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Section 9.

The State shall promote a just and dynamic o When the life of the mother needs to be saved, the unborn
social order that will ensure the prosperity and can be sacrificed but not merely when the purpose
independence of the nation and free the people from is to save the mother from emotional suffering
poverty through policies that provide adequate social o Roe v. Wade liberalized abortion laws up to the 6th month
services, promote full employment, arising standard of of pregnancy by allowing abortion any time in the first 6th
living, and an improved quality of life for all. months
o Roe was overturned by CASEY.
Section 10. The State shall promote social justice in all 4thmonthwith undue burden test and will inform the parents
phases of national development. and father

SOCIAL JUSTICE equalization of economic, political, and Section 13. The State recognizes the
social opportunities with special emphasis on the duty of the vitalrole of the youth in nation-building and
state to tilt the balance of social forces by favoring the shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual,
disadvantaged in life intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the
youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their
Common tao, PREFERENTIAL OPTION FOR THE POOR involvement in public and civic affairs.
Tondo Medical Center Employees v. CA As to the education of children, the rights of the State and
o HEALTH SECTOR REFORM AGENDA (HSRA) = Making parents are delineated, as the primary right belongs to the
free medicine and free medical services inaccessible to parents and affirms the secondary and supportive role of the
economically disadvantaged principles state.
o Petitioners requests that HRSA declared VOID because it The State, as parens patriae, may step in when a natural
counters to the aspiration and ideals of the Filipino people as parent cannot or fails to cope with the duties of raising his or
embodied in the Constitution her children.
o As a general rule, provisions of the constitution are
considered SELF-EXECUTING and do not require future Section 14. The State recognizes the role of women
legislation for their enforcement. in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental
For if they are not treated as self-executing, the mandate of equality before the law of women and men.
the fundamental law can be easily nullified by the inaction of
congress. However, some provisions have already been Fundamental equality between men and women before the
categorically declared by this court as non-self executing law
The provision is worded as not to dislocate the Civil Code and
o TANADA V. ANGARA These principles in Art II are NOT the jurisprudence on the subject. What it does is to give
intended to be self-executing impetus to the removal, through statutes, of existing
principles ready for enforcement thru the courts. They are inequalities. The general idea is for the law to ignore gender
used by the judiciary as aids or guides in the exercise of its in determining rights and duties
power of judicial review, and by the legislature in its
enactment of laws Section 18. The State affirms labor as aprimary social e
conomic force. It shallprotect the rights of workers and
NON-SELF EXECUTING: promote their welfare.
5 (church and state), This means that the human factor has primacy over the non-
9 (promote dynamic social order), human factor in production.
10 (social justice),
11(dignity), Section 20. The State recognizes t indispensable role
12 (sanctity of family life), of the private sector, encourages private enterprise,
15 (right of health), and provides incentives to needed investments.
18 (labor)
o BASCO V. PAGCOR Sec 11 (dignity), 12(sanctity of family Article II, Section 20 is no more than an acknowledgement of
life) and 13 (youth) of Art II ARE NOT SELF- the importance of private initiative in building the nation.
EXECUTING PROVISIONS. These cannot give rise to a cause of However, it is not a call for official abdication of duty to
action in the courts. They do not embody judicially citizenry
enforceable consti rights
Section 18. The State affirms labor as a primary social
Section 11. The State values the dignity of every economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers
human person and guarantees full respect for human and promote their welfare.
rights. In this provision, the state protects the rights of each and
every worker.
Section 12 The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and
shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic Section 21. The State shall promote comprehensive
autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life rural development and agrarian reform.
of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The The state must develop rural and agrarian reform for the
natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of benefits of the country.
the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral
character shall receive the support of the Government. BILL OF RIGHTS
FAMILY a stable, heterosexual relationship Government Power vs. Individual Freedom
Family is anterior to the state and is not a creature of the 1. Among the changes brought about by the Period of
state Enlightenment was the shift of power from the crown to the
It protects the family from the instrumentalization by the individual. The long reign of monarchs came to an end, and
state the rule of the people became the standard. The government,
2 points on the legal meaning and purpose of the protection while still the repository of power, was limited to its role as
that is guaranteed for the unborn: the protector of the people and the guardian of rights.
o 1. THIS IS NOT AN ASSERTION THAT THEUNBORN IS A LEGAL Liberalism, which took its cue from individualism, advocated
PERSON the principle of egalitarianism, in which men, regardless of
o THIS IS NOT AN ASSERTION THAT THE LIFEOF THE their status in life, are regarded as equals in terms of rights
UNBORN IS PLACED EXACTLY before the law. Modern democracies are founded on these
liberal ideals, in that the heart of democratic objectives is the bill of rights is a safeguard not just against the abuses of the
protection of human dignity and respect for human rights. government but also of individuals or group of individuals.

2. Nonetheless, the government remains to be a powerful RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION
institution, capable of summoning the military, evoking its Life, Liberty, and Property
past image as the uncontestable holder of sovereignty. In fact, 1. Constitutional Provision. Section 1, Article III of the
republicanism essentially requires delegation of powers to the Constitution states No person shall be deprived of life,
government; that although the people remain to be the liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any
sovereign, actual exercise of it is given to the government. person be denied the equal protection of the laws. The
Protection and service of the people is the primal duty of the provision speaks of due process and equal protection.
government, but be that as it may, the government is still the
single biggest institution that exercises sovereign powers. 2. Scope of Protection. The protection covers all persons,
whether citizens or aliens, natural or juridical.
3. More so, it possesses the inherent powers which the
Constitution itself does not confer. Every government for it to 3. Meaning of Life, Liberty, and Property. Due process and
exist exercises police power, power of eminent domain, equal protection cover the right to life, liberty, and property. It
and power of taxation. A constitution does not grant such is important therefore to know the meaning of the three.
powers to the government; a constitution can only define and (a) Life. When the constitution speaks of right to life, it refers
delimit them and allocate their exercise among various not just to physical safety but also to the importance of
government agencies.[1] These are awesome powers, which, quality of life. Thus, right to life means right to be alive, right
if left uncheck, may seriously restrict and jeopardize the to ones limbs against physical harm, and, equally important,
freedom of individuals. Thus, it is inbuilt in every democratic right to a good quality of life.[2] Life means something more
constitution to meticulously include provisions guaranteeing than mere animal existence.[3]
the rights of the individuals and those restricting the powers (b) Liberty. It includes negative and positive freedom.
of the government. This is to prevent the tragedy that the Negative freedom means freedom from, or absence of,
government created by the people will in turn be the physical constraints, while positive freedom means freedom to
instrument to enslave and abuse them. exercise ones faculties. Right to liberty therefore includes the
two aspects of freedom and it cannot be dwarfed into mere
4. The Bill of Rights (Article III) is an indispensable part of the freedom from physical restraint or servitude, but is deemed to
Constitution. In fact, it is one of the most important parts of embrace the right of man to enjoy his God-given faculties in
the fundamental law since it aims at balancing the power of all lawful ways, to live and work where he will, to earn his
the government and the various freedoms of the individual. As livelihood by any lawful calling, to pursue any vocation, and
will be seen below, the Bill of Rights provide for two things: enter into contracts.[4]
first, restrictions directed against the state, and, second, (c) Property. It refers either to the thing itself or right over the
explicit identification and limitation of rights of the individuals. thing. As a thing, property is anything capable of
On the one hand, the government exercises its tremendous appropriation, and it could be personal or real. As a right, it
powers, but its powers are limited by the Constitution. On the refers to right to own, use, possess, alienate, or destroy the
other hand, the individuals are guaranteed of their rights, but thing. The constitution uses property in the sense of right, and
subject also to limitations in recognition of the powers of the as such it includes, among others, right to work, ones
government. What balances the two (power and freedom) are employment, profession, trade, and other vested rights. It is
the limitations provided by the Constitution, which limitations important to note however that privileges like licenses are not
are by nature compromises or solutions to situations resulting protected property; but they may evolve in a protected right if
from the overlapping or conflict of the two realms. For much is invested in them as means of livelihood. Public office
example, while the government has the inherent authority to is not also a property; but to the extent that security of tenure
take and convert a property for public use, and the people on cannot be compromised without due process, it is in a limited
the other have the right to hold their private property, the sense analogous to property.[5]
Constitution, contemplating a case of overlap or conflict 5. These rights are intimately connected. For example, if ones
between the two, compromises both by prescribing that the property right over employment is taken away, the same will
government gives just compensation to the private owner who adversely affect ones right to life since quality of living is
in turn must surrender his property. jeopardized. Consequently, in the absence of property and a
good quality of life, the ability to do what one wants is
Meaning of the Bill of Rights impeded.
1. From the foregoing, it is not difficult to understand that the 6. Hierarchy of Rights. While the rights are intimately related,
Bill of Rights refers to the declaration and enumeration of the they have a hierarchy. As to their order of importance, right to
fundamental civil and political rights of a person with the life comes first, followed by right to liberty, and then right of
primary purpose of safeguarding the person from violations property.
by the government, as well as by individuals and group of
individuals. It includes the protection of the following rights: Due Process
(a) Civil rights or those rights belonging to individuals by 1. Meaning. Due process of law is a constitutional guarantee
virtue of their citizenship, such as freedom to contract, right against hasty and unsupported deprivation of some persons
to property, and marriage among others; life, liberty, or property by the government. While is it true
(b) Political rights which are rights pertaining to the that the state can deprive its citizens of their life, liberty, or
citizenship of the individual vis--vis the administration of the property, it must do so in observance of due process of law.
government, such as right of suffrage right to hold office, and This right is the embodiment of the supporting idea of fair
right to petition for redress of wrong; play[6] and its essence is that it is a law which hears before
(c) Socio-economic rights or those which ensure the well- it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders
being and economic security of an individual; and judgment only after trial.[7]
(d) Rights of the accused which refer to protections given to 2. When Invoked. The right is invoked when the act of the
the person of an accused in any criminal case. government is arbitrary, oppressive, whimsical, or
2. It must be noted that the restriction provided in the Bill of unreasonable. It is particularly directed against the acts of
Rights is directed against the government, so that it does not executive and legislative department.
govern private relations. As far as the Constitution is 3. Two Aspects of Due Process. Due process of law has two
concerned, Article III can be invoked only against the aspects: procedural and substantive. Basically, the procedural
government. Nonetheless, with the inclusion of almost all the aspect involves the method or manner by which the law is
constitutional rights in Article 32 of the Civil Code, the same enforced, while the substantive aspect involves the law itself
may now be invoked in civil cases involving relations between which must be fair, reasonable, and just.
private persons. Thus, the definition above indicates that the
4. Procedural due process requires, essentially, applied in various ways, it is void because of vagueness.
the opportunity to be heard in which every citizen is given the Corollary to this is the doctrine of overbreadth which states
chance to defend himself or explain his side through the that a statute that is overly broad is void. This is because it
protection of general rules of procedure. It contemplates prevents a person from exercising his constitutional rights, as
notice and opportunity to be heard before judgment is it fails to give an adequate warning or boundary between
rendered. what is constitutionally permissive and not. If a law, for
In judicial proceedings, the requirements of procedural due instance, prohibits a bystander from doing any annoying act
process are:[8] to passersby, the law is void because annoying act could
(a) An impartial or objective court or tribunal with jurisdiction mean anything to a passerby and as such, overly broad.
over the subject matter;
(b) Court with jurisdiction over the person of the defendant or Equal Protection
the property which is the subject of the proceeding; 1. Meaning. The guarantee of equal protection means that no
(c) Defendant given the opportunity to be heard (requirement person or class of persons shall be deprived of the same
on notice and hearing); and protection of the laws which is enjoyed by other persons or
(d) Judgment rendered after lawful hearing. other classes in the same place and in like
Since some cases are decided by administrative bodies, the circumstances.[11] It means that all persons or things
Court also provides requirements of procedural due process similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights
in administrative proceedings. These requirements, also conferred and responsibilities imposed. The guarantee does
known as seven cardinal primary rights, are:[9] not provide absolute equality of rights or indiscriminate
(a) The right to a hearing, where a party may present operation on persons. Persons or things that are differently
evidence in support of his case; situated may thus be treated differently. Equality only applies
(b) The tribunal must consider the evidence presented; among equals. What is prohibited by the guarantee is the
(c) The decision of the tribunal must be supported by discriminatory legislation which treats differently or favors
evidence; others when both are similarly situated.
(d) The evidence must be substantial. Substantial evidence is 2. Purpose. The purpose of the guarantee is to prohibit hostile
such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as discrimination or undue favor to anyone, or giving special
adequate to support a conclusion; privilege when it is not reasonable or justified.
(e) The evidence must have been presented at the hearing, or 3. Reasonable Classification. Well established is the rule
at least contained in the record and known to the parties that reasonable classification does not violate the guarantee,
affected; provided that the classification has the following requisites:
(f) The tribunal or body or any of its judges must rely on its [12]
own independent consideration of evidence, and not rely on (a) It must be based upon substantial distinctions;
the recommendation of a subordinate; and (b) It must be germane to the purpose of the law;
(g) The decision must state the facts and the law in such (c) It must not be limited to existing conditions only; and
a way that the parties are apprised of the issues involved and (d) It must apply equally to all members of the class.
the reasons for the decision. 4. Example. In one case,[13] Section 66 of the Omnibus
5. Notice and Opportunity to be Heard. What matters in Election Code was challenged for being unconstitutional, as it
procedural due process are notice and an opportunity to be is violative of the equal protection clause. The provision
heard. distinguishes between an elective official and an appointive
(a) Notice. This is an essential element of procedural due official in the filing of theire certificate of candidacy. While
process, most especially in judicial proceedings, because elective officials are not deemed resigned upon the filing their
without notice the court will not acquire jurisdiction and its certificates, appointive officials are. The Supreme Court held
judgment will not bind the defendant. The purpose of the that the law is constitutional and not violative of equal
notice is to inform the defendant of the nature and character protection since the classification is valid. The Court argues
of the case filed against him, and more importantly, to give that elective office is different from appointive office, in that
him a fair opportunity to prepare his defense. Nevertheless, the mandate of the former is from the people, while that of
the notice is useless without the opportunity to be heard. the latter is from the appointing authority. The term of the
(b) Opportunity to be Heard. It must be emphasized that what elective officials are likewise longer than that of the
is required is not actual hearing but a real opportunity to appointive officials. Thus, the classification is adjudged
be heard.[10] If, for instance, a person fails to actually appear reasonable and valid.
in a hearing even though he was given the chance to do so, a 5. Discrimination against Aliens. Although the protection
decision rendered by the court is not in violation of due extends to both citizens and aliens, discrimination against
process. Moreover, strict observance of the rule is not aliens may be held valid under certain circumstances. For
necessary, especially in administrative cases. In fact, in example, citizens by virtue of their membership to the
administrative proceedings, notice and hearing may be political community possess complete civil and political rights,
dispensed with for public need or for practical reasons. It is while aliens do not have complete political rights. The former
also sufficient that subsequent hearing is held if the same was can vote during elections, run for public office, own real
not previously satisfied. property, while aliens cannot.
6. Substantive due process requires that the law itself is valid, 6. Review of Laws. If the laws are scrutinized by the court, it
fair, reasonable, and just. For the law to be fair and said to be subject to judicial review. There are three
reasonable it must have a valid objective which is pursued in standards followed by the court in judicial review, these are:
a lawful manner. The objective of the government is valid (a) Deferential review in which laws are upheld to be valid or
when it pertains to the interest of the general public, as consistent to the guarantee of equal protection when they are
distinguished from those of a particular class. The manner of rational and the classifications therein bear a relation to a
pursuing the objective is lawful if the means employed are legitimate governmental interests or purpose. In here the
reasonably necessary and not unduly oppressive. courts do not seriously inquire into the substantiality of the
7. Under the doctrine of void for vagueness, a statute or law interest and possibility of alternative means to achieve the
that is vague is void because it violates the rights to due objectives;
process. A statute is vague when it lacks comprehensible (b) Intermediate review in which the substantiality of the
standards which men of ordinary intelligence must necessarily governmental interest is closely scrutinized as well as the
know as to its common meaning but differ as to its availability of less restrictive means or alternatives. This
application. Such kind of statute is opposed to the standard is used if the classification involves important but
Constitution because it fails to accord persons proper not fundamental interests; and
understanding or fair notice, and because the government is (c) Strict scrutiny in which the government is required to show
given unbridled freedom to carry out its provision. For this the presence of a compelling government interest, rather than
doctrine to be operative, however, the statute must be utterly a mere substantial interest, and the absence of a less
vague. Thus, if a law, for example, could be interpreted and restrictive means for achieving the interest. Upon showing of
these requirements, the limitation of a fundamental
constitutional right is justified. This standard is used if the law Tests to Determine When Right Maybe Suppressed
classifies persons and limits others of their exercise of There are six tests or rules to determine when the freedom
fundamental rights. may be suppressed. These are:
(1) Dangerous Tendency Test which provides that if a speech
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION is capable of producing a substantive evil which the State is
Meaning and Scope mandated to suppress or prevent, even if it did not
1. Constitutional Provision. Section 4, Article III provides that materialize, the State is justified of restricting the right. This
no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of rule has already been abandoned;
expression, or of the press, or the right of the people (2) Clear and Present Danger Test which is a more libertarian
peaceably to assemble and petition the government for rule, provides that the finding out of substantive evil is not
redress of grievances. The right underscores tolerance to enough to suppress the right. Rather the substantive evil must
different views and thoughts. have clear and present danger type depending on the specific
2. Aspects of the Right. Freedom of expression has four circumstances of the case. This rule is consistent with the
aspects, to wit: (a) freedom of speech; (b) freedom of principle of maximum tolerance and is often applied by the
expression; (c) freedom of the press; and (d) freedom of Court in freedom of expression cases;
assembly. Nonetheless, the scope of the protection extends to (c) Balancing of Interest Test which provides that when there
right to form associations or societies not contrary to law, is conflict between a regulation and freedom of speech, the
right to access to information on matters of public concern, court has the duty to determine which of the two demands
and freedom of religion. These are all crucial to the greater protection;
advancement of beliefs and ideas and the establishment of an (d) Grave-but-Improbable Danger Test which was meant to
uninhibited, robust and wide-open debate in the free market supplant the clear and present danger test, determines
of ideas.[23] whether the gravity of the evil, less its improbability to
3. Importance of the Right. Freedom of expression is accorded happen, can justify the suppression of the right in order to
the highest protection in the Bill of Rights since it is avoid the danger;[29]
indispensable to the preservation of liberty and democracy. (e) OBrien Test which provides that when speech and non-
Thus, religious, political, academic, artistic, and commercial speech elements are combined in the same course of
speeches are protected by the constitutional guarantee. conduct, a sufficiently important government interest that
4. Limitation. The right is not absolute. It must be exercised warrants the regulation of the non-speech element can also
within the bounds of law, morals, public policy and public justify incidental limitations on the speech element; and
order, and with due regard for others rights. Thus, obscene, (f) Direct Incitement Test which determines what words are
libelous, and slanderous speeches are not protected by the uttered and the likely result of the utterance, that is, whether
guarantee. So are seditious and fighting words that advocate or not they will directly incite or produce imminent lawless
imminent lawless conduct. action.
Freedom from Prior Restraint and Subsequent Punishment
1. Freedom of speech and of the press has two aspects: (a) Restrictions on Freedom of Speech
freedom from prior restraint, and (b) freedom from 1. Two Kinds of Restrictions. The State may impose two kinds
subsequent punishment. of restrictions on speech under a system of prior
restraint: content-based restriction and content-neutral
2. On the one hand, freedom from prior restraint means restriction. The restriction is content-based when restriction is
freedom from censorship or governmental screening of what directed to the speech itself, while the restriction is content-
is politically, morally, socially, and artistically correct. In here, neutral when it is directed, not to the speech itself, but to the
persons and the media are freed from total suppression or incidents (such as time, place, or manner) of the speech. An
restriction by the government of what could be disseminated, example of a content-based restriction is when the
and prevents the government from being a subjective arbiter government prohibits speeches against the President, in
of what is acceptable and not. Although the system of prior which case the restriction is on the speech itself. An example
restraint is presumed unconstitutional, it is allowed under the of a content-neutral restriction is when the government
following instances:[24] regulates the manner of posting campaign advertisements, in
(a) Undue utterances in time of war; which case the restriction is on the manner the right is made.
(b) Actual obstruction or unauthorized dissemination of 2. Appropriate Tests for Each Restriction. If the governmental
military information; restriction is content-based, the applicable rule or test is the
(c) Obscene publication; and clear and present danger test. This is to give the government
(d) Inciting to rebellion. a heavy burden to show justification for the imposition of such
prior restraint which bears a heavy presumption of
3. On the other hand, freedom from subsequent unconstitutionality. If the restriction is content-neutral, the
punishment refers to the assurance that citizens can speak applicable rule is only an intermediate approach, inasmuch as
and air out their opinions without fear of vengeance by the the restraint is only regulatory and does not attack the speech
government. Subsequent chastisement has the effect of directly.
unduly curtailing expression, and thus freedom therefrom is 3. Example. In one case, the court held that the act of
essential to the freedom of speech and the press. The State, granting a permit to rally under the condition that it will be
however, can validly impose subsequent punishment under held elsewhere is a content-based restriction and not content-
the following instances: neutral because it is directed to the exercise of the speech
(a) Libel which is the most common form of subsequent right itself and not merely to the manner. As such, the
punishment, refers to a public and malicious imputation of a applicable test is the clear and present danger test.[30]
crime, vice or defect, real or imaginary or any act or omission, Regulations on Mass Media
status tending to cause dishonor, discredit or contempt of a Mass media may be broadcast media (e.g. television and
natural or juridical person, or blacken the memory of one who radio) or print media (e.g. newspaper). The two have a
is dead;[25] substantial difference in that broadcast media has a uniquely
(b) Obscenity which includes works (taken as a whole) pervasive presence in the lives of Filipinos. Thus, freedom of
appealing to prurient interest or depicting sexual conduct as television and radio broadcasting is somewhat lesser than the
defined by law or lacking of serious literary, artistic, political freedom accorded to the print media;[31] greater regulation is
or scientific value;[26] imposed over broadcast media because of its greater
(c) Criticism of official conduct made with actual malice; tendency to invade the privacy of everyone than print media.
[27] and Doctrine of Fair Comment
(d) School articles which materially disrupt class work or 1. Meaning. Under the doctrine of fair comment, a
involves substantial disorder or invasion of rights of others. discreditable imputation directed against a public person in
[28] his public capacity, does not necessarily make one liable.
Although generally every discreditable imputation publicly [35] The terms and conditions of employment in the
made is deemed false and malicious because every man is Government, including in any political subdivision or
presumed innocent until proven guilty, nevertheless, if the instrumentality thereof and government owned and controlled
imputation directed against a person in his public is based on corporations with original charters, are governed by law and
established facts, even if the inferred opinion is wrong, the the employees therein shall not strike for purposes of securing
comments as justified. As long as the opinion might changes.[36]
reasonably inferred from the facts, it is not actionable. In Right to Information
order to that such discreditable imputation to a public official 1. Constitutional Provision. Section 7, Article III provides that
may be actionable, it must either be a false allegation or a the right of the people to information on matters of public
baseless comment.[32] concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to
2. Example. If a case of theft was filed against a barangay documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions,
official, and someone commented that he maliciously stole or decisions, as well as to government research data used as
things from the local residents, the doctrine of fair comment is basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen,
applicable, inasmuch as the opinion was based on such fact. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
In here, the comment is justified. 2. Scope and Limitation. The right guarantees access to
Commercial Speech official records for any lawful purpose. However, access may
1. Meaning. Commercial speech is one that proposes a be denied by the government if the information sought
commercial transaction done in behalf of a company or involves: (a) National security matters, military and diplomatic
individual for purposes of profit. It is a protected speech for as secrets; (b) Trade or industrial secrets; (c) Criminal matters;
long as it is not false or misleading and does not propose an and (d) Other confidential information (such as inter-
illegal transaction.[33] government exchanges prior to consultation of treaties and
2. But if the government has a substantial interest to protect, executive agreement, and privilege speech).
even a truthful and lawful commercial speech may be FREEDOM OF RELIGION
regulated.[34] Two Aspects of Freedom of Religion
3. Private speech is accorded more freedom and protection 1. Freedom of religion has two aspects: (a) the freedom to
than commercial speech. believe, and (b) the freedom to act on ones belief. The first
aspect is in the realm of the mind, and as such it is absolute,
Freedom of Assembly since the State cannot control the mind of the citizen. Thus,
1. Meaning. Freedom of assembly refers to the right to hold a every person has the absolute right to believe (or not to
rally to voice out grievances against the government. believe) in anything whatsoever without any possible external
2. Freedom not Subject to Prior Restraint. As a rule, freedom restriction by the government. The aspect refers to the
of assembly is not subject to prior restraint or prior issuance externalization of belief as it is now brought out from the
of permit by government authorities. Nevertheless, it must be bosom of internal belief. Since it may affect peace, morals,
exercised in such a way that will not to prejudice public public policy, and order, the government may interfere or
welfare. Freedom of assembly is reinforced by Batas regulate such aspect of the right.
Pambansa Blg. 880, otherwise known as the Public Assembly 2. The second aspect is expressed in Section 5, Article III, thus
Acts of 1985, which basically provides the requirements and The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession
procedure for holding rallies. It also implements the and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall
observance of maximum tolerance towards participants of forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the
rallies consistent with the clear and present danger test. exercise of civil or political rights.
3. Permit Requirement. Under the said law, permit is required Non-establishment Clause
to hold a rally. It must be emphasized, however, that the 1. Constitutional Provision. Section 5, Article III provides that
permit is not a requirement for the validity of the assembly or no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion,
rally, because the right is not subject to prior restraint. Rather, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
the permit is a requirement for the use of the public place. 2. Explanation. The non-establishment clause holds that the
4. When Permit not Required. Permit is not required if the rally State cannot set up a church or pass laws aiding one religion,
is held in a private place, in a campus of a state college or all religion, or preferring one over another, or force a person
university, or in a freedom park, in which case only to believe or disbelieve in any religion.[37] In order words, it
coordination with the police is required. If the application for prohibits the State from establishing an official religion. It
permit is not acted upon by the mayor within two working discourages excessive government involvement with religion
days, then the same is deemed granted. and manifest support to any one religious denomination.
5. Political rally during election is regulated by the Omnibus Manifestly, the clause is rooted in the principle of separation
Election Code, not by BP 880. of church and state.
3. Particular Prohibitions. In particular, the non-establishment
Right to Form Associations clause prohibits, among others, prayers of a particular
1. Constitutional Provision. Section 8, Article III provides that denomination to start a class in public schools,[38] financial
the right of the people, including those employed in the subsidy of a parochial school,[39] display of the ten
public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or commandments in front of a courthouse,[40] law prohibiting
societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be the teaching of evolution,[41] mandatory reading of the bible,
abridged. [42] and using the word God in the pledge of allegiance.[43]
2. Who may Exercise the Right. The right of association may 4. Exceptions to the Prohibition. The clause, however, permits
be exercised by the employed or the unemployed and by the following:
those employed in the government or in the private sector. It (a) Tax exemption on property actually, directly and
likewise embraces the right to form unions both in the exclusively used for religious purposes;[44]
government and private sector. The right of civil servants to (b) Religious instruction in sectarian schools[45] and
unionize is expressly provided in Section 2(5), Article IX-B: expansion of educational facilities in parochial schools for
The right to self-organization shall not be denied to secular activities;[46]
government employees. The right of labor in general to (c) Religious instruction in public schools, elementary and high
unionize is likewise provided in Section 3, Article XIII: [The school, at the option of parents or guardians expressed in
State] shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self- writing, within regular class hours by designated instructors,
organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and and without additional costs to the government;[47]
peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in (d) Financial support given to priest, preacher, minister, or
accordance with law. dignitary assigned to the armed forces, penal institution or
3. Right to Strike not Included. The right to form associations government orphanage or leprosarium;[48]
or to self-organization does not include the right to strike. (e) Government sponsorship of town fiestas which traditions
Thus, public school teachers do not enjoy the right to strike are used to be purely religious but have now acquired secular
even if they are given the constitutional right of association. character;[49] and
(f) Postage stamps depicting Philippines as the venue of a person is on bail, or under a watch-list and hold departure
significant religious event, in that the benefit to religious sect order.
is incidental to the promotion of the Philippines as a tourist
destination.[50] Right to Return to Ones Country
Tests to Determine whether Governmental Act Violates Although the right to return to ones country is not among the
Freedom of Religion rights expressly mentioned in the Bill of Rights, it is
1. Different tests are used to determine if there are nonetheless recognized and protected in the Philippines. It is a
governmental violations of non-establishment clause and free generally accepted principle of international law, and as such
exercise clause. On the on hand, Lemon Test is used to it is part of the law of the land, pursuant to the doctrine of
determine whether an act of the government violates the non- incorporation. It is different from the right to travel and is
establishment clause. Under this test, a law or a guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and
governmental act does not violate the clause when it has a Political Rights.[55]
secular purpose, does not promote or favor any set of
religious beliefs, and does not get the government too NON-IMPAIRMENT OF CONTRACTS
entangled with religion.[51] Contract Clause
2. On the other hand, Compelling State Interest Test and Clear 1. Section 10, Article III provides that no law impairing the
and Present Danger Test are used to determine whether there obligation of contracts shall be passed. This is the so-called
is violation of free-exercise clause. Compelling state interest contract clause, which seeks to restrain substantial legislative
test is used to determine if the interests of the State are impairment of, or intrusion into, the obligations of contracts.
compelling enough to justify intrusion into an individuals What the clause guarantees is the integrity of contracts
freedom of religion. Under this test, government infringement against undue interference by the government.
is justified if the burden it creates on freedom of religion is 2. For example, if a lawyer enters into a contract with a client
due to a sufficiently compelling state interest and the means by which the latter will pay 5% of the value of the monetary
used to attain its purpose is the least intrusive. Clear and claim, a subsequent law which deprives the lawyer of the said
present danger test is used to determine whether the value is arbitrary and unreasonable since it is destructive of
circumstance are of such nature as to create a clear and the inviolability of contracts, and therefore invalid as lacking
present danger that will bring about a substantive evil which of due process.[56]
the state has the right to prevent. Contracts Affected
3, Example. In one case,[52] the Court held that expulsion 1. Only valid contracts, either executed or executory, are
from school is unjustified if is based on the conflict between covered by the guarantee.
religious beliefs and school practices (saluting the flag). The 2. The agreement of the parties, as long as it is valid, is the
expulsion violates the right of children to education. Using the law between them. Their will should prevail, and this must be
clear and present danger test, the Court held that the danger respected by the legislature and not tampered with by
of disloyalty which the government is trying to prevent may subsequent laws. Well-established is the policy that the
be the very same thing that it advocates if expulsion is subject of contractual agreements is imbued with paramount
validated. Times have changed. Freedom of religion is now public interest.
recognized as a preferred right. Kind of Impairment Covered
Religious Solicitations 1. For the clause to be operative, the impairment caused by
Under Presidential Decree No. 1564, also known as law must be substantial. Substantial impairment happens
the Solicitation Law, permit is required before solicitations for when the law changes the terms of a legal contract between
charitable and public welfare purposes may be carried out. parties, either in the time or mode of performance, or imposes
The purpose of the law is to protect the public from fraudulent new conditions, or dispenses with those expressed, or
solicitations. Nonetheless, permit is no longer required if the authorizes for its satisfaction something different from that
solicitation is for religious purposes. Fraud is much less in provided in its terms.[57] In other words, the act of
religion. If the law is extended to religion, then it becomes impairment is anything that diminishes the value of the
unconstitutional; it constitutes restriction on freedom of contract.[58]
religion as resources necessary for maintenance are deprived 2. The cause of the impairment must be legislative in nature.
of churches. The obligation of contract must be impaired by a statute,
Conscientious Objector Test ordinance, or any legislative act for it to come within the
A conscientious objector is someone who sincerely claims the meaning of the constitutional provision.[59] An administrative
right to refuse to perform military service[53] and salute a order or court decision is not included in the scope of the
flag[54] on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, constitutional guarantee.
and/or religion. He may be granted exemption from military 3. In one case,[60] the Court held that a Rehabilitation Plan
service or from saluting the flag if he establishes that his approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission which
objection is sincere, based on religious training and belief, suspends contractual claims against an insolvent or bankrupt
and not arbitrary. corporation does not violate the contract clause. The
impairment must be legislative in character. SECs approval of
LIBERTY OF ABODE AND RIGHT TO TRAVEL the plan is not a legislative act but an administrative act.
Freedom of Movement Thus, there is not impairment of the freedom to contract.
1. Constitutional Provision. Section 6, Article III provides that Limitations
the liberty of abode and of changing the same within the 1. As between freedom of contract and police power, police
limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon power prevails. Thus, laws enacted in exercise of police power
lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be will prevail over contracts. After all, private rights and interest
impaired except in the interest of national security, public in contracts must yield to the common good. Every contract
safety, or public health, as may be provided by law. affecting public welfare is presumed to include the provisions
2. Aspects of the Freedom. Freedom of movement has two of existing laws and a reservation of police power.
aspects: (a) Freedom to choose and change ones domicile, 2. The supremacy of police power is felt most clearly in labor
and (b) Freedom to travel within and outside the country. A contracts and agricultural tenancy contracts. For instance, a
persons place of abode or domicile is his permanent law (Blue Sunday Law) which provides for work or play on a
residence. Sunday is upheld as valid even if it nullifies existing labor
Limitations contracts, since it is a legitimate exercise of police power.
1. Freedom of movement is not an absolute right. It has [61] In another case, a law (R.A. No. 34) changed the crop-
limitations. Liberty of abode may be impaired or restricted sharing system between the landlord and tenants from 50-50
when there is a lawful court order. to 55-45 in favor of the tenants. The Court held that the law is
2. The right to travel may also be restricted in interest of valid. Consistent with the policy of social justice, the law
national security, public safety, or public health, or when a favored the tenants as well as the general welfare of the
people in exchange of contractual rights.
3. The power of taxation and power of eminent domain, indemnity for damages in cases where there is an abuse of
inasmuch as they are also sovereign powers of the state, can rights, even when the act is not illicit.
validly impair obligations of contracts. When a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform
4. Licenses are different from contracts. Licenses are with the norms enshrined in Article 19 and results in damage
franchises or privileges given by the State to qualified entities to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the
that may be withdrawn or relinquished when national wrongdoer must be held responsible. Although the
interests so require. However, like contracts, they yield to requirements of each provision is different, these three (3)
police power. articles are all related to each other. As the eminent Civilist
Senator Arturo Tolentino puts it: With this article (Article 21),
RIGHT TO SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES combined with articles 19 and 20, the scope of our law on civil
Section 16, Article III states that all persons shall have the wrongs has been very greatly broadened; it has become much
right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, more supple and adaptable than the Anglo-American law on
quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies. Unlike the right to torts. It is now difficult to conceive of any malevolent exercise
speedy trial which applies only in criminal proceedings, the of a right which could not be checked by the application of
right to speedy disposition of cases may be invoked in all these articles (Tolentino, 1 Civil Code of the Philippines 72).
cases, whether judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative. Thus, There is however, no hard and fast rule which can be applied
right to speedy disposition of cases is broader than right to to determine whether or not the principle of abuse of rights
speedy trial. may be invoked. The question of whether or not the principle
of abuse of rights has been violated, resulting in damages
RIGHT AGAINST INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE under Articles 20 and 21 or other applicable provision of law,
1. Constitutional Provision. Section 18, Article III provides that depends on the circumstances of each case. (Globe Mackay
no person should be detained solely by reason of his political Cable and Radio Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 176 SCRA
beliefs and aspirations, nor should involuntary servitude in 778 [1989]).
any form exist, except as a punishment for a crime. The first The elements of an abuse of right under Article 19 are the
part of the provision deals with the right not to be detained by following: (1) There is a legal right or duty; (2) which is
reason solely of political beliefs and aspirations. This is exercised in bad faith; (3) for the sole intent of prejudicing or
essentially embodied in the freedom of expression but with injuring another. Article 20 speaks of the general sanction for
emphasis on the prohibition against incarceration of political all other provisions of law which do not especially provide for
prisoners. The second part deals with the right against their own sanction (Tolentino, supra, p. 71). Thus, anyone
involuntary servitude. Involuntary servitude refers to the who, whether willfully or negligently, in the exercise of his
compulsory service of another or simply modern day slavery. legal right or duty, causes damage to another, shall indemnify
The right is based on the egalitarian principle of democracy his victim for injuries suffered thereby. Article 21 deals with
which prescribes equality of everyone in law, and on humanity acts contra bonus mores, and has the following elements: 1)
which prevents degradation of human dignity through There is an act which is legal; 2) but which is contrary to
enforced labor. morals, good custom, public order, or public policy; 3) and it is
2. Slavery is an ancient practice of treating man as a done with intent to injure. Thus, under any of these three (3)
commodity under the complete power of the master. This has provisions of law, an act which causes injury to another may
never been practiced in the Philippines, but has its remnants be made the basis for an award of damages.
in modern forms of enforced labor and peonage. Enforced Of the three articles, Art. 19 was intended to expand the
labor happens when a person is unlawfully compelled to work concept of torts by granting adequate legal remedy for the
against his will; it is involuntary and to a certain extent untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human
resembles slavery. When a person, because of poverty or lack foresight to provide specifically in statutory law. If mere fault
of money, works for another in payment of his debt, the same or negligence in ones acts can make him liable for damages
is prohibited by the present guarantee even if the service is for injury caused thereby, with more reason should abuse or
rendered voluntarily. This voluntary service in payment of bad faith make him liable. The absence of good faith is
debt is called peonage. While it appears voluntary, peonage is essential to abuse of right. Good faith is an honest intention to
prohibited because the person is forced to work by the abstain from taking any unconscientious advantage of
circumstances of his indebtedness, although not by his another, even through the forms or technicalities of the law,
creditor. together with an absence of all information or belief of fact
2. Exceptions. Involuntary servitude may be allowed under the which would render the transaction unconscientious. In
following instances: (a) as punishment for crime; (b) in the business relations, it means good faith as understood by men
case of personal, military or civil service in defense of the of affairs.
State; and (c) in compliance to a return to work order issued While Article 19 may have been intended as a mere
by the Department of Labor and Employment. declaration of principle, the cardinal law on human conduct
expressed in said article has given rise to certain rules, e.g.
Principle of Abuse of Rights that where a person exercises his rights but does so arbitrarily
The principle of abuse of rights is found under Articles 19, 20 or unjustly or performs his duties in a manner that is not in
and 21 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, which states that: keeping with honesty and good faith, he opens himself to
Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and liability.
in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give Article 19 of the Civil Code, sets certain standards which may
everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith. be observed not only in the exercise of ones rights but also in
Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or the performance of ones duties. These standards are the
negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the following: to act with justice; to give everyone his due; and to
latter for the same. observe honesty and good faith. The law, therefore,
Art. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to recognizes the primordial limitation on all rights: that in their
another in manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or exercise, the norms of human conduct set forth in Article 19
public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. must be observed. A right, though by itself legal because
The above articles, depart from the classical theory that he recognized or granted by law as such, may nevertheless
who uses a right injures no one. The modern tendency is to become the source of some illegality.
depart from the classical and traditional theory, and to grant