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Ramirez v. CA, G.R. No.

93833, 248 SCRA 590, September 28, 1995 [FULL CASE DIGEST] Recording
of conversation through a tape recorder
The language of the Anti-Wire Tapping Law is clear and unambiguous.
The provision clearly makes it illegal for ANY person, NOT AUTHORIZED BY ALL PARTIES to any private
communication to secretly record such communication by means of a tape recorder.

A civil case was filed by petitioner Ramirez alleging that the private respondent, Garcia, allegedly
insulted and humiliated her during a confrontation in the office, in an offensive manner contrary to
morals, good customs and public policy.

To support her claim, petitioner produced a verbatim transcript of the event and sought moral

In response, private respondent filed a criminal case alleging violation of ANTI-WIRE TAPPING
LAW for secretly taping the confrontation.

Whether the act of recording through a tape constitutes an offense? YES.

The Court ruled that the language of the law is clear and unambiguous. The provision clearly
makes it illegal for ANY person, NOT AUTHORIZED BY ALL PARTIES to any private
communication to secretly record such communication by means of a tape recorder.

The law makes no distinction as to whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to
be a party other than or different from those involved in the private communication. The statute's
intent to penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of the
qualifier "any".

The nature of the conversations is immaterial to a violation of the statute. The substance of the
same need not be specifically alleged in the information. The mere allegation that an individual
made a secret recording of a private communication by means of a tape recorder would suffice to
constitute an offense under Section 1 of R.A. 4200.

Petitioner's contention that the phrase "private communication" in Section 1 of R.A. 4200 does not
include "private conversations" narrows the ordinary meaning of the word "communication" to a
point of absurdity. In its ordinary signification, communication connotes the act of sharing or
imparting signification, communication connotes the act of sharing or imparting, as in a
conversation, or signifies the "process by which meanings or thoughts are shared between
individuals through a common system of symbols (as language signs or gestures)."

These definitions are broad enough to include verbal or non-verbal, written or expressive
communications of "meanings or thoughts" which are likely to include the emotionally-charged
exchange between petitioner and private respondent, in the privacy of the latter's office.

In Gaanan v. Intermediate Appellate Court, a case which dealt with the issue of telephone
wiretapping, we held that the use of a telephone extension for the purpose of overhearing a private
conversation without authorization did not violate R.A. 4200 because a telephone extension devise
was neither among those "device(s) or arrangement(s)" enumerated, following the principle that
"penal statutes must be construed strictly in favor of the accused."

In this case, the use of tape recorder falls under the devices enumerated in the law (Dictaphone,
Dictagraph, Detectaphone, Walkie-talkie, and Tape recorder).Therefore, the act of recording
through the tape constitutes an offense.

The instant case turns on a different note, because the applicable facts and circumstances pointing
to a violation of R.A. 4200 suffer from no ambiguity, and the statute itself explicitly mentions the
unauthorized "recording" of private communications with the use of tape-recorders as among the
acts punishable.

Zulueta vs. Court of Appeals 253 SCRA 699 Gr No. 107383, February 20, 1996
Petitioner, Cecilia Zulueta is married to private respondent, Dr. Alfredo Martin. That petitioner accused her
husband of infidelity.

That on March 26, 1982, petitioner went to the clinic of private respondent, who is a doctor of medicine,
without the consent of the latter. That on the same date mentioned, petitioner opened the drawers and
cabinet of her husband and took 157 documents and papers consisting of private correspondence between
Dr. Martin and his alleged paramours. The documents found by petitioner were seized for use as evidence in
a case for legal separation filed by Zulueta. Dr. Martin brought this action below for recovery of the
documents and papers and for damages against petitioner. The RTC, decided in favor of private respondent,
declaring him the capital/exclusive owner of properties described and ordering petitioner to return the
properties to Dr. Martin and pay him nominal and moral damages and attorneys fees, and cost of the suit.
Furthermore, petitioner and her attorneys and representatives were enjoined from using or
submitting/admitting as evidence the documents and papers in question. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision made by the Regional Trial Court. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: W/N the documents and papers in question are admissible in evidence.
NO. The Supreme Court held that the documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence. The
constitutional injunction declaring the privacy of communication and correspondence [to be] inviolable
(Sec.3, Par.1, Art.III, 1987 Constitution)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 provision in the constitution is if there is a lawful order [from a] court or
when public safety or order requires otherwise as provide by law. (Sec.3, Par.1, Art.III, 1987 Constitution)
Any violation of this provision renders the evidence obtained inadmissiblefor any purpose in any proceeding.
(Sec.3, Par.2, Art.III,1987 Constitution) 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 ensures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by makingit privileged. Neither
husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without consent of the affected spouse while the
marriage subsists. (Sec.22, Rule130, Rules of Court). Neither maybe 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. (Sec.24, Rule 130, Rules of Court)
Case Digest on Gaanan v. IAC, 145 SCRA 112 (1986) Gaanan v. IAC, 145 SCRA 112 (1986)
Facts: Complainant Atty. Pintor and Montebon offered to withdraw the complaint for direct assault they filed
against Laconico after demanding P8,000 from him. This demand was heard by Atty. Gaanan through a
telephone extension as requested by Laconico so as to personally hear the proposed conditions for the
settlement. Atty. Pintor was subsequently arrested in an entrapment operation upon receipt of the money.
Since Atty. Gaanan listened to the telephone conversation without complainant''s consent, complainant
charged Gaanan and Laconico with violation of the Anti- Wiretapping Act (RA 4200).
ISSUE: W/N an extension telephone is among the prohibited devices in Sec. 1 of RA 4200 such that iuts use
to overhear a private conversation would constitute an unlawful interception of communication between 2
parties using a telephone line.
HELD: NO An extension tel. cannot be placed in the same category as a dictaphone, dictagraph, or other
devices enumerated in Sec. 1 of the law as the use thereof cannot be considered as "tapping" the wire or
cable of a telephone line. This section refers to instruments whose installation or presence cannot be
presumed by the party or parties being overheard because, by their very nature, they are not of common
usage and their purpose is precisely for tapping, intercepting, or recording a tel. conversation. The tel.
extension in this case was not installed for that purpose. It just happened to be there for ordinary office use.
Furthermore, it is a general rule that penal statutes must be construed strictly in favor of the accused. Thus
in the case of doubt as in this case, on WON an extension tel. is included in the phrase "device or
arrangement" the penal statute must be construed as not including an extension tel. A perusal of the Senate

Congressional Record shows that our lawmakers intended to discourage, through punishment, persons
such as government authorities or representatives of organized groups from installing devices in order to
gather evidence for use in court or to intimidate, blackmail or gain some unwarranted advantage over the tel.
users. Consequently, the mere act of listening , in order to be punishable must strictly be with the use of the
enumerated devices in RA 4200 or others of similar nature.

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 MacapagalArroyo 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. 032784. 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

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.

G.R. No. L-68635 May 14, 1987

Maravilla Illustre wrote to the justices of the SC, complaining about the dismissal of the her case (aland
dispute involving large estate) by a minute-resolution. Illustre claims that it was an unjust
resolutiondeliberately and knowingly promulgated by the 1st Division, that it was railroaded with such hurry
beyondthe limits of legal and judicial ethics. Illustre also threatened in her letter that, there is nothing final in
this world. This case is far from finished by a long shot. She threatened that she would call for a press
conference.Illustres letter basically attacks the participation of Justice Pedro Yap in the first division. It was
established that Justice Yap was previously a law partner of Atty. Ordonez, now the Solgen and counsel for
the opponents. The letters were referred to the SC en banc. The SC clarified that when the minuteresolution was issued, the presiding justice then was not Justice Yap but Justice Abad Santos (who was
about to retire), and that Justice Yap was not aware that Atty. Ordonez was the opponents counsel. It was
also made clear that Justice Yap eventually inhibited himself from the case.Still, Illustre wrote letters to the
other justices (Narvasa, Herrera, Cruz), again with more threats to expose the kind of judicial performance
readily constituting travesty of justice. True to her threats, Illustre later filed a criminal complaint before the
Tanodbayan, charging the Justices with knowingly rendering an unjust Minute Resolution. Justice Yap and
Solgen Ordonez were also charged of using their influence in the First Division in rendering said Minute
Resolution. Atty LAURETA was the counsel of Illustre. He circulates copies of the complaint to the press,
without any copy furnished the Court, nor the Justices charged. It was made to appear that the Justices
were charged with graft and corruption. The Tanodbayan dismissed the complaint. Now, the SC is charging
them with contempt. They claim that the letters were private communication, and that they did not intend to
dishonor the court.
Issue: WON privacy of communication was violated
The letters formed part of the judicial record and are a matter of concern for the entire court.
There is no vindictive reprisal involved here. The Courts authority and duty under the premises is
unmistakable. It must act to preserve its honor and dignity from the scurrilous attacks of an irate
lawyer,mouthed by his client, and to safeguard the morals and ethics of the legal profession. Were not
convinced that Atty Laureta had nothing to do with Ilustres letters, nor with the complaint filed with the
tanodbayan. Atty. Laureta repeated disparaging remarks such as undue influence, powerful influence in
his pleadings. This was bolstered by the report that Laureta distributed copies of the complaint to the
newspaper companies in envelopes bearing his name. He was also heard over the radio. Lastly, as Illustres
lawyer, he had control of the proceedings. SC resolutions are beyond investigation from other departments
of the government because of separation of powers. The correctness of the SC decisions is conclusive upon
other branches of government.
Gutang v. People
G.R. No. 135406 (July 11, 2000)
HELD: Receipt by the accused of prohibited drugs is inadmissible in evidence.
*Cant find any digest. Nasa Bar review materials to. At eto lang din ginawa nila sa digest nila.
kmu vs Dir 487 s 623
487 SCRA 623 Political Law Control Power of the President
This case is consolidated with Consolidated with Bayan Muna vs Ermita
In 2005, Executive Order No. 420 was passed. This law sought to harmonize and streamline the countrys id
system. Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bayan Muna, and other concerned groups sought to enjoin the DirectorGeneral from implementing the EO because they allege that the said EO is unconstitutional for it infringes
upon the right to privacy of the people and that the same is a usurpation of legislative power by the

ISSUE: Whether or not the said EO is unconstitutional.

HELD: No. Section 1 of EO 420 directs these government entities to adopt a unified multi-purpose ID
system. Thus, all government entities that issue IDs as part of their functions under existing laws are
required to adopt a uniform data collection and format for their IDs.
Section 1 of EO 420 enumerates the purposes of the uniform data collection and format. The President may
by executive or administrative order direct the government entities under the Executive department to adopt
a uniform ID data collection and format. Sec 17, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the
President shall have control of all executive departments, bureaus and offices. The same Section also
mandates the President to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. Certainly, under this constitutional
power of control the President can direct all government entities, in the exercise of their functions under
existing laws, to adopt a uniform ID data collection and ID format to achieve savings, efficiency, reliability,
compatibility, and convenience to the public.
The Presidents constitutional power of control is self-executing and does not need any implementing
legislation. Of course, the Presidents power of control is limited to the Executive branch of government and
does not extend to the Judiciary or to the independent constitutional commissions. Thus, EO 420 does not
apply to the Judiciary, or to the COMELEC which under existing laws is also authorized to issue voters ID
cards. This only shows that EO 420 does not establish a national ID system because legislation is needed to
establish a single ID system that is compulsory for all branches of government.
AYER PRODUCTIONS VS. CAPULONG [160 SCRA 861; G.R. NO. L-82380; 29 APR 1988]
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Facts: Petitioner McElroy an Australian film maker, and his movie production company, Ayer Productions,
envisioned, sometime in 1987, for commercial viewing and for Philippine and international release, the
historic peaceful struggle of the Filipinos at EDSA. The proposed motion picture entitled "The Four Day
Revolution" was endorsed by the MTRCB as and other government agencies consulted. Ramos also
signified his approval of the intended film production.
It is designed to be viewed in a six-hour mini-series television play, presented in a "docu-drama" style,
creating four fictional characters interwoven with real events, and utilizing actual documentary footage as
background. David Williamson is Australia's leading playwright and Professor McCoy (University of New
South Wales) is an American historian have developed a script.
Enrile declared that he will not approve the use, appropriation, reproduction and/or exhibition of his name, or
picture, or that of any member of his family in any cinema or television production, film or other medium for
advertising or commercial exploitation. petitioners acceded to this demand and the name of Enrile was
deleted from the movie script, and petitioners proceeded to film the projected motion picture. However, a
complaint was filed by Enrile invoking his right to privacy. RTC ordered for the desistance of the movie
production and making of any reference to plaintiff or his family and from creating any fictitious character in
lieu of plaintiff which nevertheless is based on, or bears substantial or marked resemblance to Enrile. Hence
the appeal.
Issue: Whether or Not freedom of expression was violated.
Held: Yes. Freedom of speech and of expression includes the freedom to film and produce motion pictures
and exhibit such motion pictures in theaters or to diffuse them through television. Furthermore the
circumstance that the production of motion picture films is a commercial activity expected to yield monetary
profit, is not a disqualification for availing of freedom of speech and of expression.
The projected motion picture was as yet uncompleted and hence not exhibited to any audience. Neither
private respondent nor the respondent trial Judge knew what the completed film would precisely look like.
There was, in other words, no "clear and present danger" of any violation of any right to privacy. Subject

matter is one of public interest and concern. The subject thus relates to a highly critical stage in the history
of the country.
At all relevant times, during which the momentous events, clearly of public concern, that petitioners propose
to film were taking place, Enrile was a "public figure:" Such public figures were held to have lost, to some
extent at least, their right to privacy.
The line of equilibrium in the specific context of the instant case between the constitutional freedom of
speech and of expression and the right of privacy, may be marked out in terms of a requirement that the
proposed motion picture must be fairly truthful and historical in its presentation of events.
181 SCRA 529
Facts: On 23 October 1989, RA 6766 (Act providing for an organic act for the Cordillera Autonomous
Region) was enacted into law. The plebiscite was scheduled 30 January 1990. The Comelec, by virtue of the
power vested by the 1987 Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code (BP 881), RA 6766 and other pertinent
election laws, promulgated Resolution 2167, to govern the conduct of the plebiscite on the said Organic Act
for the Cordillera Autonomous Region. Pablito V. Sanidad, a newspaper columnist of Overview for the
Baguio Midland Courier assailed the constitutionality of Section 19 (Prohibition on columnists,
commentators or announcers) of the said resolution, which provides During the plebiscite campaign period,
on the day before and on 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.
Issue: Whether columnists are prohibited from expressing their opinions, or should be under Comelec
regulation, during plebiscite periods.
Held: Article 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 paragraph of RA 6646 (a columnist, commentator, announcer or personality, who is a
candidate for any elective office is required to take a leave of absence from his work during the campaign
period) 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 2167 has no statutory basis.
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
G.R. No. 133486 January 28, 2000 ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, petitioner, vs.
Facts : Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing Commission on Elections
(Comelec) en banc Resolution No. 98-14191 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
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 [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
Petitioner ABS-CBN to undertake the exit survey. On May 9, 1998, this Court issued the Temporary
Restraining Order prayed for by petitioner. We directed the Comelec 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 : WON the Comelec acted with grave abuse of discretion in prohibiting ABS CBN in conducting exit
polls during the election
Held : two theoretical test in determining the validity of restrictions to such freedoms, as follows: These are
the "clear and present danger" rule and the "dangerous tendency" rule. 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, . . 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 A
limitation on the freedom of expression may be justified only by a danger of such substantive character that
the state has a right to prevent. Unlike in the "dangerous tendency" doctrine, the danger must not only be
clear but also present. "Present" refers to the time element; the danger must not only be probable but very
likely to be inevitable.33 The evil sought to be avoided must be so substantive as to justify a clamp over
one's mouth or a restraint of a writing instrument 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. With the foregoing premises, The SC conclude that the
interest of the state in reducing disruption is outweighed by the drastic abridgment of the constitutionally
guaranteed rights of the media and the electorate. Quite the contrary, instead of disrupting elections, exit
polls properly conducted and publicized can be vital tools for the holding of honest, orderly, peaceful
and credible elections; and for the elimination of election-fixing, fraud and other electoral ills.
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 AntiWiretapping 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
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 anti-wiretapping 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.
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: Petitioner has a television program entitled "Ang Iglesia ni Cristo" aired on Channel 2 every Saturday
and on Channel 13 every Sunday. The program presents and propagates petitioner's religious beliefs,
doctrines and practices often times in comparative studies with other religions. Petitioner submitted to the
respondent Board of Review for Moving Pictures and Television the VTR tapes of its TV program Series
Nos. 116, 119, 121 and 128. The Board classified the series as "X" or not for public viewing on the ground
that they "offend and constitute an attack against other religions which is expressly prohibited by law." On
November 28, 1992, it appealed to the Office of the President the classification of its TV Series No. 128
which allowed it through a letter of former Executive Secretary Edelmiro A. Amante, Sr., addressed for
Henrietta S. Mendez reversing the decision of the respondent Board. According to the letter the episode in is
protected by the constitutional guarantee of free speech and expression and no indication that the episode
poses any clear and present danger. Petitioner also filed Civil Case. Petitioner alleged that the respondent
Board acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in requiring petitioner to submit the VTR
tapes of its TV program and in x-rating them. It cited its TV Program Series Nos. 115, 119, 121 and 128. In
their Answer, respondent Board invoked its power under PD No. 19861 in relation to Article 201 of the
Revised Penal Code. The Iglesia ni Cristo insists on the literal translation of the bible and says that our
(Catholic) veneration of the Virgin Mary is not to be condoned because nowhere it is found in the bible. The
board contended that it outrages Catholic and Protestant's beliefs. RTC ruled in favor of petitioners. CA
however reversed it hence this petition.
Issue: Whether or Not the "ang iglesia ni cristo" program is not constitutionally protected as a form of
religious exercise and expression.

Held: Yes. Any act that restrains speech is accompanied with presumption of invalidity. It is the burden of the
respondent Board to overthrow this presumption. If it fails to discharge this burden, its act of censorship will
be struck down. This is true in this case. So-called "attacks" are mere criticisms of some of the deeply held
dogmas and tenets of other religions. RTCs ruling clearly suppresses petitioner's freedom of speech and
interferes with its right to free exercise of religion. attack is different from offend any race or religion. The
respondent Board may disagree with the criticisms of other religions by petitioner but that gives it no excuse
to interdict such criticisms, however, unclean they may be. Under our constitutional scheme, it is not the task
of the State to favor any religion by protecting it against an attack by another religion. Religious dogmas and
beliefs are often at war and to preserve peace among their followers, especially the fanatics, the
establishment clause of freedom of religion prohibits the State from leaning towards any religion.
Respondent board cannot censor the speech of petitioner Iglesia ni Cristo simply because it attacks other
religions, even if said religion happens to be the most numerous church in our country. The basis of freedom
of religion is freedom of thought and it is best served by encouraging the marketplace of dueling ideas. It is
only where it is unavoidably necessary to prevent an immediate and grave danger to the security and
welfare of the community that infringement of religious freedom may be justified, and only to the smallest
extent necessary to avoid the danger. There is no showing whatsoever of the type of harm the tapes will
bring about especially the gravity and imminence of the threatened harm. Prior restraint on speech, including
religious speech, cannot be justified by hypothetical fears but only by the showing of a substantive and
imminent evil. It is inappropriate to apply the clear and present danger test to the case at bar because the
issue involves the content of speech and not the time, place or manner of speech. Allegedly, unless the
speech is first allowed, its impact cannot be measured, and the causal connection between the speech and
the evil apprehended cannot be established. The determination of the question as to whether or not such
vilification, exaggeration or fabrication falls within or lies outside the boundaries of protected speech or
expression is a judicial function which cannot be arrogated by an administrative body such as a Board of
Censors." A system of prior restraint may only be validly administered by judges and not left to
administrative agencies.
MTRCB v. ABS-CBN G.R. No. 155282. January 17, 2005
J. Sandoval Gutierrez
Respondent abs-cbn aired Prosti-tuition, an episode of the TV program The Inside Story produced and
hosted by respondent Legarda. It depicted female students moonlighting as prostitutes to enable them to
pay for their tuition fees.
PWU was named as the school of some of the students involved and the faade of the PWU building
served as the background of the episode. This caused upsoar in the PWU community and they filed a lettercomplaint to the MTRCB.
MTRCB alleged that respondents
1) Did not submit the inside story to petitioner for review
2) Exhibited the same without its permission, thus violating sec 7 of PD 1986 and some sections of MTRCB
rules and regulations
ABS-CBN averred:
1) The Inside Story is a public affairs program, news documentary and socio-political editorial, its airing is
protected by the constitutional provision on freedom of expression and of the press
2) Petitioners has no power, authority and jurisdiction to impose any form of prior restraint upon

After hearing and submission of the parties memoranda, MTRCB investigating committee ordered the
respondents to pay P20,000 for non-submission of the program
MTRCB affirmed the ruling
Respondents filed a special civil action for certiorari with RTC QC. RTC rendered a decision in favor of
respondents, annulling and setting aside the decision and resolution of the MTRCB and declaring and
decreeing that certain sections of PD 1986 & MTRCB do not cover the TV program Inside Story, they
being a public affairs programs which can be equated to a newspaper
Hence, this petition
Whether the MTRCB has the power or authority to review the Inside Story prior its exhibition or broadcast
by TV.
Sec 3 of PD 1986 enumerates the powers, functions and duties of the board:
b) to screen, review and examine all motion pictures herein defined, TV programs, including publicity
The court in INC v. CA rules that PD 1986 gives MTRCB the power to screen, review and examine ALL TV
*LESSON* where the law does not make any exceptions, courts may not exempt something therefrom,
unless there is compelling reason apparent in the law to justify it.
Thus, when the law says all TV programs, the word all covers all tv programs whether religious, public
affairs, news docu, etc
It then follows that since the Inside Story is a TV Program, MTRCB has the power to review it
The only exemptions from the MTRCBs power to review are those mentioned in Sec 7 of PD 1986
1) TV programs imprinted or exhibited by Phil govt and/or departments and agencies
2) Newsreels
In a desperate attempt to be exempted, respondents content that Inside Story falls under the category of
MTRCB rules and reg defines newsreels as straight news reporting, as distinguished from analyses,
commentaries, and opinions. Talk shows on a given issue are not considered newsreels.
Clearly, Inside Story is not a newsreel but more of a public affairs program and within petitioners power of
Issue related to Consti law:
Petitioners power to review television programs under Section 3(b) of P. D. No. 1986 does not amount to
prior restraint.

It is significant to note that in Iglesia ni Cristo, this Court declared that freedom of religion has been accorded
a preferred status by the framers of our fundamental laws, past and present, designed to protect the
broadest possible liberty of conscience, to allow each man to believe as his conscience directs x x x. Yet
despite the fact that freedom of religion has been accorded a preferred status, still this Court, did not exempt
the Iglesia ni Cristos religious program from petitioners review power.
Respondents claim that the showing of The Inside Story is protected by the constitutional provision on
freedom of speech and of the press. However, there has been no declaration at all by the framers of the
Constitution that freedom of expression and of the press has a preferred status.
If this Court, in Iglesia ni Cristo, did not exempt religious programs from the jurisdiction and review power of
petitioner MTRCB, with more reason, there is no justification to exempt therefrom The Inside Story which,
according to respondents, is protected by the constitutional provision on freedom of expression and of the
press, a freedom bearing no preferred status.
The only exceptions from the MTRCBs power of review are those expressly mentioned in Section 7 of P. D.
No. 1986, such as (1) television programs imprinted or exhibited by the Philippine Government and/or its
departments and agencies, and (2) newsreels.
Social Weather Stations v. COMELECG.R. No. 147571May 5, 2001
On the one hand, Social Weather Stations (SWS) is an institution conducting surveysin various fields.
Kamahalan Publishing Corp., on the other hand, publishes theManila Standard which is a newspaper of
general circulation and features items of information including election surveys. Both SWS and Kamahalan
are contesting thevalidity and enforcement of R.A. 9006 (Fair Election Act), especially section 5.4which
provides that surveys affecting national candidates shall not be published 15days before an election and
surveys affecting local candidates shall not bepublished 7 days before the election.SWS wanted to conduct
an election survey throughout the period of the electionsboth at the national and local levels and release to
the media the results of suchsurvey as well as publish them directly. Kamahalan, for its part, intends to
publishelection survey results up to the last day of the elections on May 14, 2001.
Whether or not the restriction on the publication of election survey constitutes aprior restraint on the exercise
of freedom of speech without any clear and presentdanger to justify such restraint
Yes, Section 5.4 of R.A. 9006 constitutes an unconstitutional abridgement of freedom of speech,
expression, and the press. The power of the COMELEC over media franchises is limited to ensuring equal
opportunity, time, space, and the right to reply, as well as to fix reasonable rates of charge for the use of
media facilities for public information and forms among candidates. Here, the prohibition of speech is direct,
absolute, and substantial. Nor does this section pass the Obrient test for content related regulation because
(1) it suppresses one type of expression while allowing other types such as editorials, etc.; and (2) the
restriction is greater than what is needed to protect government interest because the interest can e
protected by narrower restrictions such as subsequent punishment .Note: Justice Kapunans dissenting
opinion basically says that the test of clear and present danger is inappropriate to use in order to test the
validity of this section. Instead, he purports to engage in a form of balancing by weighing and balancing the
circumstances to determine whether public interest is served by the regulation of the free enjoyment of the
rights. However, he failed to show why, on the balance, the other considerations (for example, prevention of
last minute pressure on voters)should outweigh the value of freedom of expression
People vs Perez. (waley)

G.R. No. L-16027May 30, 1962LUMEN POLICARPIO,plaintiff-appellant, vs.THE MANILA TIMES

CONSORCIO BORJE,defendant-appellees.
Whether or not the defendant is guilty of having publishedlibelous/defamatory articles?

Policarpio was executive secretary of UNESCO Natl Commission. As such, she had filed charges against
Herminia Reyes, one of her subordinates in the Commission, & caused the latter to be separated from the
service. Reyes, in turn, filed counter-chargeswhich were referred for investigation. Pending completion,
Reyes filed a complaint against Policarpio for alleged malversation of public funds & another complaint for
estafa thru falsification of public documents.
Policarpio filed a libel suit to Manila Times Publishing Co. for publishing two defamatory, libelous and false
articles/news items in Saturday Mirror of August 11, 1956 and in the Daily Mirror of August 13,
FRAUDSUnesco Official Head Accused on Supplies, Funds Use byColleague Daily Mirror (Aug 13, 1956):
Fraud ChargesAgainst Unesco Woman Official; Fiscal Sets Prelim Quizof Criminal Suit on Aug 22
The articles contain news on Reyes charges against Policarpio for having malversed public property and of
having fraudulently soughtreimbursement of supposed official expenses. It was said thatPolicarpio used
several sheets of government stencils for her private and personal use. The other charge refers to the
supposedreimbursements she had made for a trip to Quezon andPangasinan. Reyes complaint alleged that
Policarpio had asked for refund of expenses for use of her car when she had actually madethe trip aboard
an army plane. Policarpio was said to be absentfrom the Bayambang conference for which she also sought
arefund of expenses.
CFI dismissed the complaint on the ground that the plaintiff had notproven that defendants had acted
maliciously in publishing thearticles, although portions thereof were inaccurate or false.
The headline of the Aug 11 article was given prominence with a 6-column (about 11 inches) banner headline
of 1-inch types. Its sub-title PCAC raps Policarpio on fraud printed in bold 1 cm type is not true Also, the
statement in the 1st paragraph of the article, to the effect that plaintiff was charged with malversation &
estafa by the Presl Complaint & Action Commission (PCAC) is not true, the complaints for said offenses
having been filed by Reyes. Neither is it true that said criminal action was initiated as a result of current
administrative investigation.
PLAINTIFF maintains that the effect of these false statements was to give the general impression that said
investigation by Col. Albahad shown that plaintiff was guilty and that, as a consequence, PCAC had filed the
corresponding complaints w/ the fiscals office. She also said that the article did not mention that fact that the
number of stencils involved in the charge was only 18 or 20; that the sum allegedly misappropriated by her
was only P54, and tha tthe falsification imputed to her was said to have been committed by claiming that
certain expenses for which she had sought reimbursement were incurred in trips during the period from July
1 Sept 30 1955, although the trips actually were made from Jul 8-Aug 31, 1955. By omitting these details,

plaintiff avers that the Aug11 article had the effect of conveying the idea that the offenses imputed to her
were more serious than they really were.
DEFENDANTS contend that though the complaints were filed, not by the PCAC but by Reyes, this
inaccuracy is insignificant &immaterial to the case for the fact is that said complaints were filed. As regards
the number of sheets & the nature of the falsification charged, they argue that these details do not affect
the truthfulness of the article as a whole. Besides, defendants had no means of knowing such details. SC:
Prior to Aug 11, Col. Alba had already taken the testimony of witnesses; hence, defendants could have
ascertained the details had they wanted to. The number of stencil sheets used was actually mentioned in
the Aug 13 article.
Moreover, the penalty for estafa/embezzlement depends partly upon the amount of the damage caused to
the offended party. Hence, the amount or value of the property embezzled is material to said offense.
It is obvious that the filing of criminal complaints by another agency of the Govt, like the PCAC, particularly
after an investigation conducted by the same, imparts the ideal that the probability of guilt is greater than
when the complaints are filed by a private individual, especially when the latter is a former subordinate of the
alleged offender, who was responsible for the dismissal of the complainant from her employment.
Newspapers must enjoy a certain degrees of discretion in determining the manner in which a given event
should be presented to the public, and the importance to be attached thereto, as a news item, and that its
presentation in a sensational manner is not per se illegal. Newspapers may publish news items relative to
judicial, legislative or other official proceedings, which are not of confidential nature, because the public is
entitled to know the truth with respect to such proceedings.
But, to enjoy immunity, a publication containing derogatory information must be not only true, but, also, fair,
and it must be made in good faith and without any comments or remarks.
Art. 354, RPC provides: Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious
even if it be true, if no good intention & justifiable motive for making it is shown, except,
A fair and true report, made in good faith, w/o any comments or remarks.
In the case at bar, aside from containing information derogatory to the plaintiff, the Aug 11 article presented
her in a worse predicament than that in which she, in fact was. Said article was no ta fair and true report of
the proceedings therein alluded to. What is more, its sub-title PCAC raps Policarpio on fraud is a comment
or remark, besides being false. Accordingly, the defamatory imputations contained in said article are
presumed to be malicious
In falsely stating that the complaints were filed by PCAC, either defendants knew the truth or they did not. If
they did, then the publication would actually be malicious. I f they did not, or if they acted under a
misapprehension of the facts, they were guilty of negligence in making said statement. We note that the Aug
13 article rectified a major inaccuracy in the 1st article, by stating that neither Col. Alba nor the PCAC had
filed the complaints. It likewise indicated the number of stencil sheets involved. But, this rectification or
clarification does not wipe out the responsibility arising from the publication of the Aug 11 article, although it
should mitigate it.
Decision reversed. Defendants ordered to pay plaintiff mora ldamages, attys fees plus cost

Borjal vs. CA, 301 SCRA 1; G.R. No. 126466, January 14, 1999

(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.
ledesma vs ca 278 scra 656 eto lang nakita ko. Di ko alam kung tama.
G.R. No. 113216 September 5, 1997 RHODORA M. LEDESMA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS
and HON. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of RTC, Quezon City,
Ledesma Vs Ca
Facts : Sometime in April 1992, a complaint for libel was filed by Dr. Juan F. Torres, Jr. against Dr. Rhodora
M. Ledesma, petitioner herein, before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office, docketed as I.S. No. 92-5433A.
Petitioner filed her counter-affidavit to the complaint. Finding "sufficient legal and factual basis," the Quezon
City Prosecutor's Office filed on July 6, 1992 an Information for libel against petitioner with the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City, Branch 104. A petition for review of the resolution of Assistant City Prosecutor Vestil
was filed by petitioner before the Department of Justice pursuant to P.D. No. 77 as amended by P.D. No.
911. The Department of Justice gave due course to the petition and directed the Quezon City prosecutor to
move for deferment of further proceedings and to elevate the entire records of the case. 5 Accordingly, a
"Motion to Defer, Arraignment" dated September 7, 1992 was filed by Prosecutor Tirso M. Gavero before the
court a quo. 6 On September 9, 1992, the trial court granted the motion and deferred petitioner's
arraignment until the final termination of the petition for review. 7 Without the consent or approval of the trial
prosecutor, private complainant, through counsel, filed a Motion to Lift the Order dated September 9, 1992
and to Set the Case for Arraignment/Trial
Issue : WON the letter is libelous
Held : In every case for libel, the following requisites must concur: (a) it must be defamatory; (b) it must be
malicious; (c) it must be given publicity; and (d) the victim must be identifiable Petitioner's letter was written
to seek redress of proper grievance against the inaccurate distribution and payment of professional fees and
against unfair treatment in the Nuclear Medicine Department of the Philippine Heart Center Petitioner's letter
was written to seek redress of proper grievance against the inaccurate distribution and payment of
professional fees and against unfair treatment in the Nuclear Medicine Department of the Philippine Heart
Center. It is a qualified privileged communication under Article 354(1) of the Revised Penal Code Petitioner's
letter was a private communication made in the performance of a moral duty on her part. Her intention was
not to inflict an unjustifiable harm on the private complainant, but to present her grievance to her superior.
The privileged nature of her letter overcomes the presumption of malice. There is no malice when justifiable
motive exists; and in the absence of malice, there is no libel. We note that the information itself failed to
allege the existence of malice Further, we note that the information against petitioner was filed only on July
27, 1992 or one year after June 27, 1991, the date the letter was sent. It is obviously nothing more than a
countercharge to give Complainant Torres a leverage against petitioner's administrative action against him.
gonzalez vs katigbak cant find any.
PITA VS. COURT OF APPEALS [178 SCRA 362; G.R. NO.80806; 5 OCT 1989]
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: On December 1 and 3, 1983, pursuing an Anti-Smut Campaign initiated by the Mayor of the City of
Manila, Ramon D. Bagatsing, elements of the Special Anti-Narcotics Group, Auxilliary Services Bureau,
Western Police District, INP of the Metropolitan Police Force of Manila, seized and confiscated from dealers,
distributors, newsstand owners and peddlers along Manila sidewalks, magazines, publications and other
reading materials believed to be obscene, pornographic and indecent and later burned the seized materials
in public at the University belt along C.M. Recto Avenue, Manila, in the presence of Mayor Bagatsing and
several officers and members of various student organizations.
Among the publications seized, and later burned, was "Pinoy Playboy" magazines published and co-edited
by plaintiff Leo Pita.
Plaintiff filed a case for injunction with prayer for issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction against Mayor
Bagatsing and Narcisco Cabrera, as superintendent of Western Police District of the City of Manila, seeking
to enjoin said defendants and their agents from confiscating plaintiffs magazines or from preventing the sale
or circulation thereof claiming that the magazine is a decent, artistic and educational magazine which is not
per se obscene, and that the publication is protected by the Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech
and of the press. Plaintiff also filed an Urgent Motion for issuance of a temporary restraining order against
indiscriminate seizure, confiscation and burning of plaintiff's "Pinoy Playboy" Magazines, pending hearing on
the petition for preliminary injunction. The Court granted the temporary restraining order. The case was set
for trial upon the lapse of the TRO. RTC ruled that the seizure was valid. This was affirmed by the CA.
Issue: Whether or Not the seizure violative of the freedom of expression of the petitioner.
Held: Freedom of the press is not without restraint as the state has the right to protect society from
pornographic literature that is offensive to public morals, as indeed we have laws punishing the author,
publishers and sellers of obscene publications. However, It is easier said than done to say, that if the
pictures here in question were used not exactly for art's sake but rather for commercial purposes, the
pictures are not entitled to any constitutional protection. Using the Kottinger rule: the test of obscenity is
"whether the tendency of the matter charged as obscene, is to deprave or corrupt those whose minds are
open to such immoral influences and into whose hands a publication or other article charged as being
obscene may fall." Another is whether it shocks the ordinary and common sense of men as an indecency.
Ultimately "whether a picture is obscene or indecent must depend upon the circumstances of the case and
that the question is to be decided by the "judgment of the aggregate sense of the community reached by it."
The government authorities in the instant case have not shown the required proof to justify a ban and to
warrant confiscation of the literature First of all, they were not possessed of a lawful court order: (1) finding
the said materials to be pornography, and (2) authorizing them to carry out a search and seizure, by way of
a search warrant. The court provides that the authorities must apply for the issuance of a search warrant
from a judge, if in their opinion an obscenity seizure is in order and that;
1. The authorities must convince the court that the materials sought to be seized are obscene and pose a
clear and present danger of an evil substantive enough to warrant State interference and action;
2. The judge must determine whether or not the same are indeed obscene. The question is to be resolved
on a case-to-case basis and on the judges sound discretion;
G.R. No. 152072

January 31, 2006


REYES and ANTONIO REYES, Respondents.

G.R. No. 152104

January 31, 2006


REYES and ANTONIO REYES, Petitioners,
PASTOR, Respondents.
The instant cases had their beginnings in 1977 when the National Housing Authority (NHA) filed
expropriation proceedings against the Zuzuarreguis for parcels of land belonging to the latter situated in
Antipolo, Rizal. The said case was ordered archived.

About a month before the aforecited case was ordered archived, the Zuzuarreguis engaged the legal
services of Attys. Romeo G. Roxas and Santiago N. Pastor, to represent them. This was sealed by a LetterAgreement which indicates that: The lawyers endeavor to secure the just compensation with the National
Housing Authority and other governmental agencies at a price of ELEVEN PESOS (P11.00) or more per
square meter. Any lower amount shall not entitle us to any attorneys fees. At such price of P11.00 per
square meter or more our contingent fee[s] is THIRTY PERCENT (30%) of the just compensation. The
lawyers fees shall be in the proportion of the cash/bonds ratio of the just compensation.
A Motion to Set Case for Hearing was filed by Attys. Roxas and Pastor praying that the case be revived and
be set for hearing by the court at the earliest date available in its calendar.
The appropriate proceedings thereafter ensued. A Partial Decision was rendered fixing the just
compensation to be paid to the Zuzuarreguis at P30.00 per square meter.
A Letter-Agreement was executed by and between Antonio Zuzuarregui, Jr., Pacita Javier and Enrique De
Zuzuarregui, on the one hand, and Attys. Romeo G. Roxas and Santiago Pastor, on the other. It confirms an
amendment to their agreement regarding the attorneys fees. The Zuzuarreguis confirmed and agreed that
they are willing to accept as final and complete settlement for their 179 hectares expropriated by NHA a
price of SEVENTEEN PESOS (P17.00) per square meter, or for a total of THIRTY MILLION FOUR
HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P30.4 Million), all payable in NHA Bonds. And that they also agree and
confirm to pay their lawyers and counsels the contingent attorneys fees any and all amount in excess of the
SEVENTEEN PESOS (P17.00) per square meter payable in NHA bonds.
A resolution was issued by the NHA stating that the Zuzuarregui property would be acquired at a cost of
P19.50 per square meter; that the Zuzuarreguis would be paid in NHA Bonds, subject to the availability of
funds; and that the yield on the bonds to be paid to the Zuzuarreguis shall be based on the Central Bank
rate at the time of payment.
The total amount in NHA bonds released by the NHA Legal Department to Atty. Romeo G. Roxas in behalf of
the Zuzuarreguis amounted to P54,500,000.00. Out of this amount, the records show that the amount turned
over to the Zuzuarreguis by Atty. Roxas amounted to P30,520,000.00 in NHA bonds.
Computed at P19.50 per square meter, the 1,790,570.36 square meters property of the Zuzuarreguis was
expropriated at a total price of P34,916,122.00. The total amount released by the NHA was P54,500,000.00.
The difference of P19,583,878.00 is, undoubtedly, the yield on the bonds.
A letter was sent by the Zuzuarreguis new counsel, Jose F. Gonzalez, to Attys. Roxas and Pastor,
demanding that the latter deliver to the Zuzuarreguis the yield corresponding to bonds paid by the NHA
within a period of 10 days from receipt, under pain of administrative, civil and/or criminal action.

Attys. Roxas and Pastor answered via a letter stated therein, among other things, that the amount that they
got seems huge from the surface, but it just actually passed their hands, as it did not really go to them.
A letter was sent by the Zuzuarreguis through Antonio De Zuzuarregui, Jr., to Attys. Romeo G. Roxas and
Santiago N. Pastor, informing the latter that their services as counsels of the Zuzuarreguis (except Betty) in
the expropriation proceedings filed by the NHA was being formally terminated.
The Zuzuarreguis filed a civil action for Sum of Money and Damages before the RTC, Quezon City against
the NHA, Jose B. H. Pedrosa, Atty. Romeo G. Roxas and Atty. Santiago N. Pastor. The Zuzuarreguis
demanded that the yield on the NHA bonds be turned over to them.
A Decision was rendered dismissing the Complaint. It further ordered plaintiffs, jointly and solidarily, to pay
for moral damages, exemplary damages, attorneys fee and the cost of suit.
Upon appeal by the Zuzuarreguis a Decision was eventually promulgated reversing and setting aside the
ruling of RTC. Defendants-Appellees Roxas and Pastor were ordered to return to plaintiffs-appellants the
amount of P12,596,696.425, the balance from the P17,073,122.70, received as yield from NHA bonds after
deducting the reasonable attorneys fees in the amount of P4,476,426.275.25 (P2.50 per square meter of
the 1,790,570.51 square meter)
Both parties filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals.

Attys. Roxas and Pastors Contentions:

The Zuzuarreguis are only entitled to the amount of P17.00 per square meter for the 1,790,570.36
square meters expropriated by the government. This was embodied in the Letter-Agreement wherein the
Zuzuarreguis agreed to accept the price of P17.00 per square meter.

The price of P17.00 was even way above the P11.00 that the Zuzuarreguis were willing to accept
for their properties under the Letter of Engagement executed by the parties earlier.

Computed at P17.00 per square meter, they stress that the amount that should go to the
Zuzuarreguis for their 1,790,570.36 square meters property should be P30,439,696.10, and that in fact the
Zuzuarreguis have received P30,520,000.00.

The Letter-Agreement should stand as law between the parties. Since this Letter-Agreement, which
was "as plain and simple as can be such that there is no need for any further construction," already fixed the
amount that would go to the Zuzuarreguis (P17.00 per square meter), then it should be so.
Zuzuarreguis Contentions:

The amounts awarded them were not enough. According to them, the P12,596,696.425 awarded
by the Court of Appeals was not correct. They should have been awarded the amount of P17,073,122.70.

Quoting the Zuzuarreguis: Respondents Roxas and Pastor retained for themselves the amount of
P3,980,000.00 which represented the agreed attorneys fees of Roxas and Pastor at P2.50 per square
meter. The amount of P20,000,000.00 representing the yield of all the bearer bonds was, in the words of the
Court of Appeals, "deliberately hidden" by respondents Roxas and Pastor from petitioners. By mathematical
computation, the P20,000,000.00 yield should be proportionately divided at the ratio of P17.00 (petitioners)

and P2.50 (share of respondents Roxas and Pastor). Following this ratio of division, of the P20,000,000.00
yield, P17,073,122.70 should pertain to petitioners and the balance of P2,926,877.30 to respondents Roxas
and Pastor. Add this amount to the total of P3,980,000.00 at the agreed rate of P2.50 per square meter, the
total attorneys fees of respondents Roxas and Pastor should be P6,906,877.30, not bad, again in the words
of the Court of Appeals, for handling "a simple expropriation case which ended up in a compromise
agreement." It was, therefore, in error to still deduct the amount of P4,476,426.28 from petitioners share in
the yield in the amount of P17,073,122.70 leaving then only P12,596,696.42. What was done, however, is
that the product of 1,790,570.36 sq m. (area of the expropriated land of petitioners) and P2.50 which is
4,476,426.28 was again deducted from the P17,073,122.70 which is the corresponding share of the
petitioners out of the total yield of P20,000,000.00. If this were a criminal case, petitioners were being
sentenced twice for the same offense.

Legal interest on the amount of P17,073,122.70 be imposed from the date of the filing of the
complaint, including moral and exemplary damages, and attorneys fees.
Dispositive Portion:
The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED but with the MODIFICATION that Attys.
Romeo G. Roxas and Santiago N. Pastor are hereby ordered to return to the Zuzuarreguis the amount of
P17,073,224.84. No costs.
It is basic that a contract is the law between the parties. Obligations arising from contracts have the force of
law between the contracting parties and should be complied with in good faith. Unless the stipulations in a
contract are contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy, the same are binding as
between the parties.
Under the contract in question, Attys. Roxas and Pastor are to receive contingent fees for their professional
services. It is a deeply-rooted rule that contingent fees are not per se prohibited by law. They are sanctioned
by Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics, viz:
13. Contingent Fees.
A contract for contingent fee, where sanctioned by law, should be reasonable under all the circumstances of
the case including the risk and uncertainty of the compensation, but should always be subject to the
supervision of a court, as to its reasonableness and Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,46
However, in cases where contingent fees are sanctioned by law, the same should be reasonable under all
the circumstances of the case, and should always be subject to the supervision of a court, as to its
reasonableness, such that under Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer is tasked to
charge only fair and reasonable fees.
Indubitably entwined with the lawyers duty to charge only reasonable fees is the power of this Court to
reduce the amount of attorneys fees if the same is excessive and unconscionable. Thus, Section 24, Rule
138 of the Rules of Court partly states:
SEC. 24. Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees. An attorney shall be entitled to have and
recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services, with a view to the
importance of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and the professional

standing of the attorney. x x x. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid therefore
unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable.
Attorneys fees are unconscionable if they affront ones sense of justice, decency or reasonableness. It
becomes axiomatic therefore, that power to determine the reasonableness or the, unconscionable character
of attorney's fees stipulated by the parties is a matter falling within the regulatory prerogative of the courts.
In the instant case, Attys. Roxas and Pastor received an amount which was equal to forty-four percent (44%)
of the just compensation paid (including the yield on the bonds) by the NHA to the Zuzuarreguis, or an
amount equivalent to P23,980,000.00 of the P54,500,000.00. Considering that there was no full blown
hearing in the expropriation case, ending as it did in a Compromise Agreement, the 44% is, undeniably,
unconscionable and excessive under the circumstances. Its reduction is, therefore, in order.
It is imperative that the contingent fees received by Attys. Roxas and Pastor must be equitably reduced. In
the opinion of this Court, the yield that corresponds to the percentage share of the Zuzuarreguis in the
P19.50 per square meter just compensation paid by the NHA must be returned by Attys. Roxas and Pastor.
The yield on the NHA bonds amounted to P19,583,878.00. This amount must therefore be divided between
the Zuzuarreguis, on the one hand, and Attys. Roxas and Pastor, on the other. The division must be pro rata.
The Zuzuarreguis are entitled to the yield equal to 87.18% (17/19.5) of the P19,583,878.00, while Attys.
Roxas and Pastor are entitled to 12.82%(2.5/19.5) of said amount. The amount corresponding to 87.17% of
P19,583,878.00 is P17,073,224.84. This is the yield that the Zuzuarreguis are entitled to. Attys. Roxas and
Pastor, on the other hand, are entitled to P2,510,653.16.
Attys. Roxas and Pastor, in the opinion of this Court, were not shortchanged for their efforts for they would
still be earning or actually earned attorneys fees in the amount of P6,987,078.75 (P4,476,425.59 +
The amount of P17,073,224.84 must therefore be returned by Attys. Roxas and Pastor to the Zuzuarreguis.
They can take this out from the yield in the amount of P19,583,878.00 which they have appropriated for
On the issue of moral and exemplary damages, we cannot award the same for there was no direct showing
of bad faith on the part of Attys. Roxas and Pastor, for as we said earlier, contingency fees are not per se
prohibited by law. It is only necessary that it be reduced when excessive and unconscionable.
Posted on March 6, 2009 by raquel



FACTS: On October 28, 1986, Executive Order No. 51 (Milk Code) was issued by President Corazon Aquino
by virtue of the legislative powers granted to the president under the Freedom Constitution. The Milk Code
states that the law seeks to give effect to Article 112 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk
Substitutes (ICMBS), a code adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1981. From 1982 to 2006, the
WHA adopted several Resolutions to the effect that breastfeeding should be supported, promoted and
protected, hence, it should be ensured that nutrition and health claims are not permitted for breastmilk
substitutes. the Philippines ratified the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 24 of said
instrument provides that State Parties should take appropriate measures to diminish infant and child
mortality, and ensure that all segments of society, specially parents and children, are informed of the

advantages of breastfeeding. the DOH issued RIRR which was to take effect on July 7, 2006. a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, seeking to nullify Revised Implementing Rules and
Regulations of The Milk Code, assailing that the RIRR was going beyond the provisions of the Milk Code,
thereby amending and expanding the coverage of said law.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondents officers of the DOH acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and in violation of the provisions of the
Constitution in promulgating the RIRR
The Supreme Court PARTIALLY GRANTED the petition. Sections 4(f), 11 and 46 of Administrative Order
No. 2006-0012 dated May 12, 2006 are declared NULL and VOID for being ultra vires. The Department of
Health and respondents are PROHIBITED from implementing said provisions. The international instruments
pointed out by the respondents, UNRC, ICESR, CEDAW, are deemed part of the law of the land and
therefore the DOH may implement them through the RIRR. Customary international law is deemed
incorporated into our domestic system. Custom or customary international law means a general and
consistent practice of states followed by them from a sense of legal obligation (opinio juris). Under the 1987
Constitution, international law can become part of the sphere of domestic law either by transformation or
incorporation. The transformation method requires that an international law be transformed into a domestic
law through a constitutional mechanism such as local legislation. Generally accepted principles of
international law refers to norms of general or customary international law which are binding on all states.
The Milk Code is a verbatim reproduction of the (ICMBS), but it did not prohibit advertising or other forms of
promotion to the general public of products. Instead, the Milk Code expressly provides that advertising,
promotion, or other marketing materials may be allowed if such materials are duly authorized and approved
by the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC). In this regard, the WHA Resolutions adopting the ICMBS are merely
recommendatory and legally non-binding. This may constitute soft law or non-binding norms, principles
and practices that influence state behavior. Respondents have not presented any evidence to prove that the
WHA Resolutions, although signed by most of the member states, were in fact enforced or practiced by at
least a majority of the member states and obligatory in nature. The provisions of the WHA Resolutions
cannot be considered as part of the law of the land that can be implemented by executive agencies without
the need of a law enacted by the legislature. On the other hand, the petitioners also failed to explain and
prove by competent evidence just exactly how such protective regulation would result in the restraint of
trade. Since all the regulatory provisions under the Milk Code apply equally to both manufacturers and
distributors, the Court sees no harm in the RIRR. Except Sections 4(f), 11 and 46, the rest of the provisions
of the RIRR are in consonance with the objective, purpose and intent of the Milk Code.

IN RE Emil (Emiliano) P. JURADO Ex Rel.: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) not
sure kung tama. Pero iisa lang to bukod dun sa scribd. Parehas manila standard.
Facts: Jurado, a journalist who writes in a newspaper of general circulation, the Manila Standard. He
describes himself as a columnist, who incidentally happens to be a lawyer,, had been writing about alleged
improperties and irregularities in the judiciary over several months (from about October, 1992 to March,
1993). Other journalists had also been making reports or comments on the same subject. At the same time,
anonymous communications were being extensively circulated, by hand and through the mail, about alleged
venality and corruption in the courts. And all these were being repeatedly and insistently adverted to by
certain sectors of society. Events Directly Giving Rise to the Proceeding at Bar.

The seed of the proceeding at bar was sown by the decision promulgated by this Court on August 27, 1992,
in the so-called controversial case of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company v. Eastern Telephone

Philippines, Inc. (ETPI), G.R. No, 94374. In that decision the Court was sharply divided; the vote was 9 to 4,
in favor of the petitioner PLDT. Mr. Justice Hugo E. Gutierrez, Jr., wrote the opinion for the majority.
In connection with this case, G.R. No. 94374, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and one or two other
newspapers published, on January 28, 1993, a report of the purported affidavit of a Mr. David Miles Yerkes,
an alleged expert in linguistics. This gentleman, it appears, had been commissioned by one of the parties in
the case, Eastern Telephone Philippines, Inc. (ETPI), to examine and analyze the decision of Justice
Gutierrez in relation to a few of his prior ponencias and the writings of one of the lawyers of PLDT, Mr. Eliseo
Alampay, to ascertain if the decision had been written, in whole or in part, by the latter. Yerkes proffered the
conclusion that the Gutierrez decision looks, reads and sounds like the writing of the PLDTs counsel,
Thus, he speaks of the Magnificent Seven, by merely referring to undisclosed regional trial court judges in
Makati; the Magnificent Seven in the Supreme Court, as some undesignated justices who supposedly vote
as one; the Dirty Dozen, as unidentified trial judges in Makati and three other cities. He adverts to an
anonymous group of justices and judges for whom a bank allegedly hosted a party; and six unnamed
justices of this Court who reportedly spent a prepaid vacation in Hong Kong with their families.
The Chief Justice issued an administrative order Creating an Ad Hoc Committee to Investigate Reports of
Corruption in the Judiciary, to investigate the said reports of corruption in the judiciary. A letter affidavit was
also received from the public utility, denying the allegations in Jurados column. The Supreme Court then
issued a resolution ordering that the matter dealt with in the letter and affidavit of the public utility company
be docketed and acted upon as an official Court proceeding for the determination of whether or not the
allegations made by Jurado are true.
HELD: Jurados actuations, in the context in which they were done, demonstrate gross irresponsibility, and
indifference to factual accuracy and the injury that he might cause to the name and reputation of those of
whom he wrote. They constitute contempt of court, directly tending as they do to degrade or abase the
administration of justice and the judges engaged in that function. By doing them, he has placed himself
beyond the circle of reputable, decent and responsible journalists who live by their Code or the Golden
Rule and who strive at all times to maintain the prestige and nobility of their calling.
Although honest utterances, even if inaccurate, may further the fruitful exercise of the right of free speech, it
does not follow that the lie, knowingly and deliberately published about a public official, should enjoy a like
immunity. The knowingly false statement and the false statement made with reckless disregard of the truth,
do not enjoy constitutional protection.
The Civil Code, in its Article 19 lays down the norm for the proper exercise of any right, constitutional or
otherwise, viz.: ARTICLE 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his
duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. The provision is
reflective of the universally accepted precept of abuse of rights, one of the most dominant principles which
must be deemed always implied in any system of law.
Requirement to exercise bona fide care in ascertaining the truth of the statements when publishing
statements which are clearly defamatory to identifiable judges or other public officials.
Judges, by becoming such, are rightly regarded as voluntarily subjecting themselves to norms of conduct
which embody more stringent standards of honesty, integrity, and competence than are commonly required
from private persons. Nevertheless, persons who seek or accept appointment to the Judiciary cannot
reasonably be regarded as having forfeited any right to private honor and reputation. For to so rule will be to
discourage all save those who feel no need to maintain their self-respect from becoming judges. The public
interest involved in freedom of speech and the individual interest of judges (and for that matter, all other
public officials) in the maintenance of private honor and reputation need to be accommodated one to the
other. And the point of adjustment or accommodation between these two legitimate interests is precisely
found in the norm which requires those who, invoking freedom of speech, publish statements which are
clearly defamatory to identifiable judges or other public officials to exercise bona fide care in ascertaining the
truth of the statements they publish. The norm does not require that a journalist guarantee the truth of what

he says or publishes. But the norm does prohibit the reckless disregard of private reputation by publishing or
circulating defamatory statements without any bona fide effort to ascertain the truth thereof.
ARAFILES VS. PHIL JOURN (not sure din kung tama to)
Petitioner Catalino Arafiles seeks a review of the CA decision which dismissed his complaint for damages
against respondents publisher Philippine Journalists Inc, Manuel Villareal Jr, editor Max Buan Jr and
reporter Romy Morales.
Respondent Morales wrote a report that appeared on Peoples Journal Tonight, which related how Emelita
Despuig, an employee of the National Institute of Atmospheric Sciences (NAIS) of PAG-ASA, lodged a
complaint against petitioner, a NAIS director, for forcible abduction with rape and forcible abduction with
attempted rape and the supposed details of the rape.
About a year after the report was published, Arafiles instituted the complaint for damages, alleging that on
account of the grossly malicious and overly sensationalized reporting in the news item, his reputation as a
director of NAIS was injured, that he became the object of public contempt and ridicule as he was depicted
as a sex-crazed stalker and serial rapist and that the news deferred his promotion.
In their Answer,respondents prayed for the dismissal of the Complaint, they alleging that the news item,
having been sourced from the Police Blotter which is an official public document and bolstered by a personal
interview of the victim is therefore privileged and falls within the protective constitutional provision of freedom
of the press . . . . , and by way of Compulsory Counterclaim, they prayed for the award of moral and
exemplary damages plus attorneys fees.
The Quezon City RTC ruled in favor of petitioner, but was later on reversed by CA, claiming that the
petitioner was not able to prove by preponderance of evidence that (herein respondents) were motivated by
a sinister intent to cause harm and injury to (herein petitioner).
W/N the CA erred in holding that the publication of the news item was not attended with malice to thus free
respondents of liability for damages
No. In actions for damages for libel, it is axiomatic that the published work alleged to contain libelous
material must be examined and viewed as a whole.
In order to ascertain the meaning of a published article, the whole of the article must be considered, each
phrase must be construed in the light of the entire publication x x x The headlines of a newspaper must also
be read in connection with the language which follows.
The presentation of the news item subject of petitioners complaint may have been in a sensational manner,
but it is not per se illegal.
Respondents could of course have been more circumspect in their choice of words as the headline and first
seven paragraphs of the news item give the impression that a certain director of the NIAS actually
committed the crimes complained of by Emelita. The succeeding paragraphs (in which petitioner and
complainant Emelita were eventually identified) sufficiently convey to the readers, however, that the
narration of events was only an account of what Emelita had reported at the police headquarters.
Every citizen of course has the right to enjoy a good name and reputation, but we do not consider that the
respondents, under the circumstances of this case, had violated said right or abused the freedom of the

press. The newspapers should be given such leeway and tolerance as to enable them to courageously and
effectively perform their important role in our democracy. In the preparation of stories, press reporters and
[editors] usually have to race with their deadlines; and consistently with good faith and reasonable care, they
should not be held to account, to a point of suppression, for honest mistakes or imperfection in the choice of
FERNANDO vs. CA (cant find any.)
Nelson Navarro, Petitioner vs. Mayor Antonio Villegas, respondent. (not sure)
FACTS:On February 24, 1970, the petitioner, acting in behalf of the Movement of a DemocraticPhilippines,
wrote a letter to the respondent, the Mayor of the city of Manila, applying tohold a rally at Plaza Miranda
February 26, 1970, from 4-11pm.On the same day, the respondent wrote a reply, denying his request on the
grounds that,the have temporarily adopted the policy of not issuing any permit for the used of Plaza Miranda
for rallies or demonstration during weekdays due to the events that happened from the past week. On the
same letter, the respondent gave the petitioner an option to use the Sunken Gardennear Intramuros for its
rally, and for it to be held earlier for it to end before dark. The petitioner filed suit contesting the Mayors
action on the ground that it violates the petitioners right to peaceable assemble and petition the government
for redress of grievances (ART. 3, sec 1(8)) and of the petitioners right to the equal protection of the law (art.
3, sec. 1).
ISSUE:Whether or not the respondents act on denying the request of the petitioner violates the petitioners
Right to peaceable assembly and right to the equal protection of the law.
Held: The right of peaceable assemble is subject to regulation under the police power of the state. The right
to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, though granted by the Constitution, is not absolute for it may
be regulated in order that it may not be injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having an equal right of
community and society, This power may be exercised under the police power of the state, which is the
power of the state, which is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace,
education, and good order, safety and general welfare of the people. While the privilege of the citizen to use
streets and parks for communication may be regulated in the interest of all, said privilege is not absolute. It
must be exercised insubordination to the general comfort and convenience and in consonance with peace
and good order, but it must not guise of regulation be abridged or denied
125 SCRA 553 Jose B.L Reyes vs. Ramon Bagatsing Political Law Freedom of Speech Primacy
of the Constitution over International Law
Retired Justice JBL Reyes in behalf of the members of the Anti-Bases Coalition sought a permit to rally from
Luneta Park until the front gate of the US embassy which is less than two blocks apart. The permit has been
denied by then Manila mayor Ramon Bagatsing. The mayor claimed that there have been intelligence
reports that indicated that the rally would be infiltrated by lawless elements. He also issued City Ordinance
No. 7295 to prohibit the staging of rallies within the 500 feet radius of the US embassy. Bagatsing pointed
out that it was his intention to provide protection to the US embassy from such lawless elements in pursuant
to Art. 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. And that under our constitution we adhere to
generally accepted principles of international law.
ISSUE: Whether or not a treaty may supersede provisions of the Constitution. Whether or not the rallyists
should be granted the permit.
I. No. Indeed, the receiving state is tasked for the protection of foreign diplomats from any lawless element.
And indeed the Vienna Convention is a restatement of the generally accepted principles of international law.
But the same cannot be invoked as defense to the primacy of the Philippine Constitution which upholds and
guarantees the rights to free speech and peacable assembly. At the same time, the City Ordinance issued

by respondent mayor cannot be invoked if the application thereof would collide with a constitutionally
guaranteed rights.
II. Yes. The denial of their rally does not pass the clear and present danger test. The mere assertion that
subversives may infiltrate the ranks of the demonstrators does not suffice. In this case, no less than the
police chief assured that they have taken all the necessary steps to ensure a peaceful rally. Further, the
ordinance cannot be applied yet because there was no showing that indeed the rallyists are within the 500
feet radius (besides, theres also the question of whether or not the mayor can prohibit such rally but, as
noted by the SC, that has not been raised an an issue in this case).
MALABANAN VS. RAMENTO [129 SCRA 359; G.R. NO.62270; 21 MAY 1984]
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Facts: Petitioners were officers of the Supreme Student Council of respondent University. They sought and
were granted by the school authorities a permit to hold a meeting from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M, on August
27, 1982. Pursuant to such permit, along with other students, they held a general assembly at the Veterinary
Medicine and Animal Science basketball court (VMAS), the place indicated in such permit, not in the
basketball court as therein stated but at the second floor lobby. At such gathering they manifested in
vehement and vigorous language their opposition to the proposed merger of the Institute of Animal Science
with the Institute of Agriculture. The same day, they marched toward the Life Science Building and continued
their rally. It was outside the area covered by their permit. Even they rallied beyond the period allowed. They
were asked to explain on the same day why they should not be held liable for holding an illegal assembly.
Then on September 9, 1982, they were informed that they were under preventive suspension for their failure
to explain the holding of an illegal assembly. The validity thereof was challenged by petitioners both before
the Court of First Instance of Rizal against private respondents and before the Ministry of Education,
Culture, and Sports. Respondent Ramento found petitioners guilty of the charge of illegal assembly which
was characterized by the violation of the permit granted resulting in the disturbance of classes and oral
defamation. The penalty was suspension for one academic year. Hence this petition.
Issue: Whether on the facts as disclosed resulting in the disciplinary action and the penalty imposed, there
was an infringement of the right to peaceable assembly and its cognate right of free speech.
Held: Yes. Student leaders are likely to be assertive and dogmatic. They would be ineffective if during a rally
they speak in the guarded and judicious language of the academe. But with the activity taking place in the
school premises and during the daytime, no clear and present danger of public disorder is discernible. This
is without prejudice to the taking of disciplinary action for conduct, "materially disrupts classwork or involves
substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others."
The rights to peaceable assembly and free speech are guaranteed students of educational institutions.
Necessarily, their exercise to discuss matters affecting their welfare or involving public interest is not to be
subjected to previous restraint or subsequent punishment unless there be a showing of a clear and present
danger to a substantive evil that the state, has a right to present. As a corollary, the utmost leeway and
scope is accorded the content of the placards displayed or utterances made. The peaceable character of an
assembly could be lost, however, by an advocacy of disorder under the name of dissent, whatever
grievances that may be aired being susceptible to correction through the ways of the law. If the assembly is
to be held in school premises, permit must be sought from its school authorities, who are devoid of the
power to deny such request arbitrarily or unreasonably. In granting such permit, there may be conditions as
to the time and place of the assembly to avoid disruption of classes or stoppage of work of the nonacademic personnel. Even if, however, there be violations of its terms, the penalty incurred should not be
disproportionate to the offense.
CD Bayan v Executive Secretary
Topic: Sec 25, Art. XVIII, foreign military bases

Bayan v. Executive Secretary

GR No. 138570, October 10, 2000 (not sure kung tama)
On March 14, 1947, the Philippines and the US forged a Military Bases Agreement which formalized, among
others, the use of installations in the Philippine territory by US military personnel. To further strengthen their
defense and security relationship, both countries entered into a Mutual Defense Treaty on August 30, 1951.
In view of the expiration of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement both countries negotiated for its possible
extension. On September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the extension of the US military bases
which was now called RP-US Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Security. During the term of Pres.
Ramos, he approved the VFA which was the result of a negotiation on the complementing strategic
interests of the US and the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific region. On October 5, 1998, Pres. Joseph
Estrada, through respondent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Domingo Siazon, ratified the VFA. The Instrument
of Ratification, the letter of the President and the VFA were then transmitted to the Philippine Senate for
concurrence pursuant to Sec 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. The necessary 2/3 votes of the
members of the Senate were gathered thus concurring with the ratification of the VFA under Resolution No.
18. On June 1, 1999 the VFA officially entered into force. The petitioners argue that the VFA is governed by
the provision of Sec. 25, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution considering that the VFA has for its subject the
presence of foreign military troops in the Philippines.
Is the VFA governed by the provisions of Sec 21, Article VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of the Constitution?

Sec. 25, Article XVIII which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases, troops, or facilities
should apply in the instant case. Being a special provision, Sec. 25, Article XVIII will prevail over the general
provision of Sec 21, Article VII of the Constitution. Also, the argument that Sec 25, Article XVIII is not
controlling since no foreign military bases, but merely foreign troops and facilities are involved in the VFA is
untenable. The clause found in Sec 25 does not refer to foreign military bases, troops, or facilities
collectively but treats them as separate and independent subjects as evidenced by the use of comma and
the disjunctive word or. This interpretation which contemplates three different situations a military treaty
the subject of which could be either (a) foreign bases, (b) foreign troops, or (c) foreign facilities and any of
the three standing alone places it under the coverage of Sec 25 is also manifested in the deliberations of the
1986 Constitutional Commission on the said section. Moreover, the establishment of military bases within
the territory of another state is no longer viable because of the alternatives offered by the new weapons of
warfare such as nuclear weapons, guided missiles as well as huge sea vessels that can stay afloat in the
sea even for months and years without returning to their home country. Therefore first requisite of Sec 25,
Art XVIII already satisfied by considering the VFA as a treaty. The second condition of Sec 25 requires that
the treaty must be duly concurred in by the Senate should be viewed in light of Sec 21 Art. VII of the
Constitution requiring a 2/3 votes for treaties or international agreements in general. The 2/3 votes is again
satisfied after the approval of the VFA by the Senate through Resolution No. 18. The third requisite of Sec
25, Art XVIII is that the other contracting party acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. The records of the
US Government, through the US Ambassador to the Philippines, show that the US government has fully
committed to living up to the terms of the VFA. Under international law, there is no difference between
treaties and executive agreements in their binding effect upon states concerned, as long as the negotiating
functionaries have remained within their powers. Also, the deliberations of the Consitutional Commission

show that, through the words of Fr. Bernas, ...we will accept whatever they say.If they say that we have
done everything to make it a treaty, then as far as we are concerned, we will accept it as a treaty.. Also
through Article 26 of the Declaration of Rights and Duties of States adopted by the International law
Commission in 1949 provides that Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be
performed by them in good faith. This is also known as the principle of pacta sunt servanda. Therefore, the
third requisite is also satisfied.