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FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS

Article III, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution provides:

“Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of


the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government
for redress of grievances.”

NOTES

The freedom of expression is not only limited to oral or written statements but includes symbols
and signages.

Freedom of expression includes the (1) freedom from prior restraint and censorship and (2)
freedom from subsequent punishment. However, a content-neutral restriction which only
regulates the time, manner, and place of the exercise of the freedom of expression may be valid.

The right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of
grievances refers to the a valid rally wherein a permit is secured unless the rally is held in a
private place, campus operated by the government, freedom park or public plaza if the place does
not have a freedom park.

Students have the right to rally inside the campus as long as they will not resort to coercion,
destroy properties, and disrupt ongoing classes.

LIMITATIONS ON THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Freedom of expression may be restricted or prohibited when it goes beyond the walls of decency
and propriety. The tests to determine are the following:

a) Clear and Present Danger Test - the court will determine if the exercise of freedom of
expression are made under such circumstances and that they are of such nature as to
create a clear and present danger which brings an evil to the state
b) Dangerous Tendency Test – the court will determine if the exercise of freedom of
expression would create a tendency to bring about an evil which the state has the right to
prevent
c) Balancing of Interests Test - the court will strike a balance between the exercise of the
freedom of expression and the right of the state to regulate the exercise of such right

FREEDOM OF RELIGION

CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS

Article III, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution provides:


“Section 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and
worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test
shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.”

NON-ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION CLAUSE

This is manifested in the first sentence of the above provision wherein it states, “No law shall be
made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The state has to be neutral. The state must protect all religion and discourages none. Religion
does not require a belief of a supreme being for it is enough if the group is governed by a code of
ethics or way of life.

This non-establishment clause is further reinforced by the following provisions:


a) Art. II, Sec. 6 of the Constitution on Separation of Church and State
b) Art. VI, Sec. 29 (2) of the Constitution on No Appropriation of Property for Sectarian
Purposes

Teaching of religion in public schools is not allowed unless there is consent from the parents of
the students.

FREEDOM TO EXERCISE ONE’S RELIGION

The freedom to exercise one’s religion is manifested in the second sentence of the above
provision wherein it states, “The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and
worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed.”

The freedom to exercise one’s religion has 2 aspects, to wit, (1) freedom to believe and (2)
freedom to act on one’s belief.

The freedom to believe is absolute but the freedom to act on one’s belief may be regulated by the
state. The Balancing of Interest Test will be applied by the state in determining whether the
freedom to act on one’s belief should be regulated.