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1-UTAK vs. Comelec, G.R. No. 206020, Apr. 14, 2015

Issue: What is “captive-audience doctrine”?

Ruling: The captive-audience doctrine states that when a listener cannot, as a practical matter, escape
from intrusive speech, the speech can be restricted. The "captive-audience" doctrine recognizes that a
listener has a right not to be exposed to an unwanted message in circumstances in which the
communication cannot be avoided.

Additional: A government regulation based on the captive-audience doctrine is in the guise of

censorship, which undertakes selectively to shield the public from some kinds of speech on the ground
that they are more offensive than others. Such selective restrictions have been upheld only when the
speaker intrudes on the privacy of the home or the degree of captivity makes it either impossible or
impractical for the unwilling viewer or auditor to avoid exposure.

Issue: Is Section 7(g) items (5) and (6), in relation to Section 7(f) of Comelec Resolution No. 9615
which prohibits the posting of any election campaign or propaganda material, inter alia, in PUVs and
public transport terminals, repugnant to the free speech clause?

Ruling: Yes. Section 7(g) items (5) and (6), in relation to Section 7(f), of Resolution No. 9615 unduly
infringe on the fundamental right of the people to freedom of speech. Central to the prohibition is the
freedom of individuals, i.e., the owners of PUVs and private transport terminals, to express their
preference, through the posting of election campaign material in their property, and convince others to
agree with them.

Prohibition constitutes a clear prior restraint on the right to free expression of the owners of PUVs and
transport terminals. As a result of the prohibition, owners of PUVs and transport terminals are forcefully
and effectively inhibited from expressing their preferences under the pain of indictment for an election
offense and the revocation of their franchise or permit to operate.

Re: Letter of Valenciano, A.M. No. 10-4-19-SC, March 7, 2017

Issue: Does the holding of masses at the basement of the Quezon City hall of justice violate of the non-
establishment clause of the Constitution?

Ruling: No.

The State still recognizes the inherent right of the people to have some form of belief system, whether
such may be belief in a Supreme Being, a certain way of life, or even an outright rejection of religion.

Freedom of religion was accorded preferred status by the framers of our fundamental law. And this
Court has consistently affirmed this preferred status, well aware that it is "designed to protect the
broadest possible liberty of conscience, to allow each man to believe as his conscience directs, to
profess his beliefs, and to live as he believes he ought to live, consistent with the liberty of others and
with the common good."

The right to religious profession and worship has a two-fold aspect - freedom to believe and freedom to
act on one's beliefs. The first is absolute as long as the belief is confined within the realm of thought.
The second is subject to regulation where the belief is translated into external acts that affect the public

Allowing religion to flourish is not contrary to the principle of separation of Church and State. In fact,
these two principles are in perfect harmony with each other. Clearly, allowing the citizens to practice
their religion is not equivalent to a fusion of Church and State.
DFA vs. BCA International, G.R. No. 210858, June 29, 2016

Issue: Can the witnesses presented before the ad hoc arbitral tribunal be prohibited from disclosing
information on the basis of the deliberative process privilege?

Ruling: Yes.

Chavez vs Public Estates Authority expressly mandates that "privileged information" should be outside
the scope of the constitutional right to information, just like military and diplomatic secrets and similar
matters affecting national security and public order. Deliberative process privilege is one kind of
privileged information, which is within the exceptions of the constitutional right to information.

In this case, DFA did not waive the privilege in arbitration proceedings under the Agreement. The
Agreement does not provide for the waiver of the deliberative process privilege by DFA.

Nothing in Section 20.03 mandates compulsory disclosure of privileged information. Section 20.03
merely states that "the restrictions imposed in Section 20.02," referring to the "consent of the other
party," shall not apply to a disclosure of privileged information by a party in possession of a privileged
information. This is completely different from compelling a party to disclose privileged information in its
possession against its own will.

Note: the deliberative process privilege typically covers recommendations, advisory opinions, draft
documents, proposals, suggestions, and other subjective documents that reflect the personal opinions of
the writer rather than the policy of the agency.

For reference of the “Agreement”:

Section 20.02 None of the parties shall, at any time, before or after the expiration or sooner
termination of this Amended BOT Agreement, without the consent of the other party, divulge or suffer
or permit its officers, employees, agents or contractors to divulge to any person, other than any of its or
their respective officers or employees who require the same to enable them properly to carry out their
duties, any of the contents of this Amended BOT Agreement or any information relating to the
negotiations concerning the operations, contracts, commercial or financial arrangements or affair[s] of
the other parties hereto.

Documents marked "CONFIDENTIAL" or the like, providing that such material shall be kept
confidential, and shall constitute prima facie evidence that such information contained therein is subject
to the terms of this provision.

Section 20.03 The restrictions imposed in Section 20.02 herein shall not apply to the disclosure
of any information: xx xx

C. To a court arbitrator or administrative tribunal the course of proceedings before it to which

the disclosing party is party; x x x

DCWD vs. Aranquez, G.R. No. 194192, June 16, 2015

Issue: Was the concerted mass action of the DCWD employees well-within their rights?

Ruling: Yes. In GSIS v. Villaviza, Government workers, whatever their ranks, have as much right as any
person in the land to voice out their protests against what they believe to be a violation of their rights
and interests. Civil Service does not deprive them of their freedom of expression. It would be unfair to
hold that by joining the government service, the members thereof have renounced or waived this basic
liberty. This freedom can be reasonably regulated only but can never be taken away.

Regulation of the freedom of expression is not removal of the constitutional right.

Mosqueda vs. Filipino Banana Exporters, G.R. No. 189185, August 16, 2016

Issue: Is the imposition by Davao City of a 30 meter buffer zone on banana plantations a compensable

Ruling: No. The establishment of the buffer zone is required for the purpose of minimizing the effects of
aerial spraying within and near the plantations. Although Section 3( e) of the ordinance requires the
planting of diversified trees within the identified buffer zone, the requirement cannot be construed and
deemed as confiscatory requiring payment of just compensation.

A landowner may only be entitled to compensation if the taking amounts to a permanent denial of all
economically beneficial or productive uses of the land. The respondents cannot be said to be
permanently and completely deprived of their landholdings because they can still cultivate or make
other productive uses of the areas to be identified as the buffer zones.

Goldenway vs. Equitable PCI Bank, G.R. No. 195540, March 13, 2013

Issue: Does Section 47 of R.A. 8791 violate the constitutional proscription against impairment of the
obligation of contract?

Ruling: No. There is only an impairment if a subsequent law changes the terms of a contract between
the parties, imposes new conditions, dispenses with those agreed upon or withdraws remedies for the
enforcement of the rights of the parties.

Section 47 did not divest juridical persons of the right to redeem their foreclosed properties but only
modified the time for the exercise of such right by reducing the one-year period originally provided in
Act No. 3135.

The new redemption period commences from the date of foreclosure sale, and expires upon registration
of the certificate of sale or three months after foreclosure, whichever is earlier. There is likewise no
retroactive application of the new redemption period because Section 47 exempts from its operation
those properties foreclosed prior to its effectivity and whose owners shall retain their redemption rights
under Act No. 3135.

For reference:

Section 47 of R.A. No. 8791 otherwise known as "The General Banking Law of 2000"

SECTION 47. Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage. — In the event of foreclosure, whether judicially or
extrajudicially, of any mortgage on real estate which is security for any loan or other credit
accommodation granted, the mortgagor or debtor whose real property has been sold for the full or
partial payment of his obligation shall have the right within one year after the sale of the real estate, to
redeem the property by paying the amount due under the mortgage deed, with interest thereon at the
rate specified in the mortgage, and all the costs and expenses incurred by the bank or institution from
the sale and custody of said property less the income derived therefrom. However, the purchaser at the
auction sale concerned whether in a judicial or extrajudicial foreclosure shall have the right to enter
upon and take possession of such property immediately after the date of the confirmation of the
auction sale and administer the same in accordance with law. Any petition in court to enjoin or restrain
the conduct of foreclosure proceedings instituted pursuant to this provision shall be given due course
only upon the filing by the petitioner of a bond in an amount fixed by the court conditioned that he will
pay all the damages which the bank may suffer by the enjoining or the restraint of the foreclosure

Frias vs. Judge Sorongon, G.R. No. 184827, Feb. 11, 2015

Issue: Was the order of Judge Sorongon violative of constitutional right to free access to courts?
Ruling: No.

In this case, based on the list of documents submitted by petitioners in support of their Motion for
Leave and to Admit Complaint of Indigent Litigants, petitioners failed to complete the requirements set
forth in Section 19,Rule 141 of the Rules of Court. They did not execute their own affidavit as required
by said Section 19.

If the trial court finds that one or both requirements have not been met, then it would set a hearing to
enable the applicant to prove that the applicant has "no money or property sufficient and available for
food, shelter and basic necessities for himself and his family."

The hearing requirement, was complied with during the hearings on the motions to dismiss filed by
respondents. In said hearings, petitioners' counsel was present and they were given the opportunity to
prove their indigency. Clearly, their non-payment of docket fees is one of the grounds raised by
respondents in their motions to dismiss and the hearings on the motions were indeed the perfect
opportunity for petitioners to prove that they are entitled to be treated as indigent litigants and thus
exempted from the payment of docket fees as initially found by the Executive Judge.

Thus, no grave abuse of discretion can be attributed to respondent judge.


Section 19, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended by A.M. No. 00-2-01-SC and A.M. No. 04-2-04-SC:

SEC. 19. Indigent litigants exempt from payment of legal fees.– Indigent litigants (a) whose gross income
and that of their immediate family do not exceed an amount double the monthly minimum wage of an
employee and (b) who do not own real property with A FAIR MARKET VALUE AS STATED IN THE
exempt from the payment of legal fees.

To be entitled to the exemption, the litigant shall execute an affidavit that he and his immediate family
do not earn a gross income abovementioned, and they do not own any real property with the fair value
aforementioned, supported by an affidavit of a disinterested person attesting to the truth of the
litigant’s affidavit. The current tax declaration, if any, shall be attached to the litigant’s affidavit.