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Republic of the Philippines


Main Campus I, Dumaguete City


Article III: Bill of Rights

Article III enumerates the fundamental rights of the Filipino people. The
Bill of Rights sets the limits to the government's power which proves to be
not absolute. Among the rights of the people are freedoms of speech,
assembly, religion, and the press. An important feature here is the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus which has three
available grounds such as invasion, insurrection and rebellion. Not only that,
Article III protects the individuals from any unlawful intrusion of the
government. It aims to balance the power of the government and the people.
In article III, we have 22 sections that need to be remembered. Thats why,
with the 22 sections, here are some of the sections I chose to be discussed

Section 4: No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of

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

In section 4 of Article III there are four guaranteed rights; freedom of

speech (oral, written, tape recorded), freedom of expression, freedom of
press (papers, radio, programs, TV) and peaceably assemble (right to revolt
is not included). With these four guaranteed rights, individuals should also
consider that these rights are never absolute. The people should remember
that a public (malicious) imputation of crime, or a vice or defect, real,
imaginary or any act, omission, condition, status and circumstance tending
to cause dishonour, discredit, or a contempt of a natural/juridical person, or
to blacken the memory of one who is dead should never be expressed.

In addition, section 4 also has limitation such as libel and oral

defamation. These acts are unlawful. Oral defamation is a false spoken
statement damaging a reputation of a person while libel is a false written
statement damaging a good reputation of a person. Not only that, citizens
should be mindful that oral defamation does not concern so much with the
opportunity of seeing the movements of the lips of the author thereof as with
the chance of hearing the defamatory statement uttered. Oral defamation
addresses itself to the sense of hearing not to the sense of sight. Moreover,
libel has four elements such as (1) the imputation must be defamatory, (2) it
must have been publicly, (3) it must be malicious, and (4) the victim must be

Freedom of speech be curtailed on punished when it creates a

dangerous tendency which the state has the right to prevent it. For
example when someone published something or accused the government
without any proof.

Furthermore, an example of an incident that shows that Section 4 is

not an absolute right is when a person talks something bad that can damage
the persons reputation or the persons life as a whole. In this manner, the
person who did that malicious and damaging act will experience a legal
proceeding in case if the person involved will file a complaint. Thats why,
we, individuals should be knowledgeable enough with our limitations in
exercising our rights so that we cannot do any unlawful act against each

Section 5: No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or

prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious
profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be
allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

In this section, there are two clauses that should be taken into consideration
such as the non-establishment clause and the free exercise clause. In non-
establishment clause, there are four aspects to be remembered (1) the government
cannot establish a state religion; (2) the government cannot give favourable
treatment to a particular religion; (3) the government cannot extend financial
assistance to a particular religion; and (4) the government must provide equal
protection to all religions. While the free exercise clause states that every individual
is free to exercise his/her religion through worship, prayer, bible study and the likes;
and every individual is free to change his/her religion.
With the aforementioned, I could say that we have the rights to choose our
religion and exercise it as the way we want it. Not only that, government should
treat all religions in the Philippines equally and there should no special treatment or
any financial assistance given to a particular religion because it will be unlawful if
this will be exercise.

An example of violation of Section 5 is when the government will give money

like 100,000 pesos for the Roman Catholic Church. This deed should not be done
because it will violate Section 5 because according to section 5 in the non-
establishment clause the government cannot extend financial assistance to a
particular religion.

Section 6: The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits
prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court.
Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national
security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.

Individuals should be informed that under section 6, we have two guaranteed

rights. The liberty of abode in which we have the right to choose and change one
place/residence, or home and the right to travel that gives us the right to travel
both within and outside the country. But these rights also does not allow free
movement of citizens but rather it can be impaired with different instances such as
lawful order of the court, national security, public safety, or public health requires

Thats why, an instance that shows its limitation is when a person has a
health problem that can also endanger the lives of the individuals in a place where
he will be transferring, this act will not be allowed unless he will not be a health
threat anymore to others.

Section 7: The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall
be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining
to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data
used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such
limitations as may be provided by law.
With this, the rights protected under Section 7 are rights to information on
matters of public concern and corollary rights to have access to official records and
documents. Not only that, this rights are subject to limitations and some of the
instances included are National Security; Trade Secrets and Banking Transactions;
Criminal Matters and other confidential matters. In addition, we should bear in mind
that rights on public concern is subject to limitations such as (1) the rights embrace
all public records and documents not private documents, (2) it is limited to citizens
only but without prejudice to the rights of aliens, to have access to records of cases
where, they are litigants, and (3) has exercise his subject to limitations as may be
provided by law.

Thats why, we, people of the Philippines has the right to be inform on
matters regarding public concern and official documents and records. For example,
citizens should always be informed on the current situation that the government is
facing if they want to and also we have the right to any information regarding public
concerns/issues as long as long as we will also keep in mind those instances or
limitations of Section 7.

Section 8: The right of the people, including those employed in the public and
private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary
to law shall not be abridged.

People have the right to form unions, societies, or associations

(public/private employers). Unions are important for collective bargaining
purposes. These are the channels or means for the employers to air their
justifiable demands and uplift their working conditions. But the employers
who are members of any organization should be informed that there is
limitation on this right. The purpose of their organization must not be
contrary to the law. An organization that is subversive or rebellious in nature
and its intentions is to overthrow the established government through
violence is unlawful. In this, social justice will be achieved wherein
humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by
the state are made.
For this reason, people should always be responsible of their
organization. They should make sure that they exhibited their rights as
written in the constitution of Article III Section 8. An example of defiance in
section 8 is when a particular association is showing rebellious acts and
established violence to the government which is unlawful.