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Francisco Chavez v. Raul M.

Gonzales and resulted in the issuance of a Joint Press


National Telecommunications Statement which stated, among others, that
Commission, G.R. No. 168338, February the supposed wiretapped tapes should be
15, 2008 treated with sensitivity and handled
responsibly.
D E C I S I O N
(En Banc) Petitioner Chavez filed a petition
under Rule 65 against respondents Secretary
PUNO, J.: Gonzales and the NTC directly with the
Supreme Court.
I. THE FACTS
II. THE ISSUES
As a consequence of the public
release of copies of the “Hello Garci” 1. Will a purported violation of law
compact disc audiotapes involving a such as the Anti-Wiretapping Law justify
wiretapped mobile phone conversation straitjacketing the exercise of freedom of
between then-President Gloria Arroyo and speech and of the press?
Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano,
respondent DOJ Secretary Gonzales warned 2. Did the mere press statements of
reporters that those who had copies of the CD respondents DOJ Secretary and the NTC
and those broadcasting or publishing its constitute a form of content-based prior
contents could be held liable under the Anti- restraint that has transgressed the
Wiretapping Act. He also stated that persons Constitution?
possessing or airing said tapes were
committing a continuing offense, subject to III. THE RULING
arrest by anybody. Finally, he stated that he
had ordered the National Bureau of [The Court voted 10-5 (CJ Puno,
Investigation to go after media organizations joined by JJ. Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago,
“found to have caused the spread, the playing Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-
and the printing of the contents of a tape.” Martinez, Carpio Morales, Azcuna, Reyes
and Tinga in the majority, as against JJ.
Meanwhile, respondent NTC Corona, Chico-Nazario, Nachura,
warned in a press release all radio stations Leonardo-De Castro and Velasco in the
and TV network owners/operators that the minority) in granting the petition insofar as
conditions of the authorization and permits respondent Secretary Gonzalez’s press
issued to them by government like the statement was concerned. Likewise, it voted
Provisional Authority and/or Certificate of 10-5 (CJ Puno, joined by JJ. Quisumbing,
Authority explicitly provides that they shall Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez,
not use their stations for the broadcasting or Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Carpio Morales,
telecasting of false information or willful Azcuna, Reyes and Velasco in the majority,
misrepresentation. The NTC stated that the as against JJ. Corona, Chico-Nazario,
continuous airing or broadcast of the “Hello Nachura, Leonardo-De Castro and Tinga in
Garci” taped conversations by radio and TV the minority) in granting the same insofar as
stations is a continuing violation of the Anti- NTC’s press statement was concerned.]
Wiretapping Law and the conditions of the
Provisional Authority and/or Certificate of 1. NO, a purported violation of law
Authority. It warned that their such as the Anti-Wiretapping Law will NOT
broadcast/airing of such false information justify straitjacketing the exercise of
and/or willful misrepresentation shall be a freedom of speech and of the press.
just cause for the suspension, revocation
and/or cancellation of the licenses or A governmental action that restricts
authorizations issued to the said media freedom of speech or of the press based on
establishments. content is given the strictest scrutiny, with
the government having the burden of
Subsequently, a dialogue was held overcoming the presumed unconstitutionality
between the NTC and the Kapisanan ng mga by the clear and present danger rule. This
Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) which
rule applies equally to all kinds of should not be misinterpreted as
media, including broadcast media. devaluing violations of law. By all means,
violations of law should be vigorously
Respondents, who have the burden to prosecuted by the State for they breed their
show that these acts do not abridge freedom own evil consequence. But to repeat, the
of speech and of the press, failed to hurdle the need to prevent their violation cannot per
clear and present danger test. [T]he great se trump the exercise of free speech and
evil which government wants to prevent is free press, a preferred right whose breach
the airing of a tape recording in alleged can lead to greater evils. For this failure of
violation of the anti-wiretapping law. The the respondents alone to offer proof to satisfy
records of the case at bar however are the clear and present danger test, the Court
confused and confusing, and respondents’ has no option but to uphold the exercise of
evidence falls short of satisfying the clear and free speech and free press. There is no
present danger test. Firstly, the various showing that the feared violation of the anti-
statements of the Press Secretary obfuscate wiretapping law clearly endangers
the identity of the voices in the tape the national security of the State.
recording. Secondly, the integrity of the
taped conversation is also suspect. The Press 2. YES, the mere press
Secretary showed to the public two versions, statements of respondents
one supposed to be a “complete” version and DOJ Secretary and the NTC constituted a
the other, an “altered” version. Thirdly, the form of content-based prior restraint that
evidence of the respondents on the who’s and has transgressed the Constitution.
the how’s of the wiretapping act is
ambivalent, especially considering the tape’s [I]t is not decisive that the press
different versions. The identity of the wire- statements made by respondents were not
tappers, the manner of its commission and reduced in or followed up with formal
other related and relevant proofs are some of orders or circulars. It is sufficient that the
the invisibles of this case. Fourthly, given press statements were made by
all these unsettled facets of the tape, it is even respondents while in the exercise of their
arguable whether its airing would violate the official functions. Undoubtedly, respondent
anti-wiretapping law. Gonzales made his statements as Secretary of
Justice, while the NTC issued its statement as
We rule that not every violation of a the regulatory body of media. Any act done,
law will justify straitjacketing the exercise such as a speech uttered, for and on behalf
of freedom of speech and of the press. of the government in an official capacity is
Our laws are of different kinds and covered by the rule on prior restraint. The
doubtless, some of them provide norms of concept of an “act” does not limit itself to
conduct which[,] even if violated[,] have only acts already converted to a formal order or
an adverse effect on a person’s private official circular. Otherwise, the non
comfort but does not endanger national formalization of an act into an official
security. There are laws of great significance order or circular will result in the easy
but their violation, by itself and without circumvention of the prohibition on prior
more, cannot support suppression of free restraint. The press statements at bar are
speech and free press. In fine, violation of acts that should be struck down as they
law is just a factor, a vital one to be sure, constitute impermissible forms of prior
which should be weighed in adjudging restraints on the right to free speech and
whether to restrain freedom of speech and of press.
the press. The totality of the injurious
effects of the violation to private and public
interest must be calibrated in light of the
preferred status accorded by the Constitution
and by related international covenants
protecting freedom of speech and of the
press. In calling for a careful and calibrated
measurement of the circumference of all
these factors to determine compliance with
the clear and present danger test, the Court
Estrada vs Desierto G.R. No. 146710-15;
Estrada vs Arroyo G.R. No. EDSA I EDSA II
146738, March 2 2001 exercise of people
power of freedom
FACTS: of speech and
It began in October 2000 when allegations of freedom of
wrong doings involving bribe-taking, illegal assemblyto
gambling, and other forms of corruption were petition the
made against Estrada before the Senate Blue exercise of the government for
Ribbon Committee. On November 13, 2000, people power of redress of
Estrada was impeached by the Hor and, on revolution which grievances which
December 7, impeachment proceedings were overthrew the only affected the
begun in the Senate during which more whole office of the
serious allegations of graft and corruption government. President.
against Estrada were made and were only
intra
stopped on January 16, 2001 when 11 constitutional and
extra
senators, sympathetic to the President, constitutional and the resignation of
succeeded in suppressing damaging evidence the legitimacy of the sitting
against Estrada. As a result, the impeachment the new President that it
trial was thrown into an uproar as the entire government that caused and the
prosecution panel walked out and Senate resulted from it succession of the
President Pimentel resigned after casting his cannot be the Vice President as
vote against Estrada. subject of judicial President are
review subject to judicial
On January 19, PNP and the AFP also review.
withdrew their support for Estrada and joined
presented
the crowd at EDSA Shrine. Estrada called for
a political involves legal
a snap presidential election to be held
question; questions.
concurrently with congressional and local
elections on May 14, 2001. He added that he
will not run in this election. On January 20, RULING:
SC declared that the seat of presidency was
1. Political questions- "to those questions
vacant, saying that Estrada “constructively
which, under the Constitution, are to be
resigned his post”. At noon, Arroyo took her
decided by the people in their sovereign
oath of office in the presence of the crowd at
capacity, or in regard to which full
EDSA as the 14th President. Estrada and his
discretionary authority has been delegated to
family later left Malacañang Palace. Erap,
the legislative or executive branch of the
after his fall, filed petition for prohibition
government. It is concerned with issues
with prayer for WPI. It sought to enjoin the
dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a
respondent Ombudsman from “conducting
particular measure."
any further proceedings in cases filed against
Legal distinction between EDSA People
him not until his term as president ends. He
Power I EDSA People Power II:
also prayed for judgment “confirming
The cases at bar pose legal and not political
Estrada to be the lawful and incumbent
questions. The principal issues for resolution
President of the Republic of the Philippines
require the proper interpretation of certain
temporarily unable to discharge the duties of
provisions in the 1987 Constitution: Sec 1 of
his office.
Art II, and Sec 8 of Art VII, and the allocation
of governmental powers under Sec 11 of Art
ISSUE(S):
VII. The issues likewise call for a ruling on
1. WoN the petition presents a justiciable
the scope of presidential immunity from suit.
controversy.
They also involve the correct calibration of
2. WoN Estrada resigned as President.
3. WoN Arroyo is only an acting President. the right of petitioner against prejudicial
publicity.
4. WoN the President enjoys immunity from
suit.
5. WoN the prosecution of Estrada should be 2. Elements of valid resignation: (a)an intent
to resign and (b) acts of relinquishment. Both
enjoined due to prejudicial publicity.
were present when President Estrada left the president made by a co-equal branch of
Palace. government cannot be reviewed by this
Totality of prior contemporaneous posterior Court.
facts and circumstantial evidence— bearing
material relevant issues—President Estrada is 4. The cases filed against Estrada are criminal
deemed to have resigned— constructive in character. They involve plunder, bribery
resignation. and graft and corruption. By no stretch of the
SC declared that the resignation of President imagination can these crimes, especially
Estrada could not be doubted as confirmed by plunder which carries the death penalty, be
his leaving Malacañan Palace. In the press covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of
release containing his final statement: a non-sitting president. He cannot cite any
1. He acknowledged the oath-taking of the decision of this Court licensing the President
respondent as President; to commit criminal acts and wrapping him
2. He emphasized he was leaving the Palace with post-tenure immunity from liability. The
for the sake of peace and in order to begin the rule is that unlawful acts of public officials
healing process (he did not say that he was are not acts of the State and the officer who
leaving due to any kind of disability and that acts illegally is not acting as such but stands
he was going to reassume the Presidency as in the same footing as any trespasser.
soon as the disability disappears);
3. He expressed his gratitude to the people for 5. No. Case law will tell us that a right to a
the opportunity to serve them as President fair trial and the free press are incompatible.
(without doubt referring to the past Also, since our justice system does not use
opportunity); the jury system, the judge, who is a learned
4. He assured that he will not shirk from any and legally enlightened individual, cannot be
future challenge that may come in the same easily manipulated by mere publicity. The
service of the country; Court also said that Estrada did not present
5. He called on his supporters to join him in enough evidence to show that the publicity
promotion of a constructive national spirit of given the trial has influenced the judge so as
reconciliation and solidarity. to render the judge unable to perform.
Intent to resign—must be accompanied by act Finally, the Court said that the cases against
of relinquishment—act or omission before, Estrada were still undergoing preliminary
during and after January 20, 2001. investigation, so the publicity of the case
would really have no permanent effect on the
3. The Congress passed House Resolution judge and that the prosecutor should be more
No. 176 expressly stating its support to Gloria concerned with justice and less with
Macapagal-Arroyo as President of the prosecution.
Republic of the Philippines and subsequently
passed H.R. 178 confirms the nomination of
Teofisto T. Guingona Jr. As Vice President.
Senate passed HR No. 83 declaring the
Impeachment Courts as Functius Officio and
has been terminated. It is clear is that both
houses of Congress recognized Arroyo as the
President. Implicitly clear in that recognition
is the premise that the inability of Estrada is
no longer temporary as the Congress has
clearly rejected his claim of inability.
The Court therefore cannot exercise its
judicial power for this is political in nature
and addressed solely to Congress by
constitutional fiat. In fine, even if Estrada
can prove that he did not resign, still, he
cannot successfully claim that he is a
President on leave on the ground that he is
merely unable to govern temporarily. That
claim has been laid to rest by Congress and
the decision that Arroyo is the de jure,
People vs. Perez and petition must yield to punitive measures
designed to maintain the prestige of
FACTS: constituted authority, the supremacy of the
Isaac Perez while holding a discussion with constitution and the laws, and the existence
several persons on political matters uttered of the State. (III Wharton's Criminal Law, pp.
the following words "And the Filipinos, like 2127 et seq.; U.S. vs. Apurado [1907], 7
myself, must use bolos for cutting off Wood's Phil., 422; People vs. Perfecto, supra)
head for having recommended a bad thing for
the Philippines.” Because of such utterances, In this instance, the attack on the Governor-
he was charged in the CFI of Sorsogon with General passes the furthest bounds of free
violation of Art. 256 of the RPC which has speech was intended. There is a seditious
something to do with contempt of ministers tendency in the words used, which could
of the Crown or other persons in authority. He easily produce disaffection among the people
was convicted. Hence, this appeal. and a state of feeling incompatible with a
disposition to remain loyal to the
ISSUE: Government and obedient to the laws. In the
words of the law, Perez has uttered seditious
WON Perez’s remarks is protected by the words. He has made a statement and done an
constitutional protection on freedom of act which tended to instigate others to cabal
speech. or meet together for unlawful purposes. He
Or WON the provisions of Act No. 292 has made a statement and done an act which
should be interpreted so as to abridge the suggested and incited rebellious conspiracies.
freedom of speech and the right of the people He has made a statement and done an act
to peaceably assemble and petition the which tended to stir up the people against the
Government for redress of grievances. lawful authorities. He has made a statement
and done an act which tended to disturb the
HELD: peace of the community and the safety or
No, it is not. Agreed with the lower court in order of the Government. All of these various
its findings of facts but convicted the accused tendencies can be ascribed to the action of
for violation of Act No.292 (Section 8).1 Perez and may be characterized as penalized
by section 8 of Act No. 292 as amended.
It is of course fundamentally true that the
provisions of Act No. 292 must not be
interpreted so as to abridge the freedom of
speech and the right of the people peaceably
to assemble and petition the Government for
redress of grievances. Criticism is permitted
to penetrate even to the foundations of
Government.
Criticism, no matter how severe, on the
Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary,
is within the range of liberty of speech,
Unless the intention and effect be seditious.

But when the intention and effect of the act is


seditious, the constitutional guaranties of
freedom of speech and press and of assembly

1
Every person who shall utter seditious words or suggests or incites rebellious conspiracies or which
speeches, or who shall write, publish or circulate tends to stir up the people against the lawful
scurrilous libels against the Government of the authorities, or which tends to disturb the peace of
United States or against the Government of the the community or the safety or order of the
Philippine Islands, or who shall print, write, publish Government, or who shall knowingly conceal such
utter or make any statement, or speech, or do any evil practices from the constituted authorities, shall
act which tends to disturb or obstruct any lawful be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand
officer in executing his office or in performing his dollars United States currency or by imprisonment
duty, or which tends to instigate others to cabal or not exceeding two years, or both, in the discretion of
meet together for unlawful purposes, or which the court.
Primicias vs. Fugoso Court holds that there can be 2 interpretations
[L-18000. Jan 27, 1948] of Sec. 1119: 1) the Mayor of the City of
Manila is vested with unregulated discretion
Doctrine: to grant or refuse, to grant permit for the
Clear and Present Danger Test, Freedom of holding of a lawful assembly or meeting,
Assembly and Expression parade, or procession in the streets and other
public places of the City of Manila; and 2)
FACTS: The right of the Mayor is subject to
This case is an action of mandamus instituted reasonable discretion to determine or specify
by petitioner Cipriano Primicias, manager of the streets or public places to be used with the
the Coalesced Minority Parties, against view to prevent confusion by overlapping, to
respondent Manila City Mayor, Valeriano secure convenient use of the streets and
Fugoso, to compel the latter to issue a permit public places by others, and to provide
for the holding of a public meeting at the adequate and proper policing to minimize the
Plaza Miranda on Nov 16, 1947. The risk of disorder. The court favored the second
Petitioner requested for a permit to hold a construction since the first construction is
“peaceful public meeting”. However, the tantamount to authorizing the Mayor to
respondent refused to issue such permit prohibit the use of the streets. Under our
because he found “that there is a reasonable democratic system of government no such
ground to believe, basing upon previous unlimited power may be validly granted to
utterances and upon the fact that passions, any officer of the government, except
especially on the part of the losing groups, perhaps in cases of national emergency. It is
remains bitter and high, that similar speeches to be noted that the permit to be issued is for
will be delivered tending to undermine the the use of public places and not for the
faith and confidence of the people in their assembly itself. The Court holds that the
government, and in the duly peace and a assembly is lawful and thus cannot be struck
disruption of public order.” down. Fear of serious injury cannot alone
justify suppression of free speech and
Respondent based his refusal to the Revised assembly. It is the function of speech to free
Ordinances of 1927 prohibiting as an offense men from the bondage of irrational fears. To
against public peace, and penalizes as a justify suppression of free speech there must
misdemeanor, "any act, in any public place, be reasonable ground to fear that serious evil
meeting, or procession, tending to disturb the will result if free speech is practiced. There
peace or excite a riot; or collect with other must be reasonable ground to believe that the
persons in a body or crowd for any unlawful danger apprehended is imminent. There must
purpose; or disturb or disquiet any be reasonable ground to believe that the evil
congregation engaged in any lawful to be prevented is a serious one. The fact that
assembly." Included herein is Sec. 1119, speech is likely to result in some violence or
Free-use of Public Place. in destruction of property is not enough to
justify its suppression. There must be the
ISSUE: probability of serious injury to the state.
Whether or not the Mayor has the right to PETITION IS GRANTED.
refuse to issue permit hence violating
freedom of assembly.

HELD:
The answer is negative. Supreme Court states
that the freedom of speech, and to peacefully
assemble and petition the government for
redress of grievances, are fundamental
personal rights of the people recognized and
guaranteed by the constitution. However,
these rights are not absolute. They can be
regulated under the state’s police power –
That they should not be injurious to the equal
enjoyment of others having equal rights, nor
to the rights of the community or society. The
NAVARRO V. VILLEGAS regulations to promote the health, morals,
peace, education, and good order, safety and
Sunken Gardens as alternative to Plaza general welfare of the people. While the
Miranda - The Mayor cannot be compelled to privilege of the citizen to use streets and
issue the permit. A permit should recognize parks for communication may be regulated in
the right of the applicants to hold their the interest of all, said privilege is not
assembly at a public place of their choice, absolute. It must be exercised
another place may be designated by the insubordination to the general comfort and
licensing convenience and in consonance with peace
authority if it be shown that a clear and and good order, but it must not guise of
present danger of a substantive evil if no regulation be abridged or denied.
change was made.
Philippine Blooming Mills Employment
Nelson Navarro vs. Mayor Antonio Organization V. Philippine Blooming
Villegas Mills Co. (1973)

FACTS: On February 24, 1970, the


petitioner, acting in behalf of the Movement G.R. No. L-31195 June 5, 1973
of a Democratic Philippines, wrote a letter to
the respondent, the Mayor of the city of Lessons Applicable: Nature and Definition
Manila, applying to hold a rally at Plaza of Human Rights, Human Right is superior to
Miranda February 26, 1970, from 4-11pm.On property rights, Social justice, jurisdiction
the same day, the respondent wrote a reply, over violation of constitutional right
denying his request on the grounds that, they Laws Applicable: Bill of Rights on rights of
have temporarily adopted the policy of not free expression, rights of free assembly and
issuing any permit for the use of Plaza rights of petition
Miranda for rallies or demonstration during
weekdays due to the events that happened FACTS:
from the past week. On the same letter, the • March 2, 1969: Philippine Blooming
respondent gave the petitioner an option to Mills discovered that Philippine Blooming
use the Sunken Garden near Intamuros for its Mills Employees Organization (PBMEO)
rally, and for it to be held earlier for it to end decided to stage a mass demonstration as a
before dark. The petitioner filed suit valid exercise of their constitutional right of
contesting the Mayor’s action on the ground freedom expression in general and of their
that it violates the petitioner’s right to right of assembly and petition for redress of
peaceable assemble and petition the grievances in particular before appropriate
government for redress of grievances (ART. governmental agency, the Chief Executive,
3, sec 1(8)) and of the petitioner’s right to the alleged abuses of the police officers of the
equal protection of the law (art. 3, sec. 1). municipality of Pasig at Malacañang on
March 4, 1969 to be participated in by the
ISSUE: workers in the first, second and third shifts
Whether or not the respondents act on (6am-2pm, 7am-4pm. and 8am-5pm
denying the request of the petitioner violates respectively)
the petitioners’ Right to peaceable assembly
and right to the equal protection of the law. • March 3, 1969: Philippine Blooming
Mills held 2 meetings in the morning and
Held: The right of peaceable assemble is afternoon where PBMEO confirmed the
subject to regulation under the police power demonstration which has nothing to do with
of the state. The right to freedom of speech the Company because the union has no
and peaceful assembly, though granted by the quarrel or dispute with Management. That
Constitution, is not absolute for it may be Management, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon,
regulated in order that it may not be injurious Company personnel manager, informed
to the equal enjoyment of others having an PBMEO that the demonstration is an
equal right of community and society, This inalienable right of the union guaranteed by
power may be exercised under the police the Constitution but emphasized, however,
power of the state, which is the power of the that any demonstration for that matter should
state, which is the power to prescribe not unduly prejudice the normal operation
thus whoever fails to report for work the • The Bill of Rights is designed to preserve
following morning shall be dismissed for the ideals of liberty, equality and security
violation of the existing CBA Article XXIV: "against the assaults of opportunism, the
NO LOCKOUT — NO STRIKE amounting expediency of the passing hour, the erosion
to an illegal strike. of small encroachments, and the scorn and
derision of those who have no patience with
general principles.
• March 3, 1969 9:50 am: Wilfredo Ariston,
adviser of PBMEO sent a cablegram to the
Company: REITERATING REQUEST • The freedoms of expression and of
EXCUSE DAY SHIFT EMPLOYEES assembly as well as the right to petition are
JOINING DEMONSTRATION MARCH 4, included among the immunities reserved by
1969 the sovereign people

• The Company filed for violation of the • The rights of free expression, free
CBA. PBMEO answered that there is no assembly and petition, are not only civil
violation since they gave prior rights but also political rights essential to
notice. Moreover, it was not a mass man's enjoyment of his life, to his happiness
demonstration for strike against and to his full and complete fulfillment. Thru
the company. these freedoms the citizens can participate
not merely in the periodic establishment of
the government through their suffrage but
• Judge Joaquin M. Salvador: PBMEO also in the administration of public affairs as
guilty of bargaining in bad faith and PBMEO well as in the discipline of abusive public
officers directly responsible for ULP losing officers. The citizen is accorded these rights
their status as employees so that he can appeal to the appropriate
governmental officers or agencies for redress
• September 29, 1969: PBMEO motion for and protection as well as for the imposition of
reconsideration – dismissed since 2 days late the lawful sanctions on erring public officers
and employees.

ISSUE:
1. W/N to regard the demonstration against • While the Bill of Rights also protects
police officers, not against the employer, as property rights, the primacy of human rights
evidence of bad faith in collective bargaining over property rights is recognized.
and hence a violation of the collective
bargaining agreement and a cause for the o Property and property rights can be lost
dismissal from employment of the thru prescription; but human rights are
demonstrating employees, stretches unduly imprescriptible.
the compass of the collective bargaining
agreement, is an inhibition of the rights of
free expression, free assembly and petition o a constitutional or valid infringement of
human rights requires a more stringent
criterion, namely existence of a grave and
HELD: immediate danger of a substantive evil which
YES. Set aside as null and void the orders of the State has the right to prevent
CFI and reinstate the petitioners.
o Rationale: Material loss can be repaired
• In a democracy, the preservation and or adequately compensated. The debasement
enhancement of the dignity and worth of the of the human being broken in morale and
human personality is the central core as well brutalized in spirit-can never be fully
as the cardinal article of faith of our evaluated in monetary terms. The wounds
civilization. The inviolable character of man fester and the scars remain to humiliate him
as an individual must be "protected to the to his dying day, even as he cries in anguish
largest possible extent in his thoughts and in for retribution, denial of which is like rubbing
his beliefs as the citadel of his person salt on bruised tissues.
protecting the exercise by employees of their
o injunction would be trenching upon the right to self-organization for the purpose of
freedom expression of the workers, even if it collective bargaining and for the promotion
legally appears to be illegal picketing or of their moral, social and economic well-
strike being."

• The pretension of their employer that it • The respondent company is the one guilty
would suffer loss or damage by reason of the of unfair labor practice defined in Section
absence of its employees from 6 o'clock in the 4(a-1) in relation to Section 3 of Republic Act
morning to 2 o'clock in the afternoon, is a No. 875, otherwise known as the Industrial
plea for the preservation merely of their Peace Act. Section 3 of Republic Act No. 8
property rights. guarantees to the employees the right "to
engage in concert activities for ... mutual aid
or protection"; while Section 4(a-1) regards
o There was a lack of human understanding as an unfair labor practice for an employer
or compassion on the part of the firm in interfere with, restrain or coerce employees
rejecting the request of the Union for excuse in the exercise their rights guaranteed in
from work for the day shifts in order to carry Section Three."
out its mass demonstration. And to regard as
a ground for dismissal the mass
demonstration held against the Pasig police, • violation of a constitutional right divests
not against the company, is gross the court of jurisdiction. Relief from a
vindictiveness on the part of the employer, criminal conviction secured at the sacrifice of
which is as unchristian as it is constitutional liberties, may be obtained
unconstitutional. through habeas corpus proceedings even long
after the finality of the judgment. There is no
time limit to the exercise of the freedoms. The
o The most that could happen to them was right to enjoy them is not exhausted by the
to lose a day's wage by reason of their delivery of one speech, the printing of one
absence from work on the day of the article or the staging of one demonstration. It
demonstration. One day's pay means much to is a continuing immunity to be invoked and
a laborer, more especially if he has a family exercised when exigent and expedient
to support. Yet, they were willing to forego whenever there are errors to be rectified,
their one-day salary hoping that their abuses to be denounced, inhumanities to be
demonstration would bring about the desired condemned. Otherwise these guarantees in
relief from police abuses. But management the Bill of Rights would be vitiated by rule on
was adamant in refusing to recognize the procedure prescribing the period for appeal.
superior legitimacy of their right of free The battle then would be reduced to a race for
speech, free assembly and the right to petition time. And in such a contest between an
for redress. employer and its laborer, the latter eventually
loses because he cannot employ the best an
o the dismissal for proceeding with the dedicated counsel who can defend his interest
demonstration and consequently being absent with the required diligence and zeal, bereft as
from work, constitutes a denial of social he is of the financial resources with which to
justice likewise assured by the fundamental pay for competent legal services
law to these lowly employees. Section 5 of
Article II of the Constitution imposes upon • enforcement of the basic human freedoms
the State "the promotion of social justice to sheltered no less by the organic law, is a most
insure the well-being and economic security compelling reason to deny application of a
of all of the people," which guarantee is Court of Industrial Relations rule which
emphasized by the other directive in Section impinges on such human rights. It is an
6 of Article XIV of the Constitution that "the accepted principle that the Supreme Court
State shall afford protection to labor ...". has the inherent power to "suspend its own
Under the Industrial Peace Act, the Court of rules or to except a particular case from its
Industrial Relations is enjoined to effect the operation, whenever the purposes of justice
policy of the law "to eliminate the causes of require."
industrial unrest by encouraging and
JBL Reyes vs. Bagatsing Malabanan vs. Ramento
Retired Justice JBL Reyes in behalf of the FACTS:
members of the Anti-Bases Coalition sought Petitioners, all officers of the Supreme
a permit to rally from Luneta Park until the Student Council of the Gregorio Araneta
front gate of the US embassy which is less University Foundation, sought and were
than two blocks apart. The permit has been granted a permit to hold a meeting. At such
denied by then Manila mayor Ramon gathering they manifested their opposition to
Bagatsing. The mayor claimed that there the proposed merger of the Institute of
have been intelligence reports that indicated Animal Science with the Institute of
that the rally would be infiltrated by lawless Agriculture. They marched and demonstrated
elements. He also issued City Ordinance No. outside the place indicated in the permit,
7295 to prohibit the staging of rallies within disturbing the classes being held. They were
the 500 feet radius of the US embassy. later suspended for one academic year for
Bagatsing pointed out that it was his intention holding an illegal assembly.
to provide protection to the US embassy from
such lawless elements in pursuant to Art. 22 ISSUE(S):
of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Whether or not there was an infringement of
Relations. And that under our constitution we the right to peaceable assembly and its
“adhere to generally accepted principles of cognate right of free speech in the
international law”. disciplinary action and the penalty imposed.

ISSUE: Whether or not a treaty may RULING:


supersede provisions of the YES. Petitioners are entitled to their rights to
Constitution. Whether or not the rallyists peaceable assembly and free speech. They
should be granted the permit. enjoy like the rest of the citizens the freedom
HELD: to express their views and communicate their
thoughts to those disposed to listen in
I. No. Indeed, the receiving state is tasked for gatherings. While the authority of
the protection of foreign diplomats from any educational institutions over the conduct of
lawless element. And indeed the Vienna students must be recognized, it cannot go so
Convention is a restatement of the generally far as to be violative of constitutional
accepted principles of international law. But safeguards.
the same cannot be invoked as defense to the
primacy of the Philippine Constitution which Petition is GRANTED.
upholds and guarantees the rights to free
speech and peacable assembly. At the same
time, the City Ordinance issued by
respondent mayor cannot be invoked if the
application thereof would collide with a
constitutionally guaranteed rights.
II. Yes. The denial of their rally does not pass
the clear and present danger test. The mere
assertion that subversives may infiltrate the
ranks of the demonstrators does not suffice.
In this case, no less than the police chief
assured that they have taken all the necessary
steps to ensure a peaceful rally. Further, the
ordinance cannot be applied yet because there
was no showing that indeed the rallyists are
within the 500 feet radius (besides, there’s
also the question of whether or not the mayor
can prohibit such rally – but, as noted by the
SC, that has not been raised an an issue in this
case).
INTEGRATED BAR OF THE In modifying the permit outright, respondent
PHILIPPINES represented by its National gravely abused his discretion when he did not
President, Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz, H. immediately inform the IBP who should have
HARRY L. ROQUE, and JOEL RUIZ been heard first on the matter of his perceived
BUTUYAN vs. imminent and grave danger of a substantive
HONORABLE MANILA MAYOR JOSE evil that may warrant the changing of the
“LITO” ATIENZA venue. The opportunity to be heard precedes
the action on the permit, since the applicant
[G.R. No. 175241; February 24, may directly go to court after an unfavorable
2010] Constitutional Law| Freedom of action on the permit.
Expression| Freedom of Assembly|
Respondent failed to indicate how he had
FACTS: arrived at modifying the terms of the permit
against the standard of a clear and present
danger test which, it bears repeating, is an
In 2006, the IBP, through its then National indispensable condition to such modification.
President Jose Anselmo Cadiz, filed an Nothing in the issued permit adverts to an
application with the Office of the City Mayor imminent and grave danger of a substantive
of Manila for a permit to rally at the foot of evil, which “blank” denial or modification
Mendiola Bridge to be participated in by IBP would, when granted imprimatur as the
officers and members, law students and appellate court would have it, render illusory
multi-sectoral organizations. Respondent any judicial scrutiny thereof.
Mayor Atienza issued a permit allowing the
IBP to stage a rally on given date but
indicated Plaza Miranda as the venue, instead SANIDAD vs. COMELEC
of the Mendiola Bridge. Aggrieved,
petitioners filed before the CA a petition for (G.R. No. L-44640, October 12, 1976)
certiorari but having been unresolved within
24 hours from its filing, petitioners again, Facts:
filed before the SC assailing the appellate
court’s inaction or refusal to resolve the On 2 September 1976, President Ferdinand E.
petition within the period provided under the Marcos issued Presidential Decree 991
Public Assembly Act of 1985. calling for a national referendum on 16
October 1976 for the Citizens Assemblies
("barangays") to resolve, among other things,
The rally pushed through at Mendiola Bridge, the issues of martial law, the interim
and as alleged by the Petitioners, the assembly, its replacement, the powers of such
participants voluntarily dispersed after the replacement, the period of its existence, the
peaceful conduct of the program. A few days length of the period for the exercise by the
later, the MPD instituted a criminal President of his present powers.20 days after
action,against Cadiz for violating the Public or on 22 September 1976, the President
Assembly Act in staging a rally at a venue not issued another related decree, Presidential
indicated in the permit. Decree 1031, amending the previous
Presidential Decree 991, by declaring the
ISSUE: provisions of Presidential Decree 229
providing for the manner of voting and
Whether the partial grant of the application canvass of votes in "barangays"(Citizens
runs contrary to the Pubic Assembly Act and Assemblies) applicable to the national
violates the constitutional right to freedom of referendum-plebiscite of 16 October 1976.
expression and public assembly. Quite relevantly, Presidential Decree 1031
repealed inter alia, Section 4, of Presidential
Decree 991.On the same date of 22
HELD:
September 1976, the President issued
Presidential Decree 1033, stating the
The Court finds for petitioners. questions to he submitted to the people in the
referendum-plebiscite on 16 October 1976.
The Decree recites in its "whereas" clauses
that the people's continued opposition to the Held:
convening of the interim National Assembly
evinces their desire to have such body Section 1 of Article XVI of the 1973
abolished and replaced thru a constitutional Constitution on Amendments ordains that
amendment, providing for a new interim "(1) any amendment to, or revision of, this
legislative body, which will be submitted Constitution may be proposed by the
directly to the people in the referendum- National Assembly upon a vote of three-
plebiscite of October 16.The Commission on fourths of all its Members, or by a
Elections was vested with the exclusive constitutional convention. (2) The National
supervision and control of the October 1976 Assembly may, by a vote of two-thirds of all
National Referendum-Plebiscite. On 27 its Members, call a constitutional convention
September 1976, Pablo C. Sanidad and or, by a majority vote of all its Members,
Pablito V. Sanidad, father and son, submit the question of calling such a
commenced L-44640 for Prohibition with convention to the electorate in an election.
Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin the "Section 2 thereof provides that "Any
Commission on Elections from holding and amendment to, or revision of, this
conducting the Referendum Plebiscite on Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a
October 16; to declare without force and majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite
effect Presidential Decree Nos. 991 and 1033, which shall be held not later than three
insofar as they propose amendments to the months a after the approval of such
Constitution, as well as Presidential Decree amendment or revision." In the present period
1031, insofar as it directs the Commission on of transition, the interim National Assembly
Elections to supervise, control, hold, and instituted in the Transitory Provisions is
conduct the Referendum-Plebiscite conferred with that amending power. Section
scheduled on 16 October 1976. They contend 15 of the Transitory Provisions reads "The
that under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions interim National Assembly, upon special call
there is no grant to the incumbent President by the interim Prime Minister, may, by a
to exercise the constituent power to propose majority vote of all its Members, propose
amendments to the new Constitution. As a amendments to this Constitution. Such
consequence, the Referendum-Plebiscite on amendments shall take effect when ratified in
October 16 has no constitutional or legal accordance with Article Sixteen hereof."
basis. On 30 September 1976, another action There are, therefore, two periods
for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction, contemplated in the constitutional life of the
docketed as L-44684, was instituted by nation, i.e., period of normalcy and period of
Vicente M. Guzman, a delegate to the 1971 transition. In times of normalcy, the
Constitutional Convention, asserting that the amending process may be initiated by the
power to propose amendments to, or revision proposals of the (1) regular National
of the Constitution during the transition Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all
period is expressly conferred on the interim its members; or (2) by a Constitutional
National Assembly under action 16, Article Convention called by a vote of two-thirds of
XVII of the Constitution. Still another all the Members of the National Assembly.
petition for Prohibition with Preliminary However the calling of a Constitutional
Injunction was filed on 5October 1976 by Convention may be submitted to the
Raul M. Gonzales, his son Raul Jr., and electorate in an election voted upon by a
Alfredo Salapantan, docketed as L-44714, to majority vote of all the members of the
restrain the implementation of Presidential National Assembly. In times of transition,
Decrees relative to the forthcoming amendments may be proposed by a majority
Referendum-Plebiscite of October 16. vote of all the Members of the interim
National Assembly upon special call by the
Issue: interim Prime Minister. The Court in Aquino
v. COMELEC, had already settled that the
Whether the President may call upon a incumbent President is vested with that
referendum for the amendment of the prerogative of discretion as to when he shall
Constitution. initially convene the interim National
Assembly. The Constitutional Convention
intended to leave to the President the
determination of the time when he shall
initially convene the interim National with proposition or adoption of amendments
Assembly, consistent with the prevailing to the Constitution.
conditions of peace and order in the country.
When the Delegates to the Constitutional National Press Club v. COMELEC
Convention voted on the Transitory
Provisions, they were aware of the fact that 207 SCRA 1-March 5, 1992
under the same, the incumbent President was Ponente: Feliciano
given the discretion as to when he could
convene the interim National Assembly. The Case: 3 consolidated petitions, with the
President's decision to defer the convening of common question: the constitutionality of
the interim National Assembly soon found §11(b), of RA6646
support from the people themselves. In the
plebiscite of January 10-15, 1973, at which Petitoners: representatives of mass
the ratification of the 1973Constitution was media which are prevented from selling or
submitted, the people voted against the donating space and time for political
convening of the interim National Assembly. advertisements; 2 candidates for office (1
In the referendum of 24 July 1973, the national, 1 provincial) in the coming May
Citizens Assemblies ("bagangays") reiterated 1992 elections; taxpayers and voters who
their sovereign will to withhold the claim that their right to be informed of
convening of the interim National Assembly. election issues and of credentials of the
Again, in the referendum of 27 February
candidates is being curtailed. (I will refer to
1975, the proposed question of whether the
these folks as Petitoners (P))
interim National Assembly shall be initially
convened was eliminated, because some of Facts: Petitioners’ argument:
the members of Congress and delegates of the
Constitutional Convention, who were  That §11(b), of RA6646 invades and
deemed automatically members of the violated the constitutional guarantees
interim National Assembly, were against its comprising freedom of expression;
inclusion since in that referendum of January,  That the prohibition imposed by
1973 the people had already resolved against §11(b) amounts to censorship, because it
it. In sensu striciore, when the legislative arm selects and singles out for suppression and
of the state undertakes the proposals of repression with criminal sanctions, only
amendment to a Constitution, that body is not publications of a particular content, namely,
in the usual function of lawmaking. It is not media-based election or political propaganda
legislating when engaged in the amending during the election pd. of 1992;
process. Rather, it is exercising a peculiar  That the prohibition is in derogation
power bestowed upon it by the fundamental of media’s role, function and duty to provide
charter itself. In the Philippines, that power is adequate channels of public information and
provided for in Article XVI of the 1973 public opinion relevant to election issues;
Constitution (for the regular National  That §11(b) abridges the freedom of
Assembly) or in Section 15 of the Transitory speech of candidates, and that the
Provisions (for the interim National suppression of media-based campaign or
Assembly). While ordinarily it is the business political propaganda except those appearing
of the legislating body to legislate for the in the Comelec space of the newspapers and
nation by virtue of constitutional conferment, on Comelec time of radio and tv broadcasts,
amending of the Constitution is not would bring about a substantial reduction in
legislative in character. In political science a the quantity or volume of info concerning
distinction is made between constitutional candidates and issues in the election, thereby
content of an organic character and that of a curtailing and limiting the right of voters to
legislative character. The distinction, info and opinion.
however, is one of policy, not of law. Such
being the case, approval of the President of
any proposed amendment is a misnomer. The Issue: WON §11(b) of RA 6646 has gone
prerogative of the President to approve or beyond the permissible supervision or
disapprove applies only to the ordinary cases regulation of media operations so as to
of legislation. The President has nothing to do constitute unconstitutional repression of
freedom of speech & freedom of the press
SC says: Nope. It has not gone outside the  §90&92 of the OEC on the other
permissible bounds of supervision or hand, require the Comelec to procure
regulation of media operations during Comelec space and Comelec time to be
election periods. allocated to all candidates for free.
 No one seriously disputes the
Ratio: legitimacy or the importance of the objective
sought to be secured by §11(b) of RA 6646 in
The assailed statute
relation to §90&92 of the OEC.
 The statutory text the P want to strike  The objective is of special importance
down as unconstitutional is §11(b) of RA and urgency in a country which, like ours, is
6646, aka the Electoral Reforms Law of 1987 characterized by extreme disparity in income
Section 11. Prohibited Forms of distribution between the economic elite and
Election Propaganda-in addition to the forms the rest of the society.
of election propaganda prohibited under  It is important to note, that the
Section 85 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, it objective, is not only a legitimate one, it has
shall be unlawful; also been given constitutional status by the
terms of Art. IX(C)(4) of the 1987 Consti.
(b) for any newspapers, radio
broadcasting or television station, other mass
media, or any person making use of the mass
media to sell or to give free of charge print Art. IX-C, Section 4. The
space or air time for campaign or other Commission may, during the election
political purposes except to the Commission period, supervise or regulate the
as provided under Sections 90 and 92 of enjoyment or utilization of all
Batas Pambansa Blg. 881. Any mass media franchises or permits for the operation
columnist, commentator, announcer, or of transportation and other public
personality who is candidate for any elective utilities, media of communication or
public office shall take a leave of absence information, all grants, special
from his work as such during the campaign privileges, or concessions granted by
period. the Government or any subdivision,
agency, or instrumentality thereof,
 §11(b) of RA 6646 should be taken
including any government-owned or
together with Sections 90 & 92 of BP 881 aka
Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines. controlled corporation or its
(for the full text, see p. 7) subsidiary. Such supervision or
§90 refers to the “Comelec space”- regulation shall aim to ensure equal
space in the newspaper to be allocated opportunity, and equal rates therefor,
equally and impartially to all the candidates for public information campaigns and
within the area of coverage, free of charge forums among candidates in
connection with the objective of
§92 refers to the “Comelec time” air holding free, orderly, honest,
time in radio and tv to be allocated equally peaceful, and credible elections.
and impartially to all the candidates within
the area of coverage, free of charge. Anent Constitutionality of §11(b)

Objective of the statute  The Comelec has been expressly


authorized by the Cosnti to supervise or
 Objective of §11(b)-to equalize, as far regulate the enjoyment or utilization of the
as practicable, the situations of rich and poor franchises or permits for the operation of
candidates by preventing the rich from media of communication and info.
enjoying undue advantage offered by huge  The fundamental purpose of such
campaign “war chests.” “supervision or regulation” has been spelled
 It prohibits the sale or donation of out in the Consti as the ensuring of “equal
print space and air time “for campaign or opportunity, time, and space, and the right to
other political purposes” except to Comelec. reply,’ as well as uniform and reasonable
rates of charges for the use of such media
facilities, in connection with “public info 2. §11(b) is limited in its scope of
campaigns and forums among candidates.” application. Analysis shows that it purports
 It seems a modest proposition that the to apply only to the purchase and sale, incl.
provision of the Bill of Rights which purchase and sale disguised as a donation, of
enshrines the freedom of speech, freedom of print space and air time for campaign
expression, and freedom of the press2, has to purposes or other political purposes.
be taken in conjunction with Art. IX (C) (4) a. It does not purport in any
which may be seen to be a special provision way to restrict reporting by newspapers or
applicable during a specific limited period, radio or tv stations of news or newsworthy
i.e. during election pd. events relating to candidates, their
 The rights of free speech and free qualifications, political parties and gov’t
press are not unlimited rights for they are not programs.
the only important and relevant values even b. It does not restrict
in the most democratic of polities. commentaries and expressions of belief or
 In our own society, equal opportunity opinion by reporters, broadcasters, editors, etc.
to proffer oneself for public office, without with respect to candidates, their qualifications,
regard to one’s financial capacity, is clearly etc.
an important value. This is what distinguishes
 One of the basic state policies given this case from Sanidad v. Comelec-There, the
constitutional rank by Art. II, §26, Consti, is provision prohibiting columnists,
the egalitarian demand that “the State shall commentators or announcers from
guarantee equal access to opportunities for campaigning for their candidate was declared
public service and prohibit political by SC as unconstitutional because nothing in
dynasties as may be defined by law. the consti gave Comelec the power to regulate
 The technical effect of Art. IX(C)(4) their acts, as they are not franchise holders nor
of the Consti, may be seen to be that no candidates.
presumption of invalidity arises in respect of
exercises of supervisory or regulatory c. It does not prohibit
authority on the part of the Comelec for the purchase by or donation to the Comelec of
purpose of securing equal opportunity among print space or air time. And Comelec is
candidates for political office, although such required to allocate the same equally and
supervision or regulation may result in some impartially to all the candidates.
limitation of the rights of free speech and free Re apprehension on
press. possibility of abuse: Angara v. Electoral
 Supervision and regulation of the Commission: the possibility of abuse is no
operations of media enterprises is scarcely argument against the concession of power or
conceivable without accompanying authority involved, for there is no power or
limitations. authority in human society that is not
 Thus the time-honored rule: A statute susceptible of being abused.
is presumed to be constitutional and that the
party asserting its unconstitutionality must If the Comelec fails to do its
discharge the burden of clearly and duty (procure print space or air time), then
convincingly proving that assertion. candidates can seek judicial relief.
In Summary, §11(b)
 It is important to note that the
restrictive impact upon freedom of speech 1. Does not cut off the flow of media
and freedom of the press of §11(b) is reporting, opinion, or
circumscribed by certain important commentary about candidates,
limitations: their qualifications, and platforms
1. §11(b) is limited in the duration and promises
of its applicability and enforceability. It is 2. Does not authorize any
limited to election periods. intervention and much less control
on the content of the normal
operations of the media
2Art. III, Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of
of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people grievances
3. Does not prohibit Comelec from
procuring print space and air time
for the candidates.

 Whatever limitation §11(b) entails


bears a clear and reasonable connection with
the objective set out in Art. IX(C)(4) and Art.
II(26) of the Consti.

Anent Cruz’s assigned flaw-that it still does


not restrict the rich candidate from spending
on other campaign activities.
 A regulatory measure that is less than
perfectly comprehensive or which does not
completely obliterate the evil sought to be
remedied, is not for that reason alone
constitutionally infirm.
 The Consti does not, and cannot exact
perfection in governmental regulation.
 All it requires, in accepted doctrine, is
that the regulatory measure under challenge
bear a reasobable nexus with the
constitutionality sanctioned objective.

Anent invasion of privacy


 Plus, super daming paid campaigns
constitute invasion of privacy of the general
electorate. Kaya daw ok lang to control
especially the rich who can afford to bombard
the helpless electorate with paid
advertisements.
 The right of the general listening and
viewing public to be free form such
intrusions and their subliminal effects is at
least as important as the right of the
candidates to advertise themselves.

Held: Petitions DISMISSED for lack of


merit.