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Freedom of Speech

*Prior restraint

Restraint different from classification

MTRCB merely classifies

*Freedom from subsequent punishment


1.) Dangerous Tendency Test- State has a right to prevent an evil and if the expression has a
dangerous tendency to bring that evil, mere tendency is required for the regulation to be valid;
dangerous to the very existence of the state

Inciting to Sedition- The state does not have to wait for harm to happen; can immediately punish
mere inciting

2.) Clear and Present Danger Test-

Causal relation

Present: not only a tendency but it is going to happen if regulation is not done

Tests are contextual…

If you shout “fire” in an open field, there is no danger; no one will hear you

If you shout “fire”in a packed cinema, there is danger; can bring about commotion, injury, and
probably death (state can provide a subsequent punishment)

3.) Balancing Interests Test- (cited in Gonzales v. COMELEC) 2 rights of the Constitution clashes

Hierarchy of rights

Right to life

Right to thought and conscience (included freedom to associate, political thought)

Not all the time that those occupying a higher tier will be preferred; the court is called upon to
determine what is more important

IMBONG v. OCHOA: right to life of the unborn v. right of state to regulate; reproductive health

SC sided with the state; public health issue

SC applied conscientious objector: if your conscience objects to the doing of a thing, you should
not be compelled to do so

*There were provisions in the RH Law that conscientious objectors were exempted

Criticism of Official Conduct

Corona impeachment humanized the SC

Tulfo wrote a commentary because he did not like the decision of the SC: Article titled as:
“Sangkatutak na Bobo”

Charged in contempt of court

Direct Contempt- affects proceedings of the court (e.g.: your phone rang during a

Indirect Contempt

sub judice rule: no commentaries are allowed during a pending case

(foreign rule; USA; jury system)

Guidelines (Principle: Judicial Independence; should be protected from the bar of

public opinion; passive branch of the government; only acts when a case has been
filed or when its jurisdiction is called for):

1.) There can be court criticisms but it must be gauged in respectful language

2.) Directed on the merits, not directed at the members of the court

3.) Must not downgrade the members of the court but only limited to the discussion

Rationale: the public’s respect for the Courts will be diminished