effects of the assailed legislation.. Petitioner’s Position 1. 3. OCHOA FACTS: Petitioners are asserting the constitutionality of Reproductive Health Law that it violates the right to life. right to religious freedom. therefore void and unconstitutional. 2. Petitioner argues that constitutional guarantee is violated because the law imposes upon the conscientious objector to cooperate with the very thing he refuses to do without violating his religious beliefs. . Those who attend are completely free to reject the information they find unacceptable. right to health. ISSUE: W/N the Court may is unconstitutional for it violates the Freedom of Religion and the Right to Free Speech. etc. HELD: 1. Considering the issues and arguments of petitioners. an exception must be made in life-threatening cases. However. the court is of the strong view that religious freedom of health providers should be accorded primacy. Court finds the seminars to be a reasonable exercise of police power of the government. If he would be compelled to act contrary to his religious belief and conviction. In case of conflict between religious beliefs and interest of the State. it would be violative of the principle of non-coercion enshrined in the constitution. 2.

They then secured a “Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness allowing members of their congregation who have abandoned by their spouses to enter into marital relations and indicating their church’s approval of their union. The courts should look into the sincerity of the religious belief without inquiring into the truth of the belief 2. ISSUE: W/N Escritor should be found guilty of administrative charge of disgraceful and immoral conduct. HELD: NO. a member of Jehovah’s Witness. the compelling state interest test is proper  Requires the state to carry a heavy burden to prove that there is a compelling state interest is involved  Reasonableness is the guide to determine if state’s interest or religious liberty shall prevail . The state used the lease intrusive means possible . the court adheres to the Doctrine of Benevolent Neutrality . petitions are partially granted.Doctrine of Benevolent Neutrality: Accommodation of religion may be allowed . This test involves three steps: 1. DISCUSSIONS: .In ascertaining the limits of religious freedom.Wherefore. ESCRITOR FACTS: Escritor. The state has to establish that its purposes are legitimate and compelling 3.state is prohibited from unduly interfering with the outside manifestations of one’s belief and faith .Court does not have authority to rule on ecclesiastical matters ESTRADA V.In case of conflict between the free exercise clause and the state.prohibits establishment of state religion and the use of public resources for support or prohibition of religion B. The provision which punish any healthcare service provider who fails or refuses to refer a patient not in life threatening case to another provider regardless of his religious belief is declared VOID. The state has the burden of satisfying the “compelling state interest” test to justify any possible sanction to be imposed upon Escrtior. their relationship bearing a child. was charged by petitioner for immoral conduct for co-habiting with a man with a wife without the benefit of marriage.The constitutional assurance of religious freedom provides two guarantees: A. Establishment Clause. Free Exercise Clause.

Assuming that there was a compelling state interest. She procured the certificate 10 years after their union began and not merely after being implicated. Chavez (petitioner). and orders” of the NTC and respondent Gonzalez (respondents) on the following grounds: (1) respondents’ conduct violated freedom of expression and the right of the people to information on matters of public concern under Section 7. In the case at bar. The Constitution adheres to the benevolent neutrality that gives room for accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free Exercise Clause. petitioner Francisco I. the decision attained finality and becomes the law of the case. 2003 ruling. and (2) the NTC acted ultra vires when it warned radio and television stations against airing the Garci Tapes. The NTC and KBP issued a joint press statement expressing commitment to press freedom. SC held that Escritor’s sincerity is beyond serious doubt. Since neither parties filed a motion for reconsideration assailing the August 4. filed this petition to nullify the “acts. The state’s broad interest in protecting marriage and family is not a compelling interest that could enforce the concubine charges against Escritor. The free exercise of religion is a fundamental right that enjoys a preferred position in the hierarchy of rights. the radio station DZMM aired the Garci Tapes where the parties to the conversation discussed “rigging” the results of the 2004 elections to favor President Arroyo. as citizen. Therefore. the state failed to show evidence that the means adopted by the state is the least restrictive o Escritor’s religious freedom.The case was remanded to the Office of the Court Administrator so that the government would have opportunity to demonstrate the compelling state interest it seeks to uphold in opposing Escritor’s position that her conjugal arrangement is not immoral and punishable as it comes within the scope of free exercise protection. 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Law. issuances. CHAVEZ V. revocation and/or cancellation of the licenses or authorizations” issued to them. The NTC issued a press release warning radio and television stations that airing the Garci Tapes is a ” cause for the suspension. GONZALES FACTS: Sometime before 6 June 2005. On 21 June 2005. . Escritor’s conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized as she has made out an exemption from the law based on her right to freedom to religion. Respondent Gonzalez ordered the NBI to investigate media organizations which aired the Garci Tapes for possible violation of Republic Act No. Article III of the Constitution.

there is no claim here by respondents that the subject matter of the Garci Tapes involves national security and publicly airing the tapes would endanger the security of the State. The rule. PICOP . which recognizes no exception.ISSUE: Whether the NTC warning embodied in the press release of 11 June 2005 constitutes an impermissible prior restraint on freedom of expression. is that there can be no content-based prior restraint on protected expression. is an admission that the restraint is content-based. the NTC press release is unconstitutional. This rule has no exception. On this ground alone. endangers the security of the State.” and thus should not be publicly aired. The NTC press release threatening to suspend or cancel the airwave permits of radio and television stations constitutes impermissible pressure amounting to prior restraint on protected expression. the NTC press release constitutes an unconstitutional prior restraint on protected expression. The NTC’s claim that the Garci Tapes might contain “false information and/or willful misrepresentation. any citizen has the right to bring suit to question the constitutionality of a government action in violation of freedom of expression. illegal or not. When the issue involves freedom of expression. is of transcendental importance that must be defended by every patriotic citizen at the earliest opportunity. In sum. Only the courts have the power to adjudicate on the factual and legal issue of whether the airing of the Garci Tapes presents a clear and present danger of bringing about a substantive evil that the State has a right and duty to prevent. The NTC action restraining the airing of the Garci Tapes is a content-based prior restraint because it is directed at the message of the Garci Tapes. the public airing of the tape becomes unprotected expression that may be subject to prior restraint. ALVAREZ V. The NTC has no power to impose content-based prior restraint on expression. open and democratic society. Of course. However. as in the present case. HELD: Petitioner has standing to file this petition. so as to justify the prior restraint. whether or not the government action is directed at such citizen. being fundamental to the preservation of a free. There can be no content-based prior restraint on protected expression. if the courts determine that the subject matter of a wiretapping. Freedom of expression.

43 definitely establishes the boundary lines of BBLCIs concession area. These consolidated Petitions assails the grant of a writ of mandamus to compel the DENR to issue an IFMA in favor of Picop. 43 into an Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA). 43. The Agreement covered an area of 75. Meanwhile. the DENR found that respondent had violated the rules and regulations governing TLA No. and failure to secure a clearance from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). ISSUES: Whether the presidential warranty was a contract. recognized under the non-impairment clause by which the government may be bound (to issue IFMA) HELD: . which was later affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA). 2002 Decision. saying that the TLA has been converted into IFMA.545 hectares in Surigao del Sur.100 hectares of respondent’s TLA No. 2002. (2) the immediate execution of the writ. 43 had been completed. as well as a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims covering part of the area. 2003.90 as of August 30. Picop signified its intention to convert TLA No. Inc. (BBLCI). Some of these violations were the non-submission of a five-year forest protection plan and a sevenyear reforestation plan. Picop filed a Petition for Mandamus (“mandamus case”) against then DENR Secretary Heherson T. Meanwhile. 2002. Alvarez before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City. Compostela Valley. Picop received from the DENR secretary a letter. on November 25. On January 21. Marcos issued a presidential warranty to BBLCI. and Davao Oriental..440. Insisting that the conversion of its TLA No.FACTS: In 1952. Bislig Bay Lumber Co. Allegedly in 1969. 43 and was renewed for another 25 years to terminate on 2002. the predecessor of Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines (Picop) was granted Timber License Agreement (TLA) No. During the performance evaluation of Picop. Agusan del Sur. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued a proclamation excluding an area consisted of about 8. nonpayment of overdue forest and other charges in the total amount of P167. and (3) the non-dismissal of the nullity case. 43.592. pursuant to the Regulations Governing the Integrated Forest Management Program promulgated by DENR. confirming that TLA No. The RTC granted the Petition in its October 11. considering the presence of indigenous peoples in the area. Picop filed a Petition for the Declaration of Nullity of the aforesaid presidential proclamation. In a letter dated August 28 2000. but was dismissed for not stating a cause of action.

and alleges that the RTC and the Court of Appeals erred in declaring the Presidential Warranty a valid and subsisting contract under the Constitution's Non- Impairment Clause.NO. which reads: "SEC. It is not a contract. be construed as a contractual undertaking assuring PICOP of exclusive possession and enjoyment of its concession areas. Our definitive ruling in Oposa v." cannot be invoked. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed. The DENR Secretary refutes this claim. Factoran that a timber license is not a contract within the purview of the non-impairment clause is edifying. PICOP's ground for the issuance of a writ of mandamus is the supposed contract entered into by the government in the form of a Presidential Warranty. property or a property right protected by the due process clause of the Constitution. development and utilization of the natural resources in the area. Such an interpretation would result in the complete abdication by the State in favor of PICOP of the sovereign power to control and supervise the exploration. 10. . Marcos to PICOP. We declared: Needless to say. all licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive action. Since timber licenses are not contracts. the non-impairment clause. The Presidential Warranty cannot. in any manner. dated 29 July 1969 issued by then President Ferdinand E.