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SJS V.

DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD


NOTE: This is consolidated with Laserna vs Dangerous Drugs Board (G.R. No. 158633) and Pimentel
vs COMELEC (G.R. No. 161658)
In 2002, Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was
implemented. Section 36 thereof requires mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office,
students of secondary and tertiary schools, officers and employees of public and private offices, and
persons charged before the prosecutors office with certain offenses.
In December 2003, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 6486, prescribing the rules and regulations on the
mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10, 2004
synchronized national and local elections. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., a senator and a candidate for reelection in the May elections, filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65. In it, he
seeks (1) to nullify Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 dated December 23,
2003 for being unconstitutional in that they impose a qualification for candidates for senators in
addition to those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution; and (2) to enjoin the COMELEC from
implementing Resolution No. 6486.
According to Pimentel, the Constitution only prescribes a maximum of five (5) qualifications for one to
be a candidate for, elected to, and be a member of the Senate. He says that both the Congress and
COMELEC, by requiring, via RA 9165 and Resolution No. 6486, a senatorial aspirant, among other
candidates, to undergo a mandatory drug test, create an additional qualification that all candidates
for senator must first be certified as drug free. He adds that there is no provision in the Constitution
authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to expand the qualification requirements of candidates for
senator.
ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 36 of RA 9165 and Resolution 6486 are constitutional.
HELD: No. Pimentels contention is valid. Accordingly, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 is unconstitutional. It is
basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution, that issuance is null
and void and has no effect. The Constitution is the basic law to which all laws must conform; no act
shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution. In the discharge of their defined functions, the three
departments of government have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands of the
Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed.
The provision [n]o person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he
has undergone mandatory drug test is not tenable as it enlarges the qualifications. COMELEC
cannot, in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws or promulgating rules and
regulations to implement Sec. 36, validly impose qualifications on candidates for senator in addition
to what the Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot require a candidate for senator to meet such
additional qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is also without such power. The right of a citizen in
the democratic process of election should not be defeated by unwarranted impositions of requirement
not otherwise specified in the Constitution.

ALEJANO V. CABUAY
IN RE: PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF CAPT. GARY ALEJANO ET AL
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF CAPT. GARY ALEJANO, PN
(MARINES) CAPT. NICANOR FAELDON, PN (MARINES) CAPT. GERARDO GAMBALA, PA LT. SG
JAMES LAYUG, PN CAPT. MILO MAESTRECAMPO, PA LT. SG ANTONIO TRILLANES IV, PN
HOMOBONO ADAZA, and ROBERTO RAFAEL (ROEL) PULIDO
vs.
GEN. PEDRO CABUAY, GEN. NARCISO ABAYA, SEC. ANGELO REYES, and SEC. ROILO GOLEZ
G.R. No. 160792 August 25, 2005
FACTS: Early morning of 27 July 2003, some 321 armed soldiers, led by the now detained junior
officers, entered and took control of the Oakwood Premier Luxury Apartments (Oakwood), an
upscale apartment complex, located in the business district of Makati City. The soldiers disarmed the
security officers of Oakwood and planted explosive devices in its immediate surroundings. The junior
officers publicly renounced their support for the administration and called for the resignation of
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and several cabinet members.
Around 7:00 p.m. of the same date, the soldiers voluntarily surrendered to the authorities after
several negotiations with government emissaries. The soldiers later defused the explosive devices
they had earlier planted. The soldiers then returned to their barracks. On 31 July 2003, Gen. Abaya,
as the Chief of Staff of the AFP, issued a directive to all the Major Service Commanders to turn over
custody of ten junior officers to the ISAFP Detention Center. The transfer took place while military and
civilian authorities were investigating the soldiers involvement in the Oakwood incident.
On 1 August 2003, government prosecutors filed an Information for coup detat with the Regional Trial
Court of Makati City, Branch 61, against the soldiers involved in the 27 July 2003 Oakwood incident.
The government prosecutors accused the soldiers of coup detat as defined and penalized under
Article 134-A of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, as amended. The case was docketed as
Criminal Case No. 03-2784. The trial court later issued the Commitment Orders giving custody of
junior officers Lt. SG Antonio Trillanes IV (Trillanes) and Capt. Gerardo Gambala to the Commanding
Officers of ISAFP. On 2 August 2003, Gen. Abaya issued a directive to all Major Service Commanders
to take into custody the military personnel under their command who took part in the Oakwood
incident except the detained junior officers who were to remain under the custody of ISAFP.
Petitioners filed a petition for Habeas Corpus before the CA, however the same was denied. The Court
of Appeals found the petition bereft of merit. The appellate court pointed out that the detainees are
already charged of coup detat before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. Habeas corpus is unavailing
in this case as the detainees confinement is under a valid indictment, the legality of which the
detainees and petitioners do not even question.
ISSUE: WON the denial of the petition for Habeas Corpus was valid
HELD: YES
For obvious reasons, the duty to hear the petition for habeas corpus necessarily includes the
determination of the propriety of the remedy. If a court finds the alleged cause of the detention
unlawful, then it should issue the writ and release the detainees. In the present case, after hearing
the case, the Court of Appeals found that habeas corpus is inapplicable. After actively participating in
the hearing before the Court of Appeals, petitioners are estopped from claiming that the appellate
court had no jurisdiction to inquire into the merits of their petition.
The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the remedy of habeas corpus is not the proper remedy to
address the detainees complaint against the regulations and conditions in the ISAFP Detention
Center. The remedy of habeas corpus has one objective: to inquire into the cause of detention of a
person. The purpose of the writ is to determine whether a person is being illegally deprived of
his liberty.If the inquiry reveals that the detention is illegal, the court orders the release of the person.
If, however, the detention is proven lawful, then the habeas corpus proceedings terminate.
The use of habeas corpus is thus very limited. It is not a writ of error. Neither can it substitute for an
appeal.
A mere allegation of a violation of ones constitutional right is not sufficient. The courts will extend the
scope of the writ only if any of the following circumstances is present: (a) there is a deprivation of a
constitutional right resulting in the unlawful restraint of a person; (b) the court had no jurisdiction to

impose the sentence; or (c) an excessive penalty is imposed and such sentence is void as to the
excess.
AS TO DENIAL OF RIGHT TO COUNSEL: The scheduled visiting hours provide reasonable access to the
detainees, giving petitioners sufficient time to confer with the detainees. The detainees right to
counsel is not undermined by the scheduled visits. Even in the hearings before the Senate and the
Feliciano Commission, petitioners were given time to confer with the detainees, a fact that petitioners
themselves admit.23 Thus, at no point were the detainees denied their right to counsel.
AS TO INHUMANE PUNISHMENT: The boarding of the iron grills is for the furtherance of security within
the ISAFP Detention Center. This measure intends to fortify the individual cells and to prevent the
detainees from passing on contraband and weapons from one cell to another. The boarded grills
ensure security and prevent disorder and crime within the facility. The diminished illumination and
ventilation are but discomforts inherent in the fact of detention, and do not constitute punishments
on the detainees.
The limitation on the detainees physical contacts with visitors is a reasonable, non-punitive response
to valid security concerns.
AS TO RIGHT TO PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION: The letters alleged to have been read by the ISAFP
authorities were not confidential letters between the detainees and their lawyers. The petitioner who
received the letters from detainees Trillanes and Maestrecampo was merely acting as the detainees
personal courier and not as their counsel when he received the letters for mailing. In the present
case, since the letters were not confidential communication between the detainees and their lawyers,
the officials of the ISAFP Detention Center could read the letters. If the letters are marked confidential
communication between the detainees and their lawyers, the detention officials should not read the
letters but only open the envelopes for inspection in the presence of the detainees.
VERSION 2
Section 15
In Re-Petition for habeas corpus of
CAPT. GARY ALEJANO, PN, et. al. v. GEN. PEDRO CABUAY,et al.
GR 160792, August 25, 2005
A directive was issued to all Major Service Commanders to take into custody the military personnel
under their command who took part in the Oakwood incident. Petitioners filed a petition for habeas
corpus with SC. The SC issued a resolution, which required respondents to make a return of the writ
and to appear and produce the persons of the detainees before the CA. CA dismissed the petition
because the detainees are already charged of coup detat. Habeas corpus is unavailing in this case as
the detainees confinement is under a valid indictment.
ISSUE: What is the objective of the writ of habeas corpus?
HELD: The duty to hear the petition for habeas corpus necessarily includes the determination of the
propriety of the remedy. The remedy of habeas corpus has one objective: to inquire into the cause of
detention of a person. The purpose of the writ is to determine whether a person is being illegally
deprived of his liberty. If the inquiry reveals that the detention is illegal, the court orders the release
of the person. If, however, the detention is proven lawful, then the habeas corpus proceedings
terminate. The use of habeas corpus is thus very limited. It is not a writ of error. Neither can it
substitute for an appeal.

CECILIA ZULUETA V. CA & ALFREDO MARTIN


Zulueta vs Court of Appeals
Caption:
Cecilia Zulueta vs Court of Appeals and Alfredo Martin
(253 SCRA 699)
GR no. 107383 February 20, 1996

Facts:
Cecilia Zulueta is the Petitioner who offset the private papers of his husband Dr. Alfredo Martin. Dr.
Martin is a doctor of medicine while he is not in his house His wife took the 157 documents consisting
of diaries, cancelled check, greeting cards, passport and photograph, private respondents between
her Wife and his alleged paramours, by means of forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet. Cecilia
Zulueta filed the papers for the evidence of her case of legal separation and for disqualification from
the practice of medicine against her husband.
Dr. Martin brought the action for recovery of the documents and papers and for damages against
Zulueta, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch X. the trial court rendered judgment for
Martin, declaring him the capital/exclusive owner of the properties described in paragraph 3
ofMartins Complaint or those further described in the Motion to Return and Suppress and ordering
Zulueta and any person acting in her behalf to a immediately return the properties to Dr. Martin and
to pay him P5,000.00, as nominal damages; P5,000.00, as moral damages and attorneys fees; and to
pay the costs of the suit. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial
Court. Zulueta filed the petition for review with the Supreme Court.

Issue:
The papers and other materials obtained from forcible entrusion and from unlawful means are
admissible as evidence in court regarding marital separation and disqualification from medical
practice.

Ruling/Held:
The documents and papers are inadmissible in evidence. The constitutional injunction declaring the
privacy of communication and correspondence to be inviolable is no less applicable simply because it
is the wife who thinks herself aggrieved by her husbands infidelity, who is the party against whom
the constitutional provision is to be enforced.
The only exception to the prohibition in the Constitution is if there is a lawful order from a court or
when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. Any violation of this provision
renders the evidence obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The intimacies
between husband and wife do not justify any one of them in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the
other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A person, by contracting
marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his right to privacy as an individual and the constitutional
protection is ever available to him or to her. The law insures absolute freedom of communication
between the spouses by making it privileged. Neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the
other without the consent of the affected spouse while the marriage subsists. Neither may be
examined without the consent of the other as to any communication received in confidence by one
from the other during the marriage, save for specified exceptions. But one thing is freedom of

communication; quite another is a compulsion for each one to share what one knows with the other.
And this has nothing to do with the duty of fidelity that each owes to the other.

VERSION 2
Zulueta vs. Court of Appeals, 253 SCRA 699 (1996)
Zulueta vs. Court of Appeals, 253 SCRA 699 (1996)
The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable, except upon lawful order of the
court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescrbied by law. Any evidence obtained
in violation of this or the preceeding section, shall inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
FACTS:
Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Alfredo Martin. On March 26, 1962,
petitioner entered the clinic of her husband, a doctor of medicine, and in the presence of her mother,
a driver and private respondent's secretary, forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet of her husband's
clinic and took 157 documents consisting of private respondents between Dr. Martin and his alleged
paramours, greeting cards, cancelled check, diaries, Dr. Martin's passport, and photographs. The
documents and papers were seized for use in evidence in a case for legal separation and for
disqualification from the practice of medicine which petitioner had filed against her husband.
ISSUE: Whether or not the papers and other materials obtained from forcible entrusion and from
unlawful means are admissible as evidence in court regarding marital separation and
disqualification from medical practice.
HELD:
Indeed the documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence. The constitutional
injuction declaring "the privacy of communication and correspondence to be inviolable" is no less
applicable simply because it is the wife (who thinks herself aggrieved by her husband's infedility) who
is the party against whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced. The only exception to the
prohibition in the constitution is if there is a "lawful order from the court or which public safety or
order require otherwise, as prescribed by law." Any violation of this provision renders the evidence
obtained inadmissible "for any purpose in any proceeding."
The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify anyone of them in breaking the drawers
and cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital infedility. A
person, by contracting marriage, does not shed her/his integrity or her/his right to privacy as an
individual and the constitutional protection is ever available to him or to her.
The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by making it privileged.
Neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected
spouse while the marriage subsists. Neither may be examined without the consent of the other as to
any communication received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage, save for
specified exceptions. But one thing is freedom of communication; quite another is a compulsion for
each one to share what one knows with the other. And this has nothing to do with the duty of fidelity
that each owes to the other.

SALCEDO-ORTANEZ V. CA
SALCEDO-ORTANEZ V CA
G.R. No. 110662 | August 4, 1994 | J. Padilla
Facts:
Private respondent Rafael Ortanez filed with the Quezon City RTC a complaint for annulment of
marriage with damages against petitioner Teresita Salcedo-Ortanez, on grounds of lack of marriage
license and/or psychological incapacity of the petitioner.
Among the exhibits offered by private respondent were three (3) cassette tapes of alleged telephone
conversations between petitioner and unidentified persons.
Teresita submitted her Objection/Comment to Rafaels oral offer of evidence. However, the trial court
admitted all of private respondents offered evidence and later on denied her motion for
reconsideration, prompting petitioner to file a petition for certiorari with the CA to assail the
admission in evidence of the aforementioned cassette tapes.
These tape recordings were made and obtained when private respondent allowed his friends from the
military to wire tap his home telephone.
CA denied the petition because (1) Tape recordings are not inadmissible per se. They and any other
variant thereof can be admitted in evidence for certain purposes, depending on how they are
presented and offered and on how the trial judge utilizes them in the interest of truth and fairness
and the even handed administration of justice; and (2) A petition for certiorari is notoriously
inappropriate to rectify a supposed error in admitting evidence adduced during trial. The ruling on
admissibility is interlocutory; neither does it impinge on jurisdiction. If it is erroneous, the ruling
should be questioned in the appeal from the judgment on the merits and not through the special civil
action of certiorari. The error, assuming gratuitously that it exists, cannot be anymore than an error of
law, properly correctible by appeal and not by certiorari.
Petitioner then filed the present petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
Issue:
W/N the recordings of the telephone conversations are admissible in evidence
W/N the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court was properly availed of by the
petitioner in the Court of Appeals
Held:
1. No. Rep. Act No. 4200 entitled An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related
Violations of the Privacy of Communication, and for other purposes expressly makes such tape
recordings inadmissible in evidence thus:
Sec. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private
communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or
arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by using
a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or taperecorder, or however otherwise described. . . .

Sec. 4. Any communication or spoken word, or the existence, contents, substance, purport, or
meaning of the same or any part thereof, or any information therein contained, obtained or secured
by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in
any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation.
Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording of the
same, the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. Act No. 4200.
2. Yes and no. The extraordinary writ of certiorari is generally not available to challenge an
interlocutory order of a trial court. The proper remedy in such cases is an ordinary appeal from an
adverse judgment, incorporating in said appeal the grounds for assailing the interlocutory order.
However, where the assailed interlocutory order is patently erroneous and the remedy of appeal
would not afford adequate and expeditious relief, the Court may allow certiorari as a mode of redress.
VERSION 2
Inadmissibility of recorded telephone conversations
SALCEDO-ORTANEZ vs CA, G.R. No. 110662 August 4, 1994
Facts:
Rafael S. Ortanez filed with the RTC a complaint for annulment of marriage with damages against
Teresita Salcedo-Ortanez, on grounds of lack of marriage license and/or psychological incapacity of
the latter. Rafael offered in evidence three (3) cassette tapes of alleged telephone conversations
between Teresita and unidentified persons. Teresita objected but the court admitted the same in
evidence.

Issue: WON the three (3) cassette tapes admissible in evidence.


Ruling: Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording
of the same, the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. Act No. 4200.
Rep. Act No. 4200 entitled "An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations
of the Privacy of Communication, and for other purposes" expressly makes such tape recordings
inadmissible in evidence.
Whether the recordings of the telephone conversations are admissible in evidence
Ruling:
No. These tape recordings were made and obtained when private respondent allowed his
friends from the military to wire tap his home telephone.
R.A. No. 4200 entitled An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related
Violations of the Privacy of Communication, and for other purposes expressly makes such tape
recordings inadmissible in evidence.
Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording
of the same, the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. Act No. 4200.
SOCCORRO D. RAMIREZ V. CA & GARCIA
Privacy of Communication
SOCORRO D. RAMIREZ, petitioner

vs.
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, and ESTER S. GARCIA, respondents
G.R. No. 93833

September 28, 1995

FACTS:
Petitioner Socorro D. Ramirez filed a civil case in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City alleging that
the private respondent, Ester S. Garcia, in a confrontation in the latter's office, allegedly vexed,
insulted and humiliated her in a "hostile and furious mood" and in a manner offensive to his dignity
and personality, contrary to morals, good customs and public policy.
In support of her claim, petitioner produced a verbatim transcript of the event and sought moral
damages, attorney's fees and other expenses of litigation in the amount of P610,000.00, in addition
to costs, interests and other reliefs awardable at the trial court's discretion. The transcript on which
the civil case was based was culled from a tape recording of the confrontation made by petitioner.
As a result of petitioner's recording of the event and alleging that the said act of secretly taping the
confrontation was illegal, private respondent filed a criminal case before the Regional Trial Court of
Pasay City for violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled "An Act to prohibit and penalize wire tapping
and other related violations of private communication, and other purposes.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the applicable provision of Republic Act 4200 does not apply to the taping of a private
conversation by one of the parties to the conversation.
RULING:
No. Section 1 of the Republic Act 4200 states that it shall be unlawful for any person, not being
authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable,
or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such
communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or
detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described.
The law is clear and unambiguous. Where the law makes no distinctions, one does not distinguish.
The Supreme Court affirmed the appealed decision. The instant petition is hereby DENIED. Cost
against petitioner.

NEWSOUNDS V. DY
G.R. Nos. 170270 & 179411 April 2, 2009
NEWSOUNDS BROADCASTING NETWORK INC. and CONSOLIDATED BROADCASTING SYSTEM,
INC., Petitioners,
vs.
HON. CEASAR G. DY, FELICISIMO G. MEER, BAGNOS MAXIMO, RACMA FERNANDEZ-GARCIA and THE
CITY OF CAUAYAN, Respondents.
Facts:

Petitioners operate and run Bombo Radyo DZNC Cauayan (DZNC), an AM radio broadcast station, and
Star FM DWIT Cauayan, an FM radio broadcast station, in Cauayan Citry, Isabela. Back in 1996,
Newsounds commenced relocation of its broadcasting station, management office, and transmitters
on propery located in Minante 2, Cauayan City, Isabela.
On July 1996, the Housing & Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and Office of the Municipal Planning
and Development Coordinator (OMPDC) affirmed and certified that the commercial structure to be
constructed conformed to local zoning regulations, noting as well that the location is classified as a
commercial area. The radio station was able to fully operate smoothly thereafter.
In 2002 however, when petitioners applied for a renewal of mayors permit, City Zoning
Administratior-Designate Bagnos Maximo refused to issue zoning clearance on the grounds that
petitioners were not able to submit conversion papers showing that the agricultural land was
converted to commercial land. Petitioners asked the court to compel the issuance of mayors permit
but the court denied the action. In the meantime, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Region II
office issued to petitioners a formal recognition of conversion of the property from agricultural to
commercial.
In 2003, petitioners again filed their application for renewal of mayors permit, attaching the DAR
Order. Respondent Felicisimo Meer, acting City Administrator of Cauayan City denied the same,
claiming that it was void on the grounds that they did not have record of the DAR Order.
The deadline lapsed on Febuary 15, 2004, and respondents Meer and Racma Fernandez-Garcia, City
Legal Officer of Cauayan City, closed the radio station. Due to the prvosion of Omnibus Election Code
which prohibits the closure of radio station during the pendency of election period, COMELEC issued
an order allowing the petitioners to operate before Febuary 17, 2004, but was barred again by
respondent Mayor Ceasar Dy on the grounds that the radio station had no permit. Nonetheless,
COMELEC allowed them to run again until June 10, 2004 after elections.
Petitioners filed the case to the RTC and CA for the issuance of mayors permit but both courts denied
the petition.
A municipal or city mayor is likewise authorized under the LGC to issue licenses and permits, and
suspend or revoke the same for any violation of the conditions upon which said licenses or permits
had been issued, pursuant to law or ordinance. In case of Cauayan City, the authority to require a
mayors permit was enacted through Ordinance No. 92-004, enacted in 1993. However, nothing in the
ordinance requires an application for a mayors permit to submit either an approved land conversion
papers from DAR, showing that its property was converted from prime agricultural land or an
approved resolution from the Sangguniang Bayan or Sangguniang Panglungsod authorizing the
reclassification of property from agricultural to commercial land.
In 1996, the HLURB issued a zoning decision that classified the property as commercial. Petitioners
are also armed with several certifications stating that the property is indeed a commercial area. Also,
petitioners paid real property taxes based on the classification of property as commercial without
objections raised by the respondents.
Petitioners argued that this consistent recognition by the local government of Cauayan of the
commercial character of the property constitutes estoppels against respondents from denying the
fact before the courts. The lower courts had ruled that the government of Cauayan City is not bound
by estoppels, but petitioners classified that this concept is understood to only refer to acts and
mistakes of its official especially to those which are irregular.
Issue:
Whether the lower court is correct in contending that the government of Cauayan City is not bound by
estoppels on the grounds that the state is immune against suits.
Held:
No. While it is true that the state cannot be put in estoppels by mistake or error of its officials or
agents, there is an exception.
Estoppels against the public are little favored. They should not be invoked except in rare and unusual

circumstances, and may not be invoked where they would operate to defeat the effective operation of
a policy adopted to protect the public. They must be applied with circumspection and should be
applied only in those special cases where the interests of justice clearly require it. Nevertheless, the
government must not be allowed to deal dishonorably or capriciously with its citizens, and must not
play an ignoble part or do a shabby thing; and subject to limitations . . ., the doctrine of equitable
estoppel may be invoked against public authorities as well as against private individuals
Thus, when there is no convincing evidence to prove irregularity or negligence on the part of the
government official whose acts are being disowned other than the bare assertion on the part of the
State, the Supreme Court have declined to apply State immunity from estoppel. Herein, there is
absolutely no evidence other than the bare assertions of the respondents that the Cauayan City
government had previously erred when it certified that the property had been zoned for commercial
use. The absence of any evidence other than bare assertions that the 1996 to 2001 certifications
were incorrect lead to the ineluctable conclusion that respondents are estopped from asserting that
the previous recognition of the property as commercial was wrong.
Respondents were further estopped from disclaiming the previous consistent recognition by the
Cauayan City government that the property was commercially zoned unless they had evidence, which
they had none, that the local officials who issued such certifications acted irregularly in doing so. It is
thus evident that respondents had no valid cause at all to even require petitioners to secure
approved land conversion papers from the DAR showing that the property was converted from prime
agricultural land to commercial land.
Respondents closure of petitioners radio stations is clearly tainted with ill motvies. Petitioners have
been aggressive in exposing the widespread election irregularities in Isabela that appear to have
favored respondent Dy and his political dynasty. Such statement manifests and confirms that
respondents denial of the renewal applications on the ground that property is commercial and merely
a pretext, and their real agenda is to remove petitioners from Cauayan City and suppress the latters
voice. This is a blatant violation of constitutional right to press freedom.
WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. The assailed decisions of the Court of Appeals and the
Regional Trial Court of Cauayan City, Branch 24, are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The instant
petition for mandamus is hereby GRANTED and respondents are directed to immediately issue
petitioners zoning clearances and mayors permits for 2004 to petitioners.

VERSION 2
NEWSOUNDS BROADCASTING NETWORK INC. and CONSOLIDATED BROADCASTING SYSTEM,
INC., Petitioners, -versus- HON. CEASAR G. DY, FELICISIMO G. MEER, BAGNOS MAXIMO,
RACMA FERNANDEZ-GARCIA and THE CITY OF CAUAYAN, Respondents.
G.R. Nos. 170270 & 179411, April 2, 2009
FACTS:
Petitioners are authorized by law to operate radio stations in Cauayan City, and had been doing so for
some years undisturbed by local authorities. Beginning in 2002, respondents in their official
capacities impeded the ability of petitioners to freely broadcast, if not broadcast at all. These actions
have ranged from withholding permits to operate to the physical closure of those stations. Petitioner
were required to submit requirements for the reclassification of the land wherein the said stations are
operating. Such requirements then as required were never listed in the list of requirements in the
renewal/application of any permit issued by Cauayan City. And notably, petitioners had never been
required to submit such papers before.
ISSUE:

Whether or not the right to free expression of the petitioners was violated by respondents by the
closure of the station.
HELD:
Yes. The right to free expression of the petitioner was violated by the respondents.
That the acts imputed against respondents constitute a prior restraint on the freedom of expression of
respondents who happen to be members of the press is clear enough.
The circumstances of this case dictate that respondents closure of petitioners radio stations is
clearly tainted with ill motives. It must be pointed out that in the 2001 elections, Bombo Radyo was
aggressive in exposing the widespread election irregularities in Isabela that appear to have favored
respondent Dy and other members of the Dy political dynasty. Bombo Radyo is a rival station of
DWDY who is also owned by the family DY. Also, in an article found in the Philippine Daily inquirer
dated February 2004, respondent Dy was quoted as saying that he will "disenfranchise the radio
station." Such statement manifests and confirms that respondents denial of petitioners renewal
applications on the ground that the Property is commercial is merely a pretext and that their real
agenda is to remove petitioners from Cauayan City and suppress the latters voice.
Therefore the right to free expression of the petitioners constitutional right to press freedom was
blatantly violated by the respondents.

SANIDAD V. COMELEC
CASE DIGEST : Sanidad Vs Comelec
G.R. No. L-44640 October 12, 1976 PABLO C. SANIDAD and PABLITO V. SANIDAD, petitioner, vs.
HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and HONORABLE NATIONAL TREASURER, respondents. G.R.
No. L-44684. October 12,1976 VICENTE M. GUZMAN, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ELECTIONS,
respondent. G.R. No. L-44714. October 12,1976 RAUL M. GONZALES, RAUL T. GONZALES, JR., and
ALFREDO SALAPANTAN, petitioners, vs. HONORABLE COMMISSION ON SELECTIONS and HONORABLE
NATIONAL TREASURER, respondents. MARTIN, J,:
Facts: On October 23, 1989, Republic Act No. 6766, entitled "AN ACT PROVIDING FOR AN ORGANIC
ACT FOR THE CORDILLERA AUTONOMOUS REGION" was enacted into law. The Commission on
Elections, by virtue of the power vested by the 1987 Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code (BP
881), said R.A. 6766 and other pertinent election laws, promulgated Resolution No. 2167, to govern
the conduct of the plebiscite on the said Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region. In a
petition dated November 20, 1989, herein petitioner Pablito V. Sanidad, who claims to be a newspaper
columnist of the "OVERVIEW" for the BAGUIO MIDLAND COURIER, a weekly newspaper circulated in
the City of Baguio and the Cordilleras, assailed the constitutionality of Section 19 of Comelec
Resolution No. 2167, which provides: Section 19. Prohibition on columnists, commentators or
announcers. During the plebiscite campaign period, on the day before and on the plebiscite day, no
mass media columnist, commentator, announcer or personality shall use his column or radio or
television time to campaign for or against the plebiscite issues It is alleged by petitioner that said
provision is void and unconstitutional because it violates the constitutional guarantees of the freedom
of expression and of the press enshrined in the Constitution.
Issue : WON the said Section 19 of resolution No 2167 is unconstitutional
Held: it is clear from Art. IX-C of the 1987 Constitution that what was granted to the Comelec was the
power to supervise and regulate the use and enjoyment of franchises, permits or other grants issued
for the operation of transportation or other public utilities, media of communication or information to
the end that equal opportunity, time and space, and the right to reply, including reasonable, equal
rates therefor, for public information campaigns and forums among candidates are ensured Neither
Article IX-C of the Constitution nor Section 11 (b), 2nd par. of R.A. 6646 can be construed to mean
that the Comelec has also been granted the right to supervise and regulate the exercise by media
practitioners themselves of their right to expression during plebiscite periods. Media practitioners
exercising their freedom of expression during plebiscite periods are neither the franchise holders nor
the candidates. In fact, there are no candidates involved in a plebiscite. Therefore, Section 19 of
Comelec Resolution No. 2167 has no statutory basis. While the limitation does not absolutely bar
petitioner's freedom of expression, it is still a restriction on his choice of the forum where he may
express his view. No reason was advanced by respondent to justify such abridgement. We hold that
this form of regulation is tantamount to a restriction of petitioner's freedom of expression for no
justifiable reason. Plebiscite issues are matters of public concern and importance. The people's right
to be informed and to be able to freely and intelligently make a decision would be better served by
access to an unabridged discussion of the issues, including the forum. The people affected by the
issues presented in a plebiscite should not be unduly burdened by restrictions on the forum where the
right to expression may be exercised. Comelec spaces and Comelec radio time may provide a forum
for expression but they do not guarantee full dissemination of information to the public concerned
because they are limited to either specific portions in newspapers or to specific radio or television
times
VERSION 2

Pablito Sanidad vs Commission on Elections


FACTS:
On 2 Sept 1976, Marcos issued PD No. 991 calling for a national referendum on 16 Oct 1976 for the
Citizens Assemblies (barangays) to resolve, among other things, the issues of martial law, the
interim assembly, its replacement, the powers of such replacement, the period of its existence, the
length of the period for the exercise by the President of his present powers. Twenty days after, the
President issued another related decree, PD No. 1031, amending the previous PD No. 991, by
declaring the provisions of PD No. 229 providing for the manner of voting and canvass of votes in
barangays applicable to the national referendum-plebiscite of Oct 16, 1976. Quite relevantly, PD
No. 1031 repealed inter alia, Sec 4, of PD No. 991. On the same date of 22 Sept 1976, Marcos issued
PD No. 1033, stating the questions to he submitted to the people in the referendum-plebiscite on
October 16, 1976. The Decree recites in its whereas clauses that the peoples continued opposition
to the convening of the interim National Assembly evinces their desire to have such body abolished
and replaced thru a constitutional amendment, providing for a new interim legislative body, which will
be submitted directly to the people in the referendum-plebiscite of October 16.
On September 27, 1976, Sanidad filed a Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin the
Commission on Elections from holding and conducting the Referendum Plebiscite on October 16; to
declare without force and effect Presidential Decree Nos. 991 and 1033, insofar as they propose
amendments to the Constitution, as well as Presidential Decree No. 1031, insofar as it directs the
Commission on Elections to supervise, control, hold, and conduct the Referendum-Plebiscite
scheduled on October 16, 1976.Petitioners contend that under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions there
is no grant to the incumbent President to exercise the constituent power to propose amendments to
the new Constitution. As a consequence, the Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16 has no
constitutional or legal basis. The Soc-Gen contended that the question is political in nature hence the
court cannot take cognizance of it.
ISSUE: Whether or not Marcos can validly propose amendments to the Constitution.
HELD:
Yes. The amending process both as to proposal and ratification raises a judicial question. This is
especially true in cases where the power of the Presidency to initiate the amending process by
proposals of amendments, a function normally exercised by the legislature, is seriously doubted.
Under the terms of the 1973 Constitution, the power to propose amendments to the Constitution
resides in the interim National Assembly during the period of transition (Sec. 15, Transitory
Provisions). After that period, and the regular National Assembly in its active session, the power to
propose amendments becomes ipso facto the prerogative of the regular National Assembly (Sec. 1,
pars. 1 and 2 of Art. XVI, 1973 Constitution). The normal course has not been followed. Rather than
calling the interim National Assembly to constitute itself into a constituent assembly, the incumbent
President undertook the proposal of amendments and submitted the proposed amendments thru
Presidential Decree 1033 to the people in a Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16. Unavoidably, the
regularity of the procedure for amendments, written in lambent words in the very Constitution sought
to be amended, raises a contestable issue. The implementing Presidential Decree Nos. 991, 1031, and
1033, which commonly purport to have the force and effect of legislation are assailed as invalid, thus
the issue of the validity of said Decrees is plainly a justiciable one, within the competence of this
Court to pass upon. Section 2 (2) Article X of the new Constitution provides: All cases involving the
constitutionality of a treaty, executive agreement, or law shall be heard and decided by the Supreme
Court en banc and no treaty, executive agreement, or law may be declared unconstitutional without

the concurrence of at least ten Members. . . .. The Supreme Court has the last word in the
construction not only of treaties and statutes, but also of the Constitution itself. The amending, like
all other powers organized in the Constitution, is in form a delegated and hence a limited power, so
that the Supreme Court is vested with that authority to determine whether that power has been
discharged within its limits.
This petition is however dismissed. The President can propose amendments to the Constitution and
he was able to present those proposals to the people in sufficient time. The President at that time also
sits as the legislature.

PEOPLE V. PEREZ
FACTS:
Isaac Perez while holding a discussion with several persons on political matters
uttered the following words "And the Filipinos, like myself, must use bolos for cutting off Wood's head
for having recommended a bad thing for the Philippines. Because of such utterances, he was
charged in the CFI of Sorsogon with violation of Art. 256 of the RPC which has something to do with
contempt of ministers of the Crown or other persons in authority. He was convicted. Hence, this
appeal.
ISSUE:
WON Perezs remarks is protected by the constitutional protection on freedom of
speech.
Or WON the provisions of Act No. 292 should be interpreted so as to
abridge the freedom of speech and the right of the people to peacebly assemble and petition the
Government for redress of grievances.
HELD:
No , it is not. Agreed with the lower court in its findings of facts but convicted the
accused for violation of Act No. 292 (Section 8).1
RATIO DECIDENDI:
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 and petition must yield to punitive measures designed
to maintain the prestige of constituted authority, the supremacy of the constitution and the laws, and
the existence of the State. (III Wharton's Criminal Law, pp. 2127 et seq.; U.S. vs. Apurado [1907], 7
Phil., 422; People vs. Perfecto, supra)
In this instance, the attack on the Governor-General passes the furthest bounds of free speech
was intended. There is a seditious tendency in the words used, which could easily produce

1 Every person who shall utter seditious words or speeches, or who shall write, publish or circulate scurrilous libels against the
Government of the United States or against the Government of the Philippine Islands, or who shall print, write, publish utter or make
any statement, or speech, or do any act which tends to disturb or obstruct any lawful officer in executing his office or in performing
his duty, or which tends to instigate others to cabal or meet together for unlawful purposes, or which suggests or incites rebellious
conspiracies or which tends to stir up the people against the lawful authorities, or which tends to disturb the peace of the community
or the safety or order of the Government, or who shall knowingly conceal such evil practices from the constituted authorities, shall be
punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars United States currency or by imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both,
in the discretion of the court.

disaffection among the people and a state of feeling incompatible with a disposition to remain loyal to
the Government and obedient to the laws.
In the words of the law, Perez has uttered seditious words. He has made a statement and done an act
which tended to instigate others to cabal or meet together for unlawful purposes. He has made a
statement and done an act which suggested and incited rebellious conspiracies. He has made a
statement and done an act which tended to stir up the people against the lawful authorities. He has
made a statement and done an act which tended to disturb the peace of the community and the
safety or order of the Government. All of these various tendencies can be ascribed to the action of
Perez and may be characterized as penalized by section 8 of Act No. 292 as amended.

ESPUELAS V. PEOPLE
Espuelas vs People
G.R. No. L-2990
December 17, 1951
Facts:
On June 9 and June 24, 1947, both dates inclusive, in the town of Tagbilaran, Bohol, Oscar Espuelas y
Mendoza had his picture taken, making it to appear as if he were hanging lifeless at the end of a
piece of rope suspended form the limb of the tree, when in truth and in fact, he was merely standing
on a barrel. After securing copies of his photograph, Espuelas sent copies of same to Free Press, the
Evening News, the Bisayas, Lamdang of general circulation and other local periodicals in the Province
of Bohol but also throughout the Philippines and abroad, for their publication with a suicide note or
letter, wherein he made to appear that it was written by a fictitious suicide, Alberto Reveniera and
addressed to the latter's supposed wife translation of which letter or note, stating his dismay and
administration of President Roxas, pointing out the situation in Central Luzon and Leyte, and directing
his wife his dear wife to write to President Truman and Churchill of US and tell them that in the
Philippines the government is infested with many Hitlers and Mussolinis.
Issue:
Whether the accused is liable of seditious libel under Art. 142 of the RPC against the Government of
the Philippines?
Held:
Yes. The accused must therefore be found guilty as charged. And there being no question as to the
legality of the penalty imposed on him, the decision will be affirmed with costs.
Analyzed for meaning and weighed in its consequences, the article written bybthe accused, cannot
fail to impress thinking persons that it seeks to sow the seeds of sedition and strife. The infuriating
language is not a sincere effort to persuade, what with the writer's simulated suicide and false claim
to martyrdom and what with is failure to particularize. When the use irritating language centers not
on persuading the readers but on creating disturbances, the rationable of free speech cannot apply
and the speaker or writer is removed from the protection of the constitutional guaranty.
If it be argued that the article does not discredit the entire governmental structure but only President
Roxas and his men, the reply is that article 142 punishes not only all libels against the Government
but also "libels against any of the duly constituted authorities thereof." The "Roxas people" in the
Government obviously refer of least to the President, his Cabinet and the majority of legislators to

whom the adjectives dirty, Hitlers and Mussolinis were naturally directed. On this score alone the
conviction could be upheld.
Regarding the publication, it suggests or incites rebellious conspiracies or riots and tends to stir up
people against the constituted authorities, or to provoke violence from opposition who may seek to
silence the writer. Which is the sum and substance of the offense under consideration.
The essence of seditious libel may be said to its immediate tendency to stir up general discontent to
the pitch of illegal courses; that is to say to induce people to resort to illegal methods other than
those provided by the Constitution, in order to repress the evils which press upon their minds.

CHAVEZ V. RAUL M. GONZALES


Chavez vs. Gonzales (2008) (Political Law)
Francisco Chavez vs. Raul M. Gonzales and NTC | G.R. No. 168338 | February 15, 2008
Facts:
As a consequence of the public release of copies of the Hello Garci compact disc audiotapes
involving a wiretapped mobile phone conversation between then-President Gloria Arroyo and Comelec
Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, respondent DOJ Secretary Gonzales warned reporters that those
who had copies of the CD and those broadcasting or publishing its contents could be held liable under
the Anti-Wiretapping Act. He also stated that persons possessing or airing said tapes were committing
a continuing offense, subject to arrest by anybody. Finally, he stated that he had ordered the NBI to
go after media organizations found to have caused the spread, the playing and the printing of the
contents of a tape. Meanwhile, respondent NTC warned TV and radio stations that their
broadcast/airing of such false information and/or willful misrepresentation shall be a just cause for the
suspension, revocation and/or cancellation of the licenses or authorizations issued to the said media
establishments. Petitioner Chavez filed a petition under Rule 65 against respondents Secretary
Gonzales and the NTC directly with the Supreme Court.
Issues:
(1) Will a purported violation of law such as the Anti-Wiretapping Law justify straitjacketing the
exercise of freedom of speech and of the press? (2) Did the mere press statements of respondents
DOJ Secretary and the NTC constitute a form of content-based prior restraint that has transgressed
the Constitution?
Held:
(1) No, a purported violation of law such as the Anti-Wiretapping Law will not justify straitjacketing the
exercise of freedom of speech and of the press. A governmental action that restricts freedom of
speech or of the press based on content is given the strictest scrutiny, with
the government having the burden of overcoming the presumed unconstitutionality by the clear and
present danger rule. This rule applies equally to all kinds of media, including broadcast
media. Respondents, who have the burden to show that these acts do not abridge freedom of speech
and of the press, failed to hurdle the clear and present danger test. For this failure of the respondents
alone to offer proof to satisfy the clear and present danger test, the Court has no option but to uphold
the exercise of free speech and free press. There is no showing that the feared violation of the antiwiretapping law clearly endangers the national security of the State.

(2) Yes, the mere press statements of respondents DOJ Secretary and the NTC constituted a form of
content-based prior restraint that has transgressed the Constitution. It is not decisive that the press
statements made by respondents were not reduced in or followed up with formal orders or circulars. It
is sufficient that the press statements were made by respondents while in the exercise of their official
functions. Any act done, such as a speech uttered, for and on behalf of the government in an official
capacity is covered by the rule on prior restraint. The concept of an act does not limit itself to acts
already converted to a formal order or official circular. Otherwise, the non formalization of an act into
an official order or circular will result in the easy circumvention of the prohibition on prior restraint.
VERSION 2
CASE DIGEST : Chavez Vs Gonzales
G.R. No. 168338
February 15, 2008 FRANCISCO CHAVEZ, petitioner, vs. RAUL M. GONZALES, in his
capacity as the Secretary of the Department of Justice; and NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS
COMMISSION (NTC), respondents.
Facts : Sometime before 6 June 2005, 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. On
6 June 2005, Presidential spokesperson Ignacio Bunye (Bunye) held a press conference in Malacaang
Palace, where he played before the presidential press corps two compact disc recordings of
conversations between a woman and a man. Bunye identified the woman in both recordings as
President Arroyo but claimed that the contents of the second compact disc had been "spliced" to
make it appear that President Arroyo was talking to Garcillano. On 11 June 2005, the NTC issued a
press release warning radio and television stations that airing the Garci Tapes is a "cause for the
suspension, revocation and/or cancellation of the licenses or authorizations" issued to them.5 On 14
June 2005, NTC officers met with officers of the broadcasters group, Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters
sa Pilipinas (KBP), to dispel fears of censorship. The NTC and KBP issued a joint press statement
expressing commitment to press freedom
Issue : WON the NTC warning embodied in the press release of 11 June 2005 constitutes an
impermissible prior restraint on freedom of expression
Held : When expression may be subject to prior restraint, apply in this jurisdiction to only four
categories of expression, namely: pornography, false or misleading advertisement, advocacy of
imminent lawless action, and danger to national security. All other expression is not subject to prior
restrain Expression not subject to prior restraint is protected expression or high-value expression. Any
content-based prior restraint on protected expression is unconstitutional without exception. A
protected expression means what it says it is absolutely protected from censorship Prior restraint on
expression is content-based if the restraint is aimed at the message or idea of the expression. Courts
will subject to strict scrutiny content-based restraint. If the prior restraint is not aimed at the message
or idea of the expression, it is content-neutral even if it burdens expression 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 NTCs claim that the Garci Tapes might contain "false information and/or willful
misrepresentation," and thus should not be publicly aired, is an admission that the restraint is
content-based The public airing of the Garci Tapes is a protected expression because it does not fall
under any of the four existing categories of unprotected expression recognized in this jurisdiction. The
airing of the Garci Tapes is essentially a political expression because it exposes that a presidential
candidate had allegedly improper conversations with a COMELEC Commissioner right after the close
of voting in the last presidential elections. The content of the Garci Tapes affects gravely the sanctity
of the ballot. Public discussion on the sanctity of the ballot is indisputably a protected expression that
cannot be subject to prior restraint. Public discussion on the credibility of the electoral process is one
of the highest political expressions of any electorate, and thus deserves the utmost protection. If ever
there is a hierarchy of protected expressions, political expression would occupy the highest rank. The
rule, which recognizes no exception, is that there can be no content-based prior restraint on protected
expression. On this ground alone, the NTC press release is unconstitutional. Of course, if the courts
determine that the subject matter of a wiretapping, illegal or not, endangers the security of the State,

the public airing of the tape becomes unprotected expression that may be subject to prior restraint.
However, 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 alleged
violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law is not in itself a ground to impose a prior restraint on the airing
of the Garci Tapes because the Constitution expressly prohibits the enactment of any law, and that
includes anti-wiretapping laws, curtailing freedom of expression. The only exceptions to this rule are
the four recognized categories of unprotected expression. However, the content of the Garci Tapes
does not fall under any of these categories of unprotected expression.
ADIONG V. COMELEC
ADIONG v. COMELEC
G.R. No. 103956
March 31, 1992
FACTS:
On January 13, 1992, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2347 pursuant to its powers granted
by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Acts Nos. 6646 and 7166 and other election
laws. Section 15(a) of the resolution provides:
Sec. 15. Lawful Election Propaganda. The following are lawful election propaganda:
(a) Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals Provided, That decals and stickers may be posted only in any
of the authorized posting areas provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof.
Section 21 (f) of the same resolution provides:
Sec. 21(f). Prohibited forms of election propaganda.
It is unlawful:
(f) To draw, paint, inscribe, post, display or publicly exhibit any election propaganda in any place,
whether public or private, mobile or stationary, except in the COMELEC common posted areas and/or
billboards
Petitioner Blo Umpar Adiong, a senatorial candidate in the May 11, 1992 elections assails the
COMELECs Resolution insofar as it prohibits the posting of decals and stickers in mobile places like
cars and other moving vehicles. According to him such prohibition is violative of Section 82 of the
Omnibus Election Code and Section 11(a) of Republic Act No. 6646.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the COMELEC may prohibit the posting of decals and stickers on mobile places,
public or private, and limit their location or publication to the authorized posting areas that it fixes.
HELD:
The petition is hereby GRANTED. The portion of Section 15 (a) of Resolution No. 2347 of the COMELEC
providing that decals and stickers may be posted only in any of the authorized posting areas
provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof is DECLARED NULL and VOID. The COMELECs
prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on mobile places whether public or private except in
designated areas provided for by the COMELEC itself is null and void on constitutional grounds. The
prohibition unduly infringes on the citizens fundamental right of free speech enshrined in the
Constitution (Sec. 4, Article III). Significantly, the freedom of expression curtailed by the questioned
prohibition is not so much that of the candidate or the political party. The regulation strikes at the
freedom of an individual to express his preference and, by displaying it on his car, to convince others
to agree with him.
Also, the questioned prohibition premised on the statute (RA 6646) and as couched in the resolution is
void for overbreadth. The restriction as to where the decals and stickers should be posted is so broad
that it encompasses even the citizens private property, which in this case is a privately-owned
vehicle (The provisions allowing regulation are so loosely worded that they include the posting of
decals or stickers in the privacy of ones living room or bedroom.) In consequence of this prohibition,
another cardinal rule prescribed by the Constitution would be violated. Section 1, Article III of the Bill
of Rights provides that no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law. (The
right to property may be subject to a greater degree of regulation but when this right is joined by a
liberty interest, the burden of justification on the part of the Government must be exceptionally
convincing and irrefutable. The burden is not met in this case.)

Additionally, the constitutional objective to give a rich candidate and a poor candidate equal
opportunity to inform the electorate as regards their candidacies, mandated by Article II, Section 26
and Article XIII, section 1 in relation to Article IX (c) Section 4 of the Constitution, is not impaired by
posting decals and stickers on cars and other private vehicles. It is to be reiterated that the posting of
decals and stickers on cars, calesas, tricycles, pedicabs and other moving vehicles needs the consent
of the owner of the vehicle. Hence, the preference of the citizen becomes crucial in this kind of
election propaganda not the financial resources of the candidate.
In sum, the prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on mobile places whether public or private
except in the authorized areas designated by the COMELEC becomes censorship which cannot be
justified by the Constitution.
VERSION 2
Blo Umpar Adiong vs.

Commision on Elections(G.R. No. 1013956, March 31, 1992)

FACTS:
Blo Umpar Adiong, a senatorial candidate in the May 11, 1992 elections assails that the
Comelecs Resolution which prohibits the posting of decals and stickers in mobile places like cars and
other moving vehicles is violative of Section 82 of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 11(a) of
Republic Act No. 6646. In addition, the petitioner believes that with the ban on radio, television and
print political advertisements, he, being a neophyte in the field of politics stands to suffer grave and
irreparable injury with his prohibition. The posting of decals and stickers on cars and other moving
vehicles would be his last medium to inform the electorate that he is a senatorial candidate in May
11,1992 elections.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Comelec may prohibit the posting of decals and stickers on mobile
places, public or private, and limit their location or publication to the authorized posting areas that it
fixes.
RULING:
The portion of Section 15(a) of Resolution No. 2347 of the Comelec providing that decals
and stickers may be posted only in any authorized posting areas provided in paragraph (f) of Section
21 hereof is declared NULL AND VOID. The Comelecs probation on posting decals and stickers on
mobile places whether public or private except in designated areas provided for by the Comelec
itself is also NULL AND VOID on constitutional grounds.
The prohibition unduly infringes on the citizens fundamental right of free speech enshrined
in the constitution (Article III, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution). Significantly, freedom of expression
curtailed by the questioned prohibition is not so much that of candidate or the political party. The
regulation strikes at the freedom of an individual to express his preference and, by displaying it in his
car, to convince others to agree with him.
The constitutional objective to give rich candidate and a poor candidate equal opportunity
to inform the electorate as regards their candidacies, mandated by Article II, Section 26, and Article
XIII, Section 1 in relation to Article IX Section 4 of the Constitution, is not impaired by posting
decals and stickers on cars and other private vehicles. It is to be reiterated that the posting of decals
and stickers on cars, calesas, tricycles, and other moving vehicles needs consent of the owner of the
vehicle. Hence, the preference of the citizen becomes crucial in this kind of election propaganda not
the financial resources of the candidate.

In sum, the prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on mobile places whether private
or public except in authorized areas designated by the Comelec becomes censorship which cannot be
justified by the Constitution.
ABS-CBN V. COMELEC
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp v. COMELEC
January 28, 2000
FACTS:
COMELEC issued a Resolution approving the issuance of a restraining order to stop ABS CBN or
any other groups, its agents or representatives from conducting exit surveys. The Resolution was
issued by
the Comelec allegedly upon "information from a reliable source that ABS-CBN (Lopez Group) has
prepared a project, with PR groups, to conduct radio-TV coverage of the elections and to make an exit
survey of the vote during the elections for national officials particularly for President and Vice
President, results of which shall be broadcasted immediately. The electoral body believed that such
project might conflict with the official Comelec count, as well as the unofficial quick count of the
National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel). It also noted that it had not authorized or deputized
ABS-CBN to undertake the exit survey.
Two days before the elections on May 11, 1998, the Court issued the Temporary Restraining
Order prayed for by petitioner ABS-CBN. The Comelec was directed to cease and desist, until further
orders, from implementing the assailed Resolution or the restraining order issued pursuant thereto, if
any. In fact, the exit polls were actually conducted and reported by media without any difficulty or
problem.
ISSUE:

W/N the Comelec, in the exercise of its powers, can absolutely ban exit polls

ABS-CBN:
The holding of exit polls and the nationwide reporting of their results are valid
exercises of the freedoms of speech and of the press
COMELEC:
1)The issuance thereof was "pursuant to its constitutional and statutory powers to promote a clean,
honest, orderly and credible May 11, 1998 elections"; and "to protect, preserve and maintain the
secrecy and sanctity of the ballot."
2)It contends that "the conduct of exit surveys might unduly confuse and influence the voters," and
that the surveys were designed "to condition the minds of people and cause confusion as to who are
the winners and the losers in the election," which in turn may result in "violence and anarchy."
3)"exit surveys indirectly violate the constitutional principle to preserve the sanctity of the ballots," as
the "voters are lured to reveal the contents of ballots," in violation of Section 2, Article V of the
Constitution and relevant provisions of the Omnibus Election Code. It submits that the
constitutionally protected freedoms invoked by petitioner "are not immune to regulation by the State
in the legitimate exercise of its police power," such as in the present case.
4) "[p]ress freedom may be curtailed if the exercise thereof creates a clear and present danger to the
community or it has a dangerous tendency." It then contends that "an exit poll has the tendency to
sow confusion considering the randomness of selecting interviewees, which further make[s] the exit
poll highly unreliable. The probability that the results of such exit poll may not be in harmony with the
official count made by the Comelec x x x is ever present. In other words, the exit poll has a clear and
present danger of destroying the credibility and integrity of the electoral process."
SUPREME COURT:

The COMELEC Resolution on exit polls ban is nullified and set aside.

1) Clear and present danger of destroying the integrity of electoral processes


Speculative and Untenable. First, by the very nature of a survey, the interviewees or participants are
selected at random, so that the results will as much as possible be representative or reflective of the
general sentiment or view of the community or group polled. Second, the survey result is not
meant to replace or be at par with the official Comelec count. It consists merely of the opinion of the
polling group as to who the electorate in general has probably voted for, based on the limited data
gathered from polled individuals. Finally, not at stake here are the credibility and the integrity of the
elections, which are exercises that are separate and independent from the exit polls. The holding and
the reporting of the results of exit polls cannot undermine those of the elections, since the former is
only part of the latter. If at all, the outcome of one can only be indicative of the other.
2) Overbroad
The Comelec's concern with the possible noncommunicative effect of exit polls -- disorder and
confusion in the voting centers -- does not justify a total ban on them. Undoubtedly, the assailed
Comelec Resolution is too broad, since its application is without qualification as to whether the polling
is disruptive or not.[44] Concededly, the Omnibus Election Code prohibits disruptive behavior around
the voting centers.[45] There is no showing, however, that exit polls or the means to interview voters
cause chaos in voting centers. Neither has any evidence been presented proving that the presence of
exit poll reporters near an election precinct tends to create disorder or confuse the voters. Moreover,
the prohibition incidentally prevents the collection of exit poll data and their use for any purpose. The
valuable information and ideas that could be derived from them, based on the voters' answers to the
survey questions will forever remain unknown and unexplored. Unless the ban is restrained,
candidates, researchers, social scientists and the electorate in general would be deprived of studies
on the impact of current events and of election-day and other factors on voters' choices.
3) Violation of Ban Secrecy
The contention of public respondent that exit polls indirectly transgress the sanctity and the secrecy
of the ballot is off-tangent to the real issue. Petitioner does not seek access to the ballots cast by the
voters. The ballot system of voting is not at issue here.
The reason behind the principle of ballot secrecy is to avoid vote buying through voter identification.
Thus, voters are prohibited from exhibiting the contents of their official ballots to other persons, from
making copies thereof, or from putting distinguishing marks thereon so as to be identified. Also
proscribed is finding out the contents of the ballots cast by particular voters or disclosing those of
disabled or illiterate voters who have been assisted. Clearly, what is forbidden is the association of
voters with their respective votes, for the purpose of assuring that the votes have been cast in
accordance with the instructions of a third party. This result cannot, however, be achieved merely
through the voters' verbal and confidential disclosure to a pollster of whom they have voted for.
In exit polls, the contents of the official ballot are not actually exposed. Furthermore, the revelation of
whom an elector has voted for is not compulsory, but voluntary. Voters may also choose not to reveal
their identities. Indeed, narrowly tailored countermeasures may be prescribed by the Comelec, so
as to minimize or suppress incidental problems in the conduct of exit polls, without transgressing the
fundamental rights of our people.##
An exit poll is a species of electoral survey conducted by qualified individuals or groups of individuals
for the purpose of determining the probable result of an election by confidentially asking randomly
selected voters whom they have voted for, immediately after they have officially cast their ballots.
The results of the survey are announced to the public, usually through the mass media, to give an
advance overview of how, in the opinion of the polling individuals or organizations, the electorate
voted. In our electoral history, exit polls had not been resorted to until the recent May 11, 1998
elections.
VERSION 2

ABS-CBN VS COMELEC
Facts:
This is a Petition for Certiorari assailing Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc Resolution No.
98-1419 1 dated April 21, 1998. In the said Resolution, the poll body "RESOLVED to approve the
issuance of a restraining order to stop ABS-CBN or any other groups, its agents or representatives
from conducting such exit survey and to authorize the Honorable Chairman to issue the same." The
Resolution was issued by the Comelec allegedly upon "information from [a] reliable source that ABSCBN (Lopez Group) has prepared a project, with PR groups, to conduct radio-TV coverage of the
elections and to make [an] exit survey of the vote during the elections for national officials
particularly for President and Vice President, results of which shall be [broadcast] immediately." The
electoral body believed that such project might conflict with the official Comelec count, as well as the
unofficial quick count of the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel). It also noted that it had
not authorized or deputized ABS-CBN to undertake the exit survey.
Held:
The Supreme Court grants the petition; the Comelec resolution is nullified.
Freedom of expression a fundamental principle of a democratic government. The freedom of
expression is a fundamental principle of our democratic government. It is a 'preferred' right and,
therefore, stands on a higher level than substantive economic or other liberties. Our Constitution
clearly mandates that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. At the
very least, free speech and a free press consist of the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully any
matter of public interest without prior restraint. The freedom of expression is a means of assuring
individual self-fulfillment, of attaining the truth, of securing participation by the people in social and
political decision-making, and of maintaining the balance between stability and change. It represents
a profound commitment to the principle that debates on public issues should be uninhibited, robust,
and wide open. 18 It means more than the right to approve existing political beliefs or economic
arrangements, to lend support to official measures, or to take refuge in the existing climate of opinion
on any matter of public consequence. And paraphrasing the eminent Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes,
we stress that the freedom encompasses the thought we hate, no less than the thought we agree
with.
Freedom of expression; limited by valid exercise of police power. The realities of life in a complex
society, however, preclude an absolute exercise of the freedoms of speech and of the press. Such
freedoms could not remain unfettered and unrestrained at all times and under all circumstances.
They are not immune to regulation by the State in the exercise of its police power.
Theoretical tests in determining the validity of restrictions to freedom of expression. There are two
theoretical tests in determining the validity of restrictions to freedom of expression. These are the
'clear and present danger' rule and the 'dangerous tendency' rule. The first, as interpreted in a
number of cases, means that the evil consequence of the comment or utterance must be 'extremely
serious and the degree of imminence extremely high' before the utterance can be punished. The
danger to be guarded against is the 'substantive evil' sought to be prevented. The 'dangerous
tendency' rule, on the other hand, may be epitomized as follows: If the words uttered create a
dangerous tendency which the state has a right to prevent, then such words are punishable. It is not
necessary that some definite or immediate acts of force, violence, or unlawfulness be advocated. It is
sufficient that such acts be advocated in general terms. Nor is it necessary that the language used be
reasonably calculated to incite persons to acts of force, violence, or unlawfulness. It is sufficient if the
natural tendency and probable effect of the utterance be to bring about the substantive evil which
the legislative body seeks to prevent.

Supreme Court adheres to the "clear and present danger" test. Unquestionably, this Court adheres to
the "clear and present danger" test. In setting the standard or test for the "clear and present danger"
doctrine, the Court echoed the words of Justice Holmes: "The question in every case is whether the
words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present
danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a
question of proximity and degree."
In borderline conflict between freedom of expression and state action to ensure clean and free
elections, the Court leans in favor of freedom. Even though the government's purposes are legitimate
and substantial, they cannot be pursued by means that broadly stifle fundamental personal liberties,
when the end can be more narrowly achieved. The freedoms of speech and of the press should all the
more be upheld when what is sought to be curtailed is the dissemination of information meant to add
meaning to the equally vital right of suffrage. When faced with borderline situations in which the
freedom of a candidate or a party to speak or the freedom of the electorate to know is invoked
against actions allegedly made to assure clean and free elections, this Court shall lean in favor of
freedom. For in the ultimate analysis, the freedom of the citizen and the State's power to regulate
should not be antagonistic. There can be no free and honest elections if, in the efforts to maintain
them, the freedom to speak and the right to know are unduly curtailed.
Exit polls do not constitute clear and present danger of destroying the credibility and integrity of the
electoral process. The Comelec justifies its assailed Resolution as having been issued pursuant to its
constitutional mandate to ensure a free, orderly, honest, credible and peaceful election. It contends
that "an exit poll has the tendency to sow confusion considering the randomness of selecting
interviewees, which further make[s] the exit poll highly unreliable. The probability that the results of
such exit poll may not be in harmony with the official count made by the Comelec is ever present. In
other words, the exit poll has a clear and present danger of destroying the credibility and integrity of
the electoral process." Such arguments are purely speculative and clearly untenable. First, by the
very nature of a survey, the interviewees or participants are selected at random, so that the results
will as much as possible be representative or reflective of the general sentiment or view of the
community or group polled. Second, the survey result is not meant to replace or be at par with the
official Comelec count. It consists merely of the opinion of the polling group as to who the electorate
in general has probably voted for, based on the limited data gathered from polled individuals. Finally,
not at stake here are the credibility and the integrity of the elections, which are exercises that are
separate and independent from the exit polls. If at all, the outcome of one can only be indicative of
the other.
GONZALES V. KATIGBAK
CASE DIGEST : Gonzales Vs katigbak
G.R. No. L-69500 July 22, 1985 JOSE ANTONIO U. GONZALEZ in behalf of MALAYA FILMS, LINO
BROCKA, JOSE F. LACABA, and DULCE Q. SAGUISAG, petitioners, vs. CHAIRMAN MARIA KALAW
KATIGBAK, GENERAL WILFREDO C. ESTRADA (Ret.), and THE BOARD OF REVIEW FOR MOTION
PICTURES AND TELEVISION (BRMPT), respondents.
Facts : In a resolution of a sub-committee of respondent Board of October 23, 1984, a permit to
exhibit the film Kapit sa Patalim under the classification "For Adults Only," with certain changes and
deletions enumerated was granted. A motion for reconsideration was filed by petitioners stating that
the classification of the film "For Adults Only" was without basis. 4 Then on November 12, 1984,
respondent Board released its decision: "Acting on the applicant's Motion for Reconsideration dated
29 October 1984, the Board, after a review of the resolution of the sub-committee and an
examination of the film, Resolves to affirm in toto the ruling of the sub-committee. Considering,

however, certain vital deficiencies in the application, the Board further Resolves to direct the
Chairman of the Board to Withheld the issuance of the Permit to exhibit until these deficiencies are
supplied
Issue : WON the rating made with grave abuse of discretion
Held : Roth- Sex and obscenity are not synonymous. Obscene material is material which deals with
sex in a manner appealing to prurient interest. The portrayal of sex, e.g., in art, literature and
scientific works, is not itself sufficient reason to deny material the constitutional protection of freedom
of speech and press. Sex, a great and mysterious motive force in human life has indisputably been a
subject of absorbing interest to mankind through the ages; it is one of the vital problems of human
interest and public concern. In the Philippine context, E.O. 876 applied contemporary Filipino cultural
values as a standard. Moreover, as far as the question of sex and obscenity are concerned, it cannot
be stressed strongly that the arts and letters "shall be under the patronage of the State. Given this
constitutional mandate, It will be less than true to its function if any government office or agency
would invade the sphere of autonomy that an artist enjoys. There is no orthodoxy in what passes for
beauty or for reality. It is for the artist to determine what for him is a true representation. It is not to
be forgotten that art and belleslettres deal primarily with imagination, not so much with ideas in a
strict sense. What is seen or perceived by an artist is entitled to respect, unless there is a showing
that the product of his talent rightfully may be considered obscene. On the question of obscenity,
therefore, such standard set forth in Executive Order No. 878 is to be construed in such a fashion to
avoid any taint of unconstitutionality. To repeat, what was stated in a recent decision in Trinidad- an
elementary, a fundamental, and a universal role of construction, applied when considering
constitutional questions, that when a law is susceptible of two constructions' one of which will
maintain and the other destroy it, the courts will always adopt the former. There can be no valid
objection to the controlling standard. There was really a grave abuse of discretion when the Board
and its perception of what obscenity is is very restrictive. But, sadly, THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH
VOTES TO MAINTAIN THAT THERE WAS GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. The supporting evidence was in
the fact that some scenes were not for young people. They might misunderstand the scenes. The
respondents offered to make it GP if the petitioners would remove the lesbian and sex scenes. But
they refused. The ruling is to be limited to the concept of obscenity applicable to motion pictures. It is
the consensus of this Court that where television is concerned: a less liberal approach calls for
observance. This is so because unlike motion pictures where the patrons have to pay their way,
television reaches every home where there is a set. It is hardly the concern of the law to deal with the
sexual fantasies of the adult population. It cannot be denied though that the State as parens patriae
is called upon to manifest an attitude of caring for the welfare of the young.

VERSION 2
Gonzales v Katigbak G.R. No. L-69500 July 22, 1985
Facts:
Antonio Gonzales, president of Malaya Films, claimed that his film Kapit sa Patalim, was rated for
adults only by a subcommittee of the movie review board together with the required cuts and scene
deletions. He justified that these requirements were without basis and were restrains on artistic
expression. He adduced that the film is an integral whole and all its portions, including those to which
the Board now offers belated objection, are essential for the integrity of the film. Viewed as a whole,
there is no basis even for the vague speculations advanced by the Board as basis for its classification.

He appealed to the movie review board but the same affirmed the decion of the sub committee.
When Gonzales appealed to the supreme court, the board claimed that the deletions were removed
and the requirement to submit the master negative was taken out but the film was still rated for
adults only. The petition was amended to contest the rating only.
Issue: Was the rating made with grave avuse of discretion (Note I put in those regarding obscenity for
future purposes)
Held: No. Petition dismissed. There was no grave abuse of discretion DUE TO LACK OF VOTES
Ratio:
Motion pictures are important both as a medium for the communication of Ideas and the expression
of the artistic impulse
Burstyn-importance of motion pictures as an organ of public opinion lessened by the fact that they
are designed to entertain as well as to inform
(No clear dividing line between what affords knowledge and that of pleasure or else there will be a
diminution to a right to self-expression)
Bagatsing- Press freedom may be identified with the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully any
matter of public concern without censorship or punishment. This is not to say that such freedom, as is
the freedom of speech, absolute. It can be limited if "there be a 'clear and present danger of a
substantive evil that [the State] has a right to prevent.
Censorship doesnt full cover free speech or there might bean emasculation of basic rights. However,
there must be in exceptional circumstances a sine qua non for the meaningful exercise of such right
without denying the freedom from liability.
Freedom from censorship is a settled principle in our jurisdiction. Mutuc- board of review is limited to
classification of films to safeguard other constitutional objections, hence the GP, PG, or R-18 ratings.
That is to abide by the principle that freedom of expression is the rule and restrictions the exemption.
The power to exercise prior restraint is not to be presumed, rather the presumption is against its
validity
The test, to repeat, to determine whether freedom of expression may be limited is the clear and
present danger of an evil of a substantive character that the State has a right to prevent. Such
danger must not only be clear but also present. There should be no doubt that what is feared may be
traced to the expression complained of. The causal connection must be evident. Also, there must be
reasonable apprehension about its imminence. The time element cannot be ignored. Nor does it
suffice if such danger be only probable.
Where movies are concerned, censorship, especially so if an entire production is banned,
is allowable only under the clearest proof of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil to public
public morals, public health or any other legitimate public interest.
Roth- "All Ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance unorthodox Ideas,
controversial Ideas, even Ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion have the full protection
of the guaranties, unless excludable because they encroach upon the limited area of the
First Amendment is the rejection of obscenity as utterly without redeeming social importance.
Given obscenity as the nemesis of censorship, there is difficulty in determining what is obsecene.

Roth- The early leading standard of obscenity allowed material to be judged merely by the effect of
an isolated excerpt upon particularly susceptible persons
The test was whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the
dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest. Some material can
legitimately deal with sex and its effects on susceptible persons. Such a censorship can be considered
violative of the constitution. On the other hand, the substituted standard provides safeguards
adequate to withstand the charge of constitutional infirmity.
Roth- Sex and obscenity are not synonymous. Obscene material is material which deals with sex in a
manner appealing to prurient interest. The portrayal of sex, e.g., in art, literature and scientific works,
is not itself sufficient reason to deny material the constitutional protection of freedom of speech and
press. Sex, a great and mysterious motive force in human life has indisputably been a subject of
absorbing interest to mankind through the ages; it is one of the vital problems of human interest and
public concern.
In the Philippine context, E.O. 876 applied contemporary Filipino cultural values as a standard.
Moreover, as far as the question of sex and obscenity are concerned, it cannot be stressed strongly
that the arts and letters "shall be under the patronage of the State.
Given this constitutional mandate, It will be less than true to its function if any government office or
agency would invade the sphere of autonomy that an artist enjoys. There is no orthodoxy in what
passes for beauty or for reality. It is for the artist to determine what for him is a true representation. It
is not to be forgotten that art and belleslettres deal primarily with imagination, not so much with
ideas in a strict sense. What is seen or perceived by an artist is entitled to respect, unless there is a
showing that the product of his talent rightfully may be considered obscene.
On the question of obscenity, therefore, such standard set forth in Executive Order No. 878 is to be
construed in such a fashion to avoid any taint of unconstitutionality. To repeat, what was stated in a
recent decision in Trinidad- an elementary, a fundamental, and a universal role of
construction, applied when considering constitutional questions, that when a law is susceptible of two
constructions' one of which will maintain and the other destroy it, the courts will always adopt the
former.
There can be no valid objection to the controlling standard.
There was really a grave abuse of discretion when the Board and its perception of what obscenity is is
very restrictive.
But, sadly, THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH VOTES TO MAINTAIN THAT THERE WAS GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION. The supporting evidence was in the fact that some scenes were not for young people.
They might misunderstand the scenes. The respondents offered to make it GP if the petitioners would
remove the lesbian and sex scenes. But they refused.
The ruling is to be limited to the concept of obscenity applicable to motion pictures. It is the
consensus of this Court that where television is concerned: a less liberal approach calls for
observance. This is so because unlike motion pictures where the patrons have to pay their way,
television reaches every home where there is a set.
It is hardly the concern of the law to deal with the sexual fantasies of the adult population. It cannot
be denied though that the State as parens patriae is called upon to manifest an attitude of caring for
the welfare of the young.

BORJAL V. CA
Borjal v Court of Appeals 301 SCRA 1 January 14, 1999
Facts: A civil action for damages based on libel was filed before the court against Borjal and Soliven
for writing and publishing articles that are allegedly derogatory and offensive against Francisco
Wenceslao, attacking among others the solicitation letters he send to support a conference to be
launch concerning resolving matters on transportation crisis that is tainted with anomalous activities.
Wenceslao however was never named in any of the articles nor was the conference he was
organizing. The lower court ordered petitioners to indemnify the private respondent for damages
which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. A petition for review was filed before the SC contending
that private respondent was not sufficiently identified to be the subject of the published articles.
Issue: Whether or not there are sufficient grounds to constitute guilt of petitioners for libel.
Held: In order to maintain a libel suit, it is essential that the victim be identifiable although it is not
necessary that he be named. It is also not sufficient that the offended party recognized himself as the
person attacked or defamed, but it must be shown that at least a third person could identify him as
the object of the libelous publication. These requisites have not been complied with in the case at bar.
The element of identifiability was not met since it was Wenceslaso who revealed he was the organizer
of said conference and had he not done so the public would not have known.
The concept of privileged communications is implicit in the freedom of the press and that privileged
communications must be protective of public opinion. Fair commentaries on matters of public interest
are privileged and constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander. The doctrine of fair
comment means that while in general every discreditable imputation publicly made is deemed false,
because every man is presumed innocent until his guilt is judicially proved, and every false
imputation is deemed malicious, nevertheless, when the discreditable imputation is directed against a
public person in his public capacity, it is not necessarily actionable. In order that such discreditable
imputation to a public official may be actionable, it must either be a false allegation of fact or a
comment based on a false supposition. If the comment is an expression of opinion, based on
established facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, as long as it might
reasonably be inferred from the facts.
The questioned article dealt with matters of public interest as the declared objective of the
conference, the composition of its members and participants, and the manner by which it was
intended to be funded no doubt lend to its activities as being genuinely imbued with public interest.
Respondent is also deemed to be a public figure and even otherwise is involved in a public issue. The
court held that freedom of expression is constitutionally guaranteed and protected with the reminder
among media members to practice highest ethical standards in the exercise thereof.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A privileged communication may be either:
1. Absolutely privileged communication those which are not actionable even if the author has acted
in bad faith. An example is found in Sec. 11, Art.VI, of the 1987 Constitution which exempts a member
of Congress from liability for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any Committee thereof.
2. Qualifiedly privileged communications those containing defamatory imputations are not
actionable unless found to have been made without good intention justifiable motive. To this genre
belong "private communications" and "fair and true report without any comments or remarks."
VERSION 2
Borjal vs. CA, 301 SCRA 1; G.R. No. 126466, January 14, 1999
Posted by Pius Morados on November 13, 2011
(Constitutional Law Right to Free Press, Newspaper Commentaries is Privileged Communication)

FACTS: Private respondent filed for damages against petitioners for the series of articles written by
the latter in a newspaper column, which dealt with alleged anomalous activities without naming or
identifying private respondent. Petitioners contends that the right to free press is a privilege
communication.
ISSUE: WON commentaries on matters of public interest are privilege.
HELD: Yes. No culpability could be imputed to petitioners for the alleged offending publication without
doing violence to the concept of privileged communications implicit in the freedom of the press.
LAGUNZAD V. SOTTO
Freedom of Expression and Right to Privacy
MANUEL LAGUNZAD, petitioner,
vs.
MARIA SOTO VDA. DE GONZALES and THE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.
G.R. No. L-32066
August 6, 1979
FACTS:
Sometime in August, 1961, petitioner Manuel Lagunzad, began the production of a movie
entitled "The Moises Padilla Story". It was based mainly on the copyrighted but unpublished book of
Atty. Ernesto Rodriguez, Jr., entitled "The Long Dark Night in Negros" subtitled "The Moises Padilla
Story".
The book narrates the events which culminated in the murder of Moises Padilla who was then a
mayoralty candidate of the Nacionalista Party for the Municipality of Magallon, Negros Occidental,
during the November, 1951 elections. Governor Rafael Lacson, a member of the Liberal Party then in
power and his men were tried and convicted for that murder. In the book, Moises Padilla is portrayed
as "a martyr in contemporary political history."
Although the emphasis of the movie was on the public life of Moises Padilla, there were
portions which dealt with his private and family life including the portrayal in some scenes, of his
mother, Maria Soto Vda. de Gonzales, private respondent herein, and of one "Auring" as his
girlfriend.
On October 5, 1961, Mrs. Nelly Amante, half-sister of Moises Padilla, for and in behalf of her
mother, private respondent, demanded in writing for certain changes, corrections and deletions in the
movie.
On the same date, October 5, 1961, after some bargaining, the petitioner and private
respondent executed a Licensing Agreement where the petitioner agreed to pay the private
respondent the sum of P20,000.00 payable without need of further demand, as follows: P5,000.00 on
or before Oct. 10, 1961; P10,000.00 on or before Oct. 31, 1961; and P5,000.00 on or before
November 30, 1961. Also the Licensor (private respondent) grants authority and permission to
Licensee (Petitioner) to exploit, use, and develop the life story of Moises Padilla for purposes of
producing the PICTURE, and in connection with matters incidental to said production, such as
advertising and the like, as well as authority and permission for the use of LICENSOR's name in the
PICTURE and have herself portrayed therein, the authority and permission hereby granted, to retroact
to the date when LICENSEE first committed any of the acts herein authorized.
After its premier showing on October 16, 1961, the movie was shown in different theaters all
over the country.
Because petitioner refused to pay any additional amounts pursuant to the Agreement, on
December 22, 1961, private respondent instituted the present suit against him praying for judgment
in her favor ordering petitioner 1) to pay her the amount of P15,000.00, with legal interest from the
filing of the Complaint; 2) to render an accounting of the proceeds from the picture and to pay the
corresponding 2-1/2% royalty therefrom; 3) to pay attorney's fees equivalent to 20% of the amounts
claimed; and 4) to pay the costs.

Petitioner contended in his Answer that the episodes in the life of Moises Padilla depicted in
the movie were matters of public knowledge and was a public figure; that private respondent has no
property right over those incidents; that the Licensing Agreement was without valid cause or
consideration and that he signed the same only because of the coercion and threat employed upon
him. As a counterclaim, petitioner sought for the nullification of the Licensing Agreement as it
constitutes an infringement on the constitutional right of freedom of speech and of the press.
Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals ruled in favour of the private respondent.
ISSUES:
1.
2.

Whether or not private respondent have any property right over the life of Moises Padilla since
the latter was a public figure.
Whether or not the Licensing Agreement infringes on the constitutional right of freedom of
speech and of the press.

RULING:
1.
Yes. While it is true that petitioner had purchased the rights to the book entitled "The Moises
Padilla Story," that did not dispense with the need for prior consent and authority from the deceased
heirs to portray publicly episodes in said deceased's life and in that of his mother and the members of
his family. As held in Schuyler v. Curtis, a privilege may be given the surviving relatives of a
deceased person to protect his memory, but the privilege exists for the benefit of the living, to
protect their feelings and to prevent a violation of their own rights in the character and memory of
the deceased."
Being a public figure ipso facto does not automatically destroy in toto a person's right to
privacy. The right to invade a person's privacy to disseminate public information does not extend to a
fictional or novelized representation of a person, no matter how public a figure he or she may be. In
the case at bar, while it is true that petitioner exerted efforts to present a true-to-life story of Moises
Padilla, petitioner admits that he included a little romance in the film because without it, it would be a
drab story of torture and brutality.
2.
No. From the language of the specific constitutional provision, it would appear that the right is
not susceptible of any limitation. No law may be passed abridging the freedom of speech and of the
press. It would be too much to insist that at all times and under all circumstances it should remain
unfettered and unrestrained. There are other societal values that press for recognition.
The prevailing doctrine is that the clear and present danger rule is such a limitation. Another
criterion for permissible limitation on freedom of speech and of the press, which includes such
vehicles of the mass media as radio, television and the movies, is the "balancing-of-interests
test." The principle requires a court to take conscious and detailed consideration of the interplay of
interests observable in a given situation or type of situation."
In the case at bar, the interests observable are the right to privacy asserted by respondent and
the right of -freedom of expression invoked by petitioner. Taking into account the interplay of those
interests, we hold that under the particular circumstances presented, and considering the obligations
assumed in the Licensing Agreement entered into by petitioner, the validity of such agreement will
have to be upheld particularly because the limits of freedom of expression are reached when
expression touches upon matters of essentially private concern.

VASQUES V. CA
Rodolfo R. Vasquez v. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 118971
September 15, 1999
Facts:
Petitioner Rodolfo R. Vasquez is a resident of the Tondo Foreshore Area. Sometime in April 1986, he
and some 37 families from the area went to see then National Housing Authority (NHA) General
Manager Lito Atienza regarding their complaint against their Barangay Chairman, Jaime Olmedo, a
public official. After their meeting with Atienza and other NHA officials, petitioner and his companions
were met and interviewed by newspaper reporters at the NHA compound concerning their complaint.
The next day, April 22, 1986, the following exerpts of the news article appeared in the newspaper Ang
Tinig ng Masa. In the article, pulished were supposed allegations by Vasquez that (1)
nakipagsabwatan umano si Chairman Jaime Olmedo upang makamkam ang may 14 na lote ng lupa;
(2) ang mga lupa ay ilegal na patituluhan, nagawa ito ni Olmedo sa pakikipagsabwatan sa mga
project manager at legal officers ng NHA; (3) kasangkot din umano si Olmedo sa mga ilegal na
pasugalan sa naturang lugar at maging sa mga nakawan ng manok. x x x
Based on the newspaper article, Olmedo filed a complaint for libel against petitioner alleging that the
latters statements cast aspersions on him and damaged his reputation.
On May 28, 1992, the trial court rendered judgment finding petitioner guilty of libel and sentencing
him to pay a fine of P1,000.00. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed in toto. Hence, this petition
for review.
Issue:
Whether or not the atual malice standard in New York Times versus Sullivan is to be applied in
prosecutions for criminal libel.
Held:
The standard of actual malice in New York Times versus Sullivan is to be applied in criminal
prosecutions for libel.
For that matter, even if the defamatory statement is false, no liability can attach if it relates to official
conduct, unless the public official concerned proves that the statement was made with actual malice
that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.
In this case, the prosecution failed to prove not only that the charges made by petitioner were false
but also that petitioner made them with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard of
whether they were false or not.
A rule placing on the accused the burden of showing the truth of allegations of official misconduct
and/or good motives and justifiable ends for making such allegations would not only be contrary to
Art. 361 of the Revised Penal Code. It would, above all, infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed
freedom of expression.
Libel was used as a form of harassment:
Instead of the claim that petitioner was politically motivated in making the charges against
complainant, it would appear that complainant filed this case to harass petitioner.
It is curious that the ones most obviously responsible for the publication of the allegedly offensive
news report, namely, the editorial staff and the periodical itself, were not at all impleaded. The charge
was leveled against the petitioner and, "curiouser" still, his clients who have nothing to do with the
editorial policies of the newspaper.
COLUMN RAMON TULFO, AM No. 90-4-1545-0
IN RE: TULFO [A.M. NO. 90-4-1545-0; 17 APR 1990]
Sunday, February 08, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Facts: In Oct. 13, 1989, Tulfo wrote an article in his column in PDI 'On Target' stating that the

Supreme Court rendered an idiotic decision in legalizing checkpoints, and again on Oct. 16, 1989,
where he called the Supreme Court stupid and "sangkatutak na mga bobo justices of the Philippine
Supreme Court". Tulfo was required to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt. Tulfo
said that he was just reacting emotionally because he had been a victim of harassment in the
checkpoints, and "idiotic" meant illogical and unwise, and "bobo" was just quoted from other
attorneys, and since the case had been decided and terminated, there was not contempts. Lastly, the
article does not pose any clear and present danger to the Supreme court.
Issue: Whether or Not Tulfo is in contempt.
Held: Yes. At the time Tulfo wrote the article, the checkpoints case had not yet been decided upon,
and the Supreme Court was still acting on an MR filed from the CA. The power to punish is inherent as
it is essential for self-preservation. Contempt of court is defiance of the authority, justice and dignity
of the courts. It brings disrepute to the court. There are two kinds of publications which can be
punished for contempt:
a. those whose object is to affect the decision in a pending case.
b. those whose object is to bring courts to discredit. Tulfo's article constituted both.
It should have been okay to criticize if respectful language was used, but if its object is only to
degrade and ridicule, then it is clearly an obstruction of justice. Nothing constructive can be gained
from them. Being emotional is no excuse for being insulting. Quoting is not an excuse also, because
at the end of his article, Tulfo said, "So you bobo justices, watch out!" Also, he said he was not sorry
for having written the articles.
Tulfo is found in contempt of court and is gravely censured.

DE LA CRUZ V. CA
Luzviminda dela Cruz v CA, et. al. 305 SCRA 303 (March 25, 1999)
Facts:
Petitioners are public school teachers from various schools in Metro Manila who were simultaneously
charged, preventively suspended, and eventually dismissed in October 1990 by the Secretary of the
Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) in connection with the administrative complaints
filed before its office by their respective principals for participating in a mass action/strike and
subsequently defying the return-to-work order by DECS constituting grave misconduct., gross neglect
of duty, gross violation of Civil Service Law, Rules and Regulations and reasonable office regulations,
refusal to perform official duty, gross insubordination conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the
service and absence without official leave (AWOL), in violation of Presidential Decree 807, otherwise
known as the Civil Service Decree of the Philippines. Petitioners contend they are merely participating
in a peaceful assembly to petition the government for redress of their grievances in the exercise of
their constitutional right and insist their assembly does not constitutes as a strike as there is no
actual disruption of classes.
Issue:
Whether or not the petitioners exercise of their right to freedom to assembly and petition were valid.
The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines
Philippine government in action and the Philippine constitution
The Philippine constitution explained
Held:
The court held that previous jurisprudence laid down a rule that public teachers in the exercise of
their right to ventilate their grievances by petitioning the government for redress should be done
within reasonable limits so as not to prejudice the public welfare. The conduct of mass protests during
school days while abandoning classes is highly prejudicial to the best interest of public service. The
court stresses that teachers are penalized not because they exercised their right to peaceably
assemble but because of the manner by which such right was exercised, i.e., going on unauthorized
and unilateral absences thus disrupting classes in various schools in Metro Manila which produced
adverse effects upon the students for whose education the teachers were responsible.

BAYAN V. ERMITA
BAYAN VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ERMITA [488 SCRA 226; G.R. NO. 169838; 25 APR 2006]
Sunday, February 08, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Facts: Rallies of September 20, October 4, 5 and 6, 2005 is at issue. BAYANs rally was violently
dispersed. 26 petitioners were injured, arrested and detained when a peaceful mass action they was
preempted and violently dispersed by the police. KMU asserts that the right to peaceful assembly, are
affected by Batas Pambansa No. 880 and the policy of Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR) being
followed to implement it. KMU, et al., claim that on October 4, 2005, a rally KMU co-sponsored was to
be conducted at the Mendiola bridge but police blocked them along C.M. Recto and Lepanto Streets
and forcibly dispersed them, causing injuries to several of their members. They further allege that on
October 6, 2005, a multi-sectoral rally which KMU also co-sponsored was scheduled
to proceedalong Espaa Avenue in front of the UST and going towards Mendiola bridge. Police
officers blocked them along Morayta Street and prevented them from proceeding further. They were
then forcibly dispersed, causing injuries on one of them. Three other rallyists were arrested.
All petitioners assail Batas Pambansa No. 880 The Public Assembly Act of 1985, some of them in toto
and others only Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a), and 14(a), as well as the policy of CPR. They seek to stop
violent dispersals of rallies under the no permit, no rally policy and the CPR policy announced on
Sept. 21, 2005.
Petitioners Bayan, et al., contend that BP 880 is clearly a violation of the Constitution and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties of which the
Philippines is a signatory.
They argue that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit before one can stage a public assembly regardless of
the presence or absence of a clear and present danger. It also curtails the choice of venue and is thus
repugnant to the freedom of expression clause as the time and place of a public assembly form part
of the message for which the expression is sought.
Petitioners Jess del Prado, et al., in turn, argue that B.P. No. 880 is unconstitutional as it is a
curtailment of the right to peacefully assemble and petition for redress of grievances because it puts
a condition for the valid exercise of that right. It also characterizes public assemblies without a permit
as illegal and penalizes them and allows their dispersal. Thus, its provisions are not mere regulations
but are actually prohibitions. Regarding the CPR policy, it is void for being an ultra vires act that alters
the standard of maximum tolerance set forth in B.P. No. 880, aside from being void for being vague
and for lack of publication.
KMU, et al., argue that the Constitution sets no limits on the right to assembly and therefore B.P. No.
880 cannot put the prior requirement of securing a permit. And even assuming that the legislature
can set limits to this right, the limits provided are unreasonable: First, allowing the Mayor to deny the
permit on clear and convincing evidence of a clear and present danger is too comprehensive. Second,
the five-day requirement to apply for a permit is too long as certain events require instant public
assembly, otherwise interest on the issue would possibly wane.As to the CPR policy, they argue that it
is preemptive, that the government takes action even before the rallyists can perform their act, and
that no law, ordinance or executive order supports the policy. Furthermore, it contravenes the
maximum tolerance policy of B.P. No. 880 and violates the Constitution as it causes a chilling effect
on the exercise by the people of the right to peaceably assemble.

Respondents argued that petitioners have no standing. BP 880 entails traffic re-routing to prevent
grave public inconvenience and serious or undue interference in the free flow of commerce and trade.
It is content-neutral regulation of the time, place and manner of holding public assemblies. According
to Atienza RA. 7160 gives the Mayor power to deny a permit independently of B.P. No. 880. and that
the permit is for the use of a public place and not for the exercise of rights; and that B.P. No. 880 is
not a content-based regulation because it covers all rallies.
Issue: Whether or Not BP 880 and the CPR Policy unconstitutional.
Held: No question as to standing. Their right as citizens to engage in peaceful assembly and exercise
the right of petition, as guaranteed by the Constitution, is directly affected by B.P. No. 880. B.P. 880 is
not an absolute ban of public assemblies but a restriction that simply regulates the time, place and
manner of the assemblies. It refers to all kinds of public assemblies that would use public places. The
reference to lawful cause does not make it content-based because assemblies really have to be for
lawful causes, otherwise they would not be peaceable and entitled to protection. Maximum
tolerance1 is for the protection and benefit of all rallyists and is independent of the content of the
expressions in the rally. There is, likewise, no prior restraint, since the content of the speech is not
relevant to the regulation.
The so-called calibrated preemptive response policy has no place in our legal firmament and must be
struck down as a darkness that shrouds freedom. It merely confuses our people and is used by some
police agents to justify abuses. Insofar as it would purport to differ from or be in lieu of maximum
tolerance, this was declared null and void.
The Secretary of the Interior and Local Governments, are DIRECTED to take all necessary steps for the
immediate compliance with Section 15 of Batas Pambansa No. 880 through the establishment or
designation of at least one suitable freedom park or plaza in every city and municipality of the
country. After thirty (30) days from the finality of this Decision, subject to the giving of advance
notices, no prior permit shall be required to exercise the right to peaceably assemble and petition in
the public parks or plazas of a city or municipality that has not yet complied with Section 15 of the
law.

AGLIPAY V. RUIZ
CASE DIGEST: AGLIPAY VS RUIZ
FACTS:
The Director of Posts announced on May 1936 in Manila newspapers that he would order the issuance
of postage stamps for the commemoration of the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress celebration
in the City of Manila. The said event was organized by the Roman Catholic Church. Monsignor
Gregorio Aglipay, the petitioner, is the Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent Church,
requested Vicente Sotto who is a member of the Philippine Bar to raise the matter to the President.
The said stamps in consideration were actually issued already and sold though the greater part
thereof remained unsold. The further sale of the stamps was sought to be prevented by the petitioner.
Issue:
Whether or not the respondent violated the Constitution in issuing and selling postage stamps
commemorative of the Thirty-third International Eucharistic Congress
Held:
No, the respondent did not violate the Constitution by issuing and selling the commemorative
postage stamps. Ruiz acted under the provision of Act No. 4052, which contemplates no religious
purpose in view, giving the Director of Posts the discretion to determine when the issuance of new
postage stamps would be advantageous to the Government. Of course, the phrase advantageous
to the Government does not authorize the violation of the Constitution. In the case at bar, the
issuance of the postage stamps was not intended by Ruiz to favor a particular church or
denomination. The stamps did not benefit the Roman Catholic Church, nor were money derived from
the sale of the stamps given to that church. The purpose of issuing of the stamps was to actually take
advantage of an international event considered to be a great opportunity to give publicity to the
Philippines and as a result attract more tourists to the country. In evaluating the design made for the
stamp, it showed the map of the Philippines instead of showing a Catholic chalice. The focus was on
the location of the City of Manila, and it also bore the inscription that reads Seat XXXIII International
Eucharistic Congress, Feb. 3-7, 1937. In considering these, it is evident that there is no violation of
the Constitution therefore the act of the issuing of the stamps is constitutional.
The Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of prohibition, without pronouncement as to costs.

VERSION 2
Aglipay v. Ruiz, GR No. L-45459, March 13, 1937
Facts:
Petitioner Aglipay, the head of Phil. Independent Church, filed a writ of prohibition against respondent
Ruiz, the Director of Post, enjoining the latter from issuing and selling postage stamps
commemorative of the 33rd Intl Eucharistic Congress organized by the Roman Catholic. The petitioner
invokes that such issuance and selling, as authorized by Act 4052 by the Phil. Legislature,
contemplates religious purpose for the benefit of a particular sect or church. Hence, this petition.
Issue:
Whether or not the issuing and selling of commemorative stamps is constitutional?
Held/Reason:
The Court said YES, the issuing and selling of commemorative stamps by the respondent does not
contemplate any favor upon a particular sect or church, but the purpose was only to advertise the
Philippines and attract more tourist and the government just took advantage of an event considered
of international importance, thus, not violating the Constitution on its provision on the separation of
the Church and State. Moreover, the Court stressed that Religious freedom, as a constitutional
mandate is not inhibition of profound reverence for religion and is not denial of its influence in human
affairs. Emphasizing that, when the Filipino people implored the aid of Divine Providence, they
thereby manifested reliance upon Him who guides the destinies of men and nations. The elevating
influence of religion in human society is recognized here as elsewhere. In fact, certain general
concessions are indiscriminately accorded to religious sects and denominations.

ALEJANDRO MANOSCA V. CA
Maosca vs. CA, 252 SCRA 412 (1997)
Facts: Alejandro, Asuncion and Leonica Manosca inherited a piece of land located at P. Burgos Street,
Calzada, Taguig, Metro Manila, with an area of about 492 square meters. When the parcel was
ascertained by the National Historical Institute (NHI) to have been the birth site of Felix Y. Manalo, the
founder of Iglesia Ni Cristo, it passed Resolution 1, Series of 1986, pursuant to Section 4 of
Presidential Decree 260, declaring the land to be a national historical landmark. The resolution was,
on 6 January 1986, approved by the Minister of Education, Culture and Sports (MECS). Later, the
opinion of the Secretary of Justice was asked on the legality of the measure. In his opinion 133, Series
of 1987, the Secretary of Justice replied in the affirmative. Accordingly, on 29 May 1989, the Republic,
through the office of the Solicitor-General, instituted a complaint for expropriation before the Regional
Trial Court of Pasig for and in behalf of the NHI. At the same time, the Republic filed an urgent motion
for the issuance of an order to permit it to take immediate possession of the property. The motion was
opposed by the Manoscas. The Manoscas moved to dismiss the complaint on the main thesis that the
intended expropriation was not for a public purpose and, incidentally, that the act would constitute an
application of public funds, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of Iglesia ni Cristo, a
religious entity, contrary to the provision of Section 29(2), Article VI, of the 1987Constitution. The trial
court issued its denial of said motion to dismiss. The Manoscas moved for reconsideration thereafter
but were denied.
Issue:
Whether the setting up of the marker in commemoration of Felix Manalo, the founder of the religious
sect Iglesia ni Cristo, constitutes public use.
Held: Eminent domain, also often referred to as expropriation and, with less frequency, as
condemnation, is, like police power and taxation, an inherent power of sovereignty. It need not be
clothed with any constitutional gear to exist; instead, provisions in our Constitution on the subject are
meant more to regulate, rather than to grant, the exercise of the power. Eminent domain is generally
so described as "the highest and most exact idea of property remaining in the government" that may
be acquired for some public purpose through a method in the nature of a forced purchase by the
State. It is a right to take or reassert dominion over property within the state for public use or to meet
a public exigency. It is said to be an essential part of governance even in its most primitive form and
thus inseparable from sovereignty. The only direct constitutional qualification is that "private property
shall not be taken for public use without just compensation." This prescription is intended to provide a
safeguard against possible abuse and so to protect as well the individual against whose property the
power is sought to be enforced. The term "public use," not having been otherwise defined by the
constitution, must be considered in its general concept of meeting a public need or a public exigency.
The validity of the exercise of the power of eminent domain for traditional purposes is beyond
question; it is not at all to be said, however, that public use should thereby be restricted to such
traditional uses. The idea that "public use" is strictly limited to clear cases of "use by the public" has
long been discarded. The purpose in setting up the marker is essentially to recognize the distinctive
contribution of the late Felix Manalo to the culture of the Philippines, rather than to commemorate his
founding and leadership of the Iglesia ni Cristo. The attempt to give some religious perspective to the
case deserves little consideration, for what should be significant is the principal objective of, not the
casual consequences that might follow from, the exercise of the power. The practical reality
that greater benefit may be derived by members of the Iglesia ni Cristo than by most others could
well be true but such a peculiar advantage still remains to be merely incidental and secondary in
nature. Indeed, that only a few would actually benefit from the expropriation of property does not
necessarily diminish the essence and character of public use.

VERSION 2
Manosca vs. CA
G.R. NO. 106440, January 29, 1996

Facts: Petitioners inherited a piece of land when the parcel was ascertained by the NHI to have been
the birth site of Felix Y. Manalo, the founder of Iglesia Ni Cristo, it passed Resolution No. 1, declaring
the land to be a national historical landmark. Petitioners moved to dismiss the complaint on the main
thesis that the intended expropriation was not for a public purpose and, incidentally, that the act
would constitute an application of public funds, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of
Iglesia ni Cristo, a religious entity, contrary to the provision of Section 29(2), Article VI, of the 1987
Constitution.
Issue: Whether or not the expropriation of the land whereat Manalo was born is valid and
constitutional.
Held: Yes. The taking to be valid must be for public use. There was a time when it was felt that a
literal meaning should be attached to such a requirement. Whatever project is undertaken must be
for the public to enjoy, as in the case of streets or parks. Otherwise, expropriation is not allowable. It
is not so any more. As long as the purpose of the taking is public, then the power of eminent domain
comes into play. As just noted, the constitution in at least two cases, to remove any doubt,
determines what public use is. One is the expropriation of lands to be subdivided into small lots for
resale at cost to individuals. The other is the transfer, through the exercise of this power, of utilities
and other private enterprise to the government. It is accurate to state then that at present whatever
may be beneficially employed for the general welfare satisfies the requirement of public use.

ISLAMIC DAWAH CONFERENCE OF THE PHIL. V. OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


Islamic Dawah Council of the Philippines, Inc. vs. Executive Secretary
G.R. No. 153888. July 9, 2003.
Facts:
Petitioner is a non-governmental organization that extends voluntary services to the Filipino
people, especially to Muslim Communities. Petitioner began to issue, for a fee, halal certifications to
qualified products and food manufacturers on account of the actual need to certify food products as
halal and also due to halal food producers' request. Subsequently, Executive Order (EO) 46 was
issued creating the Philippine Halal Certification Scheme and designating respondent Office of Muslim
Affairs (OMA) to oversee its implementation. In this petition for prohibition, petitioner alleged, among
others, that the subject EO violates the constitutional provision on the separation of Church and
State.
In granting the petition, the Supreme Court ruled that freedom of religion was accorded
preferred status by the framers of the fundamental law and it has consistently affirmed this preferred
status. Without doubt, classifying a food product as halal is a religious function because the standards
used are drawn from the Qur'an and Islamic beliefs. By giving the OMA the exclusive power to classify
food products as halal, EO 46 encroached on the religious freedom of Muslim organizations like herein
petitioner to interpret for Filipino Muslims what food products are fit for Muslim consumption. Also, by
arrogating to itself the task of issuing halal certifications, the State has in effect forced Muslims to
accept its own interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunnah on halal food.
The Court further ruled that only the prevention of an immediate and grave danger to the
security and welfare of the community can justify the infringement of religious freedom. In the case at
bar, the Court found no compelling justification for the government to deprive Muslim organizations,
like herein petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product as halal, even on the premise that
the health of Muslim Filipinos can be effectively protected by assigning to OMA the exclusive power to
issue halal certificates.
Issue: Whether or not Eexecutive Order 46 violates the constitutional provision on the separation of
Church and State.

Held:
No. In granting the petition, the Supreme Court ruled that freedom of religion was accorded
preferred status by the framers of the fundamental law and it has consistently affirmed this preferred
status. Without doubt, classifying a food product as halal is a religious function because the standards
used are drawn from the Qur'an and Islamic beliefs. By giving the OMA the exclusive power to classify
food products as halal, Executive Order 46 encroached on the religious freedom of Muslim
organizations like herein petitioner to interpret for Filipino Muslims what food products are fit for
Muslim consumption. Also, by arrogating to itself the task of issuing halal certifications, the State has
in effect forced Muslims to accept its own interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunnah on halal food.

The Court further ruled that only the prevention of an immediate and grave danger to the security
and welfare of the community can justify the infringement of religious freedom. In the case at bar, the
Court found no compelling justification for the government to deprive Muslim organizations, like

herein petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product as halal, even on the premise that the
health of Muslim Filipinos can be effectively protected by assigning to OMA the exclusive power to
issue halal certificates.
Only the prevention of an immediate and grave danger to the security and welfare of the
community can justify the infringement of religious freedom. If the government fails to show the
seriousness and immediacy of the threat, State intrusion is constitutionally unacceptable. In a society
with a democratic framework like ours, the State must minimize its interference with the affairs of its
citizens and instead allow them to exercise reasonable freedom of personal and religious activity. In
the case at bar, we find no compelling justification for the government to deprive Muslim
organizations, like herein petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product as halal, even on the
premise that the health of Muslim Filipinos can be effectively protected by assigning to OMA the
exclusive power to issue halal certifications. The protection and promotion of the Muslim Filipinos'
right to health are already provided for in existing laws and ministered to by government agencies
charged with ensuring that food products released in the market are fit for human consumption,
properly labeled and safe. Unlike EO 46, these laws do not encroach on the religious freedom of
Muslims.
VERSION 2
ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC (IDCP) vs. Office of the Executive
Secretary, et al (2003)
FACTS: Petitioner IDCP, a corporation that operates under DSWD, is a non-governmental organization
that extends voluntary services to the Filipino people, especially to Muslim communities. Among the
functions petitioner carries out is to conduct seminars, orient manufacturers on halal food and issue
halal certifications to qualified products and manufacturers. On October 26, 2001, respondent Office
of the Executive Secretary issued EO 46 5 creating the Philippine Halal Certification Scheme and
designating respondent Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) to oversee its implementation. Under the EO,
respondent OMA has the exclusive authority to issue halal certificates and perform other related
regulatory activities. Petitioner contends that the subject EO violates the constitutional provision on
the separation of Church and State and that it is unconstitutional for the government to formulate
policies and guidelines on the halal certification scheme because said scheme is a function only
religious organizations, entity or scholars can lawfully and validly perform for the Muslims.
ISSUE: Whether the EO is violates the constitutional provision as to freedom of religion
RULING: The Court grants the petition. OMA deals with the societal, legal, political and economic
concerns of the Muslim community as a "national cultural community" and not as a religious group.
Thus, bearing in mind the constitutional barrier between the Church and State, the latter must make
sure that OMA does not intrude into purely religious matters lest it violate the non-establishment
clause and the "free exercise of religion" provision found in Article III, Section 5 of the 1987
Constitution. 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." Without doubt, classifying a food product as halal is a religious
function because the standards used are drawn from the Qur'an and Islamic beliefs. By giving OMA
the exclusive power to classify food products as halal, EO 46 encroached on the religious freedom of
Muslim organizations like herein petitioner to interpret for Filipino Muslims what food products are fit
for Muslim consumption. Also, by arrogating to itself the task of issuing halal certifications, the State
has in effect forced Muslims to accept its own interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunnah on halal food.

Only the prevention of an immediate and grave danger to the security and welfare of the community
can justify the infringement of religious freedom. If the government fails to show the seriousness and
immediacy of the threat, State intrusion is constitutionally unacceptable. In a society with a
democratic framework like ours, the State must minimize its interference with the affairs of its
citizens and instead allow them to exercise reasonable freedom of personal and religious activity.
There is no compelling justification for the government to deprive Muslim organizations, like herein
petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product as halal, even on the premise that the health of
Muslim Filipinos can be effectively protected by assigning to OMA the exclusive power to issue halal
certifications. The protection and promotion of the Muslim Filipinos' right to health are already
provided for in existing laws and ministered to by government agencies charged with ensuring that
food products released in the market are fit for human consumption, properly labeled and safe. Unlike
EO 46, these laws do not encroach on the religious freedom of Muslims. With these regulatory bodies
given detailed functions on how to screen and check the quality and safety of food products, the
perceived danger against the health of Muslim and non-Muslim Filipinos alike is totally avoided. The
halal certifications issued by petitioner and similar organizations come forward as the official religious
approval of a food product fit for Muslim consumption. The petition is GRANTED. Executive Order 46,
s. 2000, is hereby declared NULL AND VOID.

EBRALINAG V. SECRETARY
AMOLO et al vs. THE DIVISION SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS OF CEBU and ANTONIO A. SANGUTAN
G.R. No. 95887 March 1, 1993

; GRIO-AQUINO, J.:

Facts:
The petitioners in both (consolidated) cases were expelled from their classes by the public school
authorities in Cebu for refusing to salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the patriotic
pledge as required by Republic Act No. 1265 (An Act making flag ceremony compulsory in all
educational institutions) of July 11, 1955 , and by Department Order No. 8 (Rules and Regulations for
Conducting the Flag Ceremony in All Educational Institutions) dated July 21, 1955 of the Department
of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) making the flag ceremony compulsory in all educational
institutions.
Jehovah's Witnesses admitted that they taught their children not to salute the flag, sing the national
anthem, and recite the patriotic pledge for they believe that those are "acts of worship" or "religious
devotion" which they "cannot conscientiously give to anyone or anything except God". They consider
the flag as an image or idol representing the State. They think the action of the local authorities in
compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on the State's power and
invades the sphere of the intellect and spirit which the Constitution protect against official control..
Issue:
Whether or not school children who are members or a religious sect may be expelled from
school for disobedience of R.A. No. 1265 and Department Order No. 8
Held:
No. Religious freedom is a fundamental right which is entitled to the highest priority and the amplest
protection among human rights, for it involves the relationship of man to his Creator
The sole justification for a prior restraint or limitation on the exercise of religious freedom is the
existence of a grave and present danger of a character both grave and imminent, of a serious evil to
public safety, public morals, public health or any other legitimate public interest, that the State has a
right (and duty) to prevent." Absent such a threat to public safety, the expulsion of the petitioners
from the schools is not justified. (Teehankee)
The petitioners further contend that while they do not take part in the compulsory flag ceremony,
they do not engage in "external acts" or behavior that would offend their countrymen who believe in
expressing their love of country through the observance of the flag ceremony. They quietly stand at
attention during the flag ceremony to show their respect for the right of those who choose to
participate in the solemn proceedings. Since they do not engage in disruptive behavior, there is no
warrant for their expulsion.
The Court is not persuaded that by exempting the Jehovah's Witnesses from saluting the flag, singing
the national anthem and reciting the patriotic pledge, this religious group which admittedly comprises
a "small portion of the school population" will shake up our part of the globe and suddenly produce a
nation "untaught and uninculcated in and unimbued with reverence for the flag, patriotism, love of
country and admiration for national heroes" . What the petitioners seek only is exemption from the
flag ceremony, not exclusion from the public schools where they may study the Constitution, the
democratic way of life and form of government, and learn not only the arts, sciences, Philippine
history and culture but also receive training for a vocation of profession and be taught the virtues of

"patriotism, respect for human rights, appreciation for national heroes, the rights and duties of
citizenship, and moral and spiritual values (Sec. 3[2], Art. XIV, 1987 Constitution) as part of the
curricula. Expelling or banning the petitioners from Philippine schools will bring about the very
situation that this Court had feared in Gerona. Forcing a small religious group, through the iron hand
of the law, to participate in a ceremony that violates their religious beliefs, will hardly be conducive to
love of country or respect for dully constituted authorities.
Also, the expulsion of members of Jehovah's Witnesses from the schools where they are enrolled
violates their right as Philippine citizens, under the 1987 Constitution, to "protect and promote the
right of all citizens to quality education . . . and to make such education accessible to all (Sec. 1, Art.
XIV).
VERSION 2
Ebralinag, et al vs. Div. Supt. of Schools of Cebu G.R. No. 95770, March 1, 1993
Facts:
In 1989, DECS Regional Office in Cebu received complaints about teachers and pupils belonging to
the Jehovahs Witness, and enrolled in various public and private schools, which refused to sing the
Phil. National Anthem, salute the flag and recite the patriotic pledge.
Division Superintendent of schools, Susana B. Cabahug of the Cebu Division of DECS and her
Assistant issued Division Memorandum No. 108, dated Nov. 17, 1989, directing District Supervisors,
High School Principals and Heads of Private Educational institutions to remove from service, after due
process, teachers and school employees, and to deprive the students and pupils from the benefit of
public education, if they do not participate in daily flag ceremony and doesnt obey flag salute rule.
Members of the Jehovahs Witness sect find such memorandum to be contrary to their religious belief
and choose not to obey. Despite a number of appropriate persuasions made by the Cebu officials to
let them obey the directives, still they opted to follow their conviction to their belief. As a result, an
order was issued by the district supervisor of Daan Bantayan District of Cebu, dated July 24, 1990,
ordering the dropping from the list in the school register of all Jehovahs Witness teachers and pupils
from Grade 1 to Grade 6 who opted to follow their belief which is against the Flag Salute Law,
however, given a chance to be re-accepted if they change their mind.
Some Jehovahs Witness members appealed to the Secretary of Education but the latter did not
answer to their letter.
On Oct. 31, 1990, students and their parents filed special civil actions for Mandamus, Certiorari and
prohibition, alleging that the respondents acted without or in excess of their jurisdiction and with
grave abuse of discretion in ordering their expulsion without prior notice and hearing, hence, in
violation of their right to due process, their right to free public education and their right to freedom of
speech, religion and worship. Petitioners prayed for the voiding of the order of expulsion or dropping
from the rolls issued by the District Supervisor; prohibiting and enjoining respondent from barring
them from classes; and compelling the respondent and all persons acting for him to admit and order
their(Petitioners) re-admission I their respective schools.
On November 27, 1990, Court issued a TRO and writ of preliminary mandatory injunction,
commanding the respondents to immediately re-admit the petitioners to their respective classes until
further orders.

On May 31, the Solicitor General filed a consolidated comment to the petitions defending the
expulsion orders issued by the respondents.
Petitioners stressed that while they do not take part in the compulsory flag ceremony, they do not
engage in external acts or behavior that would offend their countrymen who believe in expressing
their love of country through observance of the flag ceremony. They quietly stand at attention during
the flag ceremony to show their respect for the right of those who choose to participate in the solemn
proceedings. Since they do not engage in disruptive behavior, there is no warrant for their expulsion.
Issue:
Whether or not the expulsion of the members of Jehovahs Witness from the schools violates right
receive free education.
Held:
The expulsion of the members of Jehovahs Witness from the schools where they are enrolled will
violate their right as Philippine citizens, under the 1987 Constitution, to receive free education, for it
is the duty of the state to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education, and to
make such education accessible to all (Sec. I, Art XIV). Nevertheless, their right not to participate in
the Flag Ceremony does not give them a right to disrupt such patriotic exercises. If they quietly stand
at attention during flag ceremony while their classmates and teachers salute the flag, sing the
national anthem and recite the patriotic pledge, we do not see how such conduct may possibly
disturb the peace, or pose a grave and present danger of a serious evil to public safety, public
morals, public health or any legitimate public interest that the state has a right and duty to prevent.
It is appropriate to recall the Japanese occupation of our country in 1942-1944 when every Filipino,
regardless of religious persuasion, in fear of the invader, saluted the Japanese flag and bowed before
every Japanese soldier, perhaps if petitioners had lived through that dark period of our history, they
would not quibble now about saluting the Phil. Flag.
The petitions for certiorari and prohibition are granted and expulsion orders are hereby annulled and
set aside.

BENJAMIN V. VICTORIANO V. ELIZALDE ROPE WORKER UNION


Benjamin Victoriano vs Elizalde Rope Workers Union
59 SCRA 54 Political Law Primacy of the Constitution over Contractual Rights
FACTS:
Benjamin Victoriano, an Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) member, has been an employee of the Elizalde Rope
Factory (ERF) since 1958. He was also a member of the EPWU (Elizalde Rope Workers Union). Under
the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between ERF and EPWU, a close shop agreement is being
enforced which means that employment in the factory relies on the membership in the EPWU; that in
order to retain employment in the said factory one must be a member of the said Union. In 1962,
Victoriano tendered his resignation from EPWU claiming that as per RA 3350 he is an exemption to
the close shop agreement by virtue of his being a member of the INC because apparently in the INC,
one is forbidden from being a member of any labor union. It was only in 1974 that his resignation
from the Union was acted upon by EPWU which notified ERF about it. ERF then moved to terminate
Victoriano due to his non-membership from the EPWU. EPWU and ERF reiterated that he is not exempt
from the close shop agreement because RA 3350, which provides that close shop agreements shall
not cover members of any religious sects which prohibit affiliation of their members in any such labor
organization, is unconstitutional and that said law violates the EPWUs and ERFs legal/contractual
rights.
ISSUE:
Whether or not RA 3350 is unconstitutional.
HELD:
No. The right to religion prevails over contractual or legal rights. As such, an INC member may refuse
to join a labor union and despite the fact that there is a close shop agreement in the factory where he
was employed, his employment could not be validly terminated for his non-membership in the
majority therein. Further, the right to join a union includes the right not to join a union. The law is not
unconstitutional. It recognizes both the rights of unions and employers to enforce terms of contracts
and at the same time it recognizes the workers right to join or not to join union. RA 3550 recognizes
as well the primacy of a constitutional right over a contractual right.

VERSION 2
Benjamin Vidoriano Vs Elizalde Rope Workers union
GR No. L-25246 September 12 1974
FACTS:
Benjamin victoriano a member of iglesia ni cristo had been in the employ of the Elizalde Rope factory
Inc since 1958. Her was a member of elizalde rope workers union which had with the company a CBA
containing a closed shop provision which reads as follow Membership union shall be required as a
condition of employment for all permanent employees worker covered by this agreement. RA 3350
was enacted introducing an amendment to paragraph (4) subsection (a) of section 4 of RA 875 as
follows but such agreement shall not cover members of any religious sect which prohibit affiliation
of their member in any such 0labor organization Benjamin victoriano presents his resignation to
appellant union thereupon the union wrote a formal letter to separate the appellee from the service in
view of the fact that he was resigning from the union as member of the company notified the apellee
and his counsel that unless the appellee could achieve a satisfactory arrangement with the union the
company would be constrained to dismiss him from the service . this prompted appellee to file an
action for injunction to enjoin the company and the union from dismissing apallee.
ISSUE:
WON RA 3350 is unconstitutional
HELD:
the constitution provision only prohibits legislation for the support of any religious tenets or the
modes of worship of any sect, thus forestalling compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or
the chosen form of religion within limits of utmost amplitude. RA 3350 does not require as a
qualification on condition in joining any lawful association membership in any particular religion on in
any religious sect neither does the act requires affiliation with a religious sect that prohibits its
member from joining a labor union as a condition on qualification for withdrawing from labor union RA
3350 only exempts member with such religious affililiation from the required to do a positive act to
exercise the right to join or to resign from the union. He is exempted from form the coverage of any
closed shop agreement that a labor union may have entered into. Therefore RA 3350 is never an
illegal evasion of constitutional provision or prohibition to accomplish a desired result which is lawful
in itself by vering or following a legal way to do it.