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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
February-2008 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 5738 - WILFREDO M. CATU v. ATTY. VICENTE G. RELLOSA

  • A.C. No. 5281 - MANUEL L. LEE v. ATTY. REGINO B. TAMBAGO

  • A.C. No. 7657 - VIVIAN VILLANUEVA v. ATTY. CORNELIUS M. GONZALES

  • A.M. No. 07-3-13-SC - IN RE: COMPLIANCE OF IBP CHAPTERS WITH ADM. ORDER NO. 16-2007, LETTER-COMPLIANCE OF ATTY. RAMON EDISON C. BATACAN

  • A.M. No. 07-4-05-CA, A.M. NO. 07-5-1-SC and A.M. NO. 07-5-2-SC - RE: REQUEST OF THELMA J. CHIONG FOR INVESTIGATION OF THE ALLEGED "JUSTICE FOR SALE" IN CA-CEBU

  • A.M. No. 07-10-260-MTC - RE: ABSENCE WITHOUT OFFICIAL LEAVE (AWOL) OF MR. GREGORIO B. SADDI, Clerk of Court II, Municipal Trial Court, Sasmuan, Pampanga

  • A.M. No. MTJ-07-1664 - RE: Administrative Matter No. 05-8-244-MTC (records of cases which remained in the custody of Retired Judge Romulo G. Carteciano, Municipal Trial Court, Los Baños, Laguna)

  • A.M. No. MTJ-P-08-1697 - ESTANISLAO V. ALVIOLA v. JUDGE HENRY B. AVELINO ETC.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1605 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 01-1119 P - NOEL VITUG v. PERLITO G. DIMAGIBA

  • A.M. No. P-04-1875 - EMILIANO MALABANAN v. NIÑO R. METRILLO

  • A.M. No. P-05-1999 - ANGELES A. VELASCO v. ATTY. PROSPERO V. TABLIZO

  • A.M. No. P-07-2346 - RE: LETTER OF JUDGE LORENZA BORDIOS PACULDO, Municipal Trial Court, Branch 1, San Pedro, Laguna, ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAPSES COMMITTED BY NELIA P. ROSALES, Utility Worker, Same Court

  • A.M. No. P-06-2113 Formerly A.M. No. 05-12-357-MTC and OCA I.P.I. No. 05-2195-P - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. EFREN F. VARELA

  • A.M. No. P-07-2394 - EDGARDO C. RIVERA v. DANVER A. BUENA, ETC.

  • A.M. No. P-07-2398 - IRENEO GERONCA v. VINCENT HORACE V. MAGALONA

  • A.M. No. P-07-2403 Formerly OCA IPI No. 07-2598-P - RE: REGIDOR R. TOLEDO, RONALDO TOLEDO, AND JOEFFREY TOLEDO v. ATTY. JERRY RADAM TOLEDO, RTC, BRANCH 259, PARAÑAQUE CITY

  • A.M. No. P-07-2405 - JUDGE FLORENTINO L. LABIS, JR. v. GENARO ESTA OL, ETC.

  • A.M. No. P-08-2424 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 05-2211-P - HEDELIZA GABISON v. MIRA THELMA V. ALMIRANTE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-04-1826 - GREENSTAR BOCAY MANGANDINGAN v. JUDGE SANTOS B. ADIONG, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-04-1884 Formerly OCA IPI No. 03-1806-RTJ - SILAS Y. CAÑADA v. ILDEFONSO B. SUERTE, ETC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-08-2107 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 04-2019-RTJ] - HAJIN HEAVY INDUSTRIES AND CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD. ETC. v. JUDGE ROGELIO M. PIZARRO, ET AL.

  • ADM. MATTER NO. RTJ-92-822 - ROBERTO L. UNTALAN v. JUDGE DEODORO J. SISON

  • G.R. No. 124915 - RIZAL SECURITY & PROTECTIVE SERVICES, INC. v. HON. DIRECTOR ALEX E. MARAAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125267 - EL ORO ENGRAVER CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126297, G.R. No. 126467 and G.R. No. 127590 - PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, INC. v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130389 - THE PHILIPPINE COTTON CORP. v. NARAINDAS GAGOOMAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130623 - LOREA DE UGALDE v. JON DE YSASI

  • G.R. No. 130841 - SPS. VIRGINIA G. GONZAGA AND ALFREDO GONZAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 139594-95 - BORROMEO BROS. ESTATE, INC. v. EDGAR JOHN A. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 132453 - NATIONAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION, ET AL. v. HON. FELICIANO V. BUENAVENTURA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143959 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NORMA BOOC

  • G.R. No. 146031 - DELTA DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC., ETC. v. HOUSING AND LAND USE REGULATORY BOARD

  • G.R. No. 146408 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. v. ENRIQUE LIGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147443 - LPBS COMMERCIAL, INC. v. HON. VENANCIO J. AMILA, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 147773-74 - DENNIS MANGANGEY, ET AL. v. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149553 - NICOLAS LAYNESA AND SANTOS LAYNESA v. PAQUITO AND PACITA UY

  • G.R. No. 150276 - CECILIA B. ESTINOZO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151413 - CAGAYAN VALLEY DRUG CORP. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 150824 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 153510 - R.B. MICHAEL PRESS, ET AL. v. NICASIO C. GALIT

  • G.R. No. 153567 - LIBRADA M. AQUINO v. ERNEST S. AURE

  • G.R. No. 153587 - GLORIA SONDAYON v. P.J. LHUILLER, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153821 - FORBES PARK ASSOCIATION INC. v. PAGREL, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153835 - GMA NETWORK INC. v. VIVA TELEVISION CORP.

  • G.R. NOS. 154297-300 - PUBLIC ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, ET AL. v. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 154557 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 154503 - UNIWIDE SALES WAREHOUSE CLUB, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. noxxxxx - KAUNLARAN LENDING INVESTORS, INC., ET AL. v. LORETA UY

  • G.R. No. 154992 - HARRY G. LIM v. ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155111 - CORNELIO LAMPESA, ET AL. v. DR. JUAN DE VERA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155408 - JULIO A. VIVARES, ET AL. v. ENGR. JOSE J. REYES

  • G.R. No. 155850 - EDGARDO POSTANES v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 155831, G.R. NO. 155840 and G.R. NO. 158700 - MA. LOURDES T. DOMINGO v. ROGELIO I. RAYALA

  • G.R. No. 156224 - HEIRS OF PANFILO F. ABALOS v. AURORA A. BUCAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 156547-51 and G.R. NOS. 156384-85 - MARIANO UN OCAMPO III v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 156613 - MALAYANG KAPISANAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA ASSOCIATED ANGLO AMERICAN TOBACCO CORPORATION (MAKAMANGGAGAWA), ET AL. v. ASSOCIATED ANGLO AMERICAN TOBACCO CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156052 - SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY, ET AL. v. HON. JOSE L. ATIENZA, JR., ETC., CHEVRON PHILIPPINES INC., PETRON CORPORATION and PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

  • G.R. NOS. 156851-55 - HEIDE M. ESTANDARTE v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 157040 - JERRYCO C. RIVERA v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 157287 - WT CONSTRUCTION, INC. v. HON. ULRIC R. CA ETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 157177 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. JESUSA P. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 157573 - ELINEL CA A v. EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 158086 - ASJ CORPORATION, ET AL. v. SPS. EFREN & MAURA EVANGELISTA

  • G.R. No. 158332 - MARICALUM MINING CORP. v. REMINGTON INDUSTRIAL SALES CORP.

  • A.C. No. noxxxxx - FERNANDO MONTECILLO v. IRMA PAMA

  • G.R. No. 158848 and G.R. No. 171994 - ESTEBAN YAU v. RICARDO C. SILVERIO, SR.

  • G.R. No. 158941 - TIMESHARE REALTY CORP. v. CESAR LAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158768 - TITAN-IKEDA CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. PRIMETOWN PROPERTY GROUP, INC.

  • G.R. No. 159026 - MRS. ALBERTA YANSON, ETC. v. THE HON. SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

  • G.R. No. 159240 - GREGORIO SILOT, JR. v. ESTRELLA DE LA ROSA

  • G.R. No. 159489 - FILIPINAS LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY (NOW AYALA LIFE ASSURANCE, INC.) v. CLEMENTE N. PEDROSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 159302 - CITIBANK, N.A. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 159490 - ATLAS CONSOLIDATED MINING AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 159730 - NORKIS TRADING CO., INC., ET AL. v. MELVIN GNILO

  • G.R. No. 160172 - REINEL ANTHONY B. DE CASTRO v. ANNABELLE ASSIDAO-DE CASTRO

  • G.R. No. 160613 - APOLINARDITO C. QUINTANILLA, ET AL. v. PEDRO ABANGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160956 - JOAQUIN QUIMPO, SR., v. CONSUELO ABAD VDA. DE BELTRAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160846 - BENJAMIN B. GERONGA v. HON. EDUARDO VARELA, ETC.

  • G.R. No. 161037 - NORMA S. FACTOR, ET AL. v. ANTONIO V. MARTEL, JR., ET AL.

  • A.C. No. noxxxxx - DY TEBAN TRADING, INC. v. JOSE CHING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162097 - LOURDES A. PASCUA v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 162739 - AMA COMPUTER COLLAGE-SANTIAGO CITY, INC. v. CHELLY P. NACINO, ETC.

  • G.R. No. 162894 - RAYTHEON INTERNATIONAL INC. v. STOCKTON W. ROUZIE, JR.

  • G.R. No. 163101 - BENGUET CORP. v. DENR-MINES ADJUDICATION BOARD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163285 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, ETC. v. HON. HAKIM S. ABDULWAHID, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163419 - TSPIC CORPORATION v. TSPIC EMPLOYEES UNION EMPLOYEES UNION (FFW), ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163437 - ERNESTO PIDELI v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 163566 - RAYMUNDO AND PERLA DE GUZMAN v. PRAXIDES J. AGBAGALA

  • G.R. No. 163692 - ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION v. SOUTH PACIFIC SUGAR CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163744 - METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST, CO. v. NICHOLSON PASCUAL A.K.A. NELSON PASCUAL

  • G.R. No. 164110 - LEONOR B. CRUZ v. TEOFILA M. CATAPANG

  • G.R. No. 164182 - POWER HOMES UNLIMITED CORP. v. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164299 - MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY v. POWERGEN INC.

  • G.R. No. 164479 - ROMBE EXIMTRADE (PHILS.), INC., ET AL. v. ASIATRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK

  • G.R. No. 164587 - ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION CO. INC. v. MID-PASIG LAND DEVELOPMENT CORP.

  • G.R. No. 164815 - SR. INSP. JERRY C. VALEROSO v. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 164763 - ZENON R. PEREZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165121 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. PETER E. NIERRAS

  • G.R. No. 165258 - ROSITA L. FLAMINIANO v. HON. ARSENIO P. ADRIANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166301 - ST. MICHAEL SCHOOL OF CAVITE, INC., ET AL. v. MASAITO DEVELOPMENT CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166435 - THE SUPERINTENDENT OF CITY SCHOOLS FOR MANILA v. MA. GRACIA AZARCON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166458 - MR. SERGIO VILLADAR, JR., ET AL. v. ELDON ZABALA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167217 - P.I. MANUFACTURING, INCORPORATED v. P.I. MANUFACTURING SUPERVISORS AND FOREMAN ASSOCIATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167278 - ATTY. GIL A. VALERA, ETC. v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167461 - VICKY MOSTER v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 167554 - ROMEO ASIS, ET AL. v. CONSUELO ASIS VDA DE GUEVARRA

  • G.R. No. 168338 - FRANCISCO CHAVEZ v. RAUL M. GONZALES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE AZCUNA SEPARATE CONCURRING OPINION

  • G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE NACHURA DISSENTING OPINION

  • G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO SEPARATE CONCURRING OPINION

  • G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SANDOVAL GUTIERREZ CONCURRING OPINION

  • G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE TINGA SEPARATE OPINION

  • G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CHICO-NAZARIO SEPARATE OPINION

  • G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE VELASCO, JR. CONCURRING & DISSENTING OPINIONS

  • G.R. No. 168662 - SANRIO COMPANY LIMITED v. EDGAR C. LIM, ETC.

  • G.R. No. 168533 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HEIRS OF ANGEL T. DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 169245 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NELSON ABON Y NOVIDO

  • G.R. No. 169332 - ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORP. v. WORLD INTERACTIVE NETWORK SYSTEMS JAPAN CO., LTD.

  • G.R. No. 169435 - MUNICIPALITY OF NUEVA ERA, ETC. v. MUNICIPALITY OF MARCOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 169737 - BLUE CROSS HEALTH CARE, INC. v. NEOMI AND DANILO OLIVARES

  • G.R. No. 169877 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AMADOR SEGOBRE Y QUIJANO

  • G.R. No. 169918 - ROMULO J. MAROHOMSALIC v. REYNALDO D. COLE

  • G.R. No. 170115 - PROVINCE OF CEBU v. HEIRS OF RUFINA MORALES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170287 - ALABANG COUNTRY CLUB, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170479 - ANDRE T. ALMOCERA v. JOHNNY ONG

  • G.R. No. 171098 - JUAN G. GARCIA, JR., ET AL. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 171124 - ALEJANDRO NG WEE v. MANUEL TANKIANSEE

  • G.R. No. 171312 - SPS. LINO FRANCISCO & GUIA FRANCISCO v. DEAC CONSTRUCTION, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 171315 - ANTONIO ARBIZO v. SPS. ANTONIO SANTILLAN AND ROSARIO L. SANTILLAN, ETC.

  • G.R. No. 171548 - PHILIPPINE DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 172302 - PRYCE CORPORATION v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 172409 - ROOS INDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION, INC., ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 172528 - JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICA v. BENJAMIN A. SILAYRO

  • G.R. No. 172812 - AMELIA R. ENRIQUEZ, ET AL. v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 172834 - JUN MUPAS, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 172970 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARK JASON JAVIER Y AMANTE

  • G.R. No. 172990 - DOLMAR REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 173207 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INTERNATIONAL BANK, (NOW BANCO DE ORO EPCI, INC.) v. DENNIS CUSTODIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 173264 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. NITA P. JAVIER

  • G.R. No. 173294 - RENNE ENRIQUE BIER v. MA. LOURDES A. BIER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 173594 - SILKAIR (SINGAPORE) PTE, LTD. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 173908 - Eleanor C. Magalang v. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 174055 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. SPS. WILFREDO AND ESTELA ENCINA

  • G.R. NOS. 174902-06 - ALFREDO R. ENRIQUEZ, ET AL. v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

  • G.R. No. 174629 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HON. ANTONIO M. EUGENIO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 174966 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMEO TESTON, ETC.

  • G.R. No. 175275 - EMILIO CAMPOS v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 175325 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. CONCHITO AGUSTIN

  • G.R. No. 175332 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DAMASO GANDIA y CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 175381 - JAMES SVENDSEN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 175687 - MATERRCO INC. v. FIRST LANDLINK ASIA DEVELOPMENT CORP.

  • G.R. No. 175940 Formerly G.R. NOS. 155361-62 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANSON ONG a.k.a. ALLAN CO

  • G.R. NOS. 175930-31 and G.R. NOS. 176010-11 - WILFRED A. NICOLAS v. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 175960 - PADILLA MACHINE SHOP, ET AL. v. RUFINO A. JAVILGAS

  • G.R. No. 175989 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. MARIANO A. NOCOM

  • G.R. No. 176409 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. ROLANDO S. MIEDES, SR.

  • G.R. No. 176385 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EMELIO TOLENTINO Y ESTRELLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 176478 - LORNA A. MEDINA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT (COA)

  • G.R. No. 176533 - JEROME SOLCO v. CLAUDINA V. PROVIDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 176842 - FLORA LEONCIO, ET AL. v. OLYMPIA DE VERA AND CELSO DE VERA

  • G.R. No. 176909 - JEFFREY T. GO v. LEYTE II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

  • G.R. No. 177294 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSEPH DELA PAZ

  • G.R. No. 177927 - FLORANTE S. QUIZON v. HON. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 177572 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JUANITO DELA CRUZ Y RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 178066 Formerly G.R. NOS. 150420-21 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROLANDO ZAMORAGA

  • G.R. No. 178325 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DOMINADOR SORIANO SR.

  • G.R. No. 178537 - SPS. RAFAEL AND ZENAIDA ESTANISLAO v. EAST WEST BANKING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 178881 - SPS. ALEX AND JULIE LAM v. METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST CO.

  • G.R. No. 179104 - ANASTACIO TUBALLA HEIRS, ETC. v. RAUL CABRERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 179189 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. REYNALDO RESUMA Y AGRAVANTE

  • G.R. No. 179285 - IMELDA Q. DIMAPORO v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 179477 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JIMMY TABIO

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO SEPARATE CONCURRING OPINION

      G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO SEPARATE CONCURRING OPINION

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. NO. 168338 : February 15, 2008]

    FRANCISCO CHAVEZ, Petitioner, v. RAUL M. GONZALES, in his capacity as the Secretary of the Department of Justice; and NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NTC), Respondents.

    SEPARATE CONCURRING OPINION

    CARPIO, J.:

    The Case

    This is a petition for the writs of certiorari and prohibition to set aside "acts, issuances, and orders" of respondents Secretary of Justice Raul M. Gonzalez (respondent Gonzales) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), particularly an NTC "press release" dated 11 June 2005, warning radio and television stations against airing taped conversations allegedly between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano (Garcillano)1 under pain of suspension or revocation of their airwave licenses.

    The Facts

    On 24 June 2004, Congress, acting as national board of canvassers, proclaimed President Arroyo winner in the 2004 presidential elections.2 President Arroyo received a total of 12,905,808 votes, 1,123,576 more than the votes of her nearest rival, Fernando Poe, Jr. Sometime before 6 June 2005, the radio station dzMM aired the Garci Tapes where the parties to the conversation discussed "rigging" the results of the 2004 elections to favor President Arroyo. On 6 June 2005, Presidential spokesperson Ignacio Bunye (Bunye) held a press conference in Malacañang Palace, where he played before the presidential press corps two compact disc recordings of conversations between a woman and a man. Bunye identified the woman in both recordings as President Arroyo but claimed that the contents of the second compact disc had been "spliced" to make it appear that President Arroyo was talking to Garcillano.

    However, on 9 June 2005, Bunye backtracked and stated that the woman's voice in the compact discs was not President Arroyo's after all.3 Meanwhile, other individuals went public, claiming possession of the genuine copy of the Garci Tapes.4 Respondent Gonzalez ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate media organizations which aired the Garci Tapes for possible violation of Republic Act No. 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Law.

    On 11 June 2005, the NTC issued a press release warning radio and television stations that airing the Garci Tapes is a "cause for the suspension, revocation and/or cancellation of the licenses or authorizations" issued to them.5 On 14 June 2005, NTC officers met with officers of the broasters group, Kapisanan ng mga Broasters sa Pilipinas (KBP), to dispel fears of censorship. The NTC and KBP issued a joint press statement expressing commitment to press freedom.6

    On 21 June 2005, petitioner Francisco I. Chavez (petitioner), as citizen, filed this petition to nullify the "acts, issuances, and orders" of the NTC and respondent Gonzalez (respondents) on the following grounds: (1) respondents' conduct violated freedom of expression and the right of the people to information on matters of public concern under Section 7, Article III of the Constitution, and (2) the NTC acted ultra vires when it warned radio and television stations against airing the Garci Tapes.

    In their Comment to the petition, respondents raised threshold objections that (1) petitioner has no standing to litigate and (2) the petition fails to meet the case or controversy requirement in constitutional adjudication. On the merits, respondents claim that (1) the NTC's press release of 11 June 2005 is a mere "fair warning," not censorship, cautioning radio and television networks on the lack of authentication of the Garci Tapes and of the consequences of airing false or fraudulent material, and (2) the NTC did not act ultra vires in issuing the warning to radio and television stations.

    In his Reply, petitioner belied respondents' claim on his lack of standing to litigate, contending that his status as a citizen asserting the enforcement of a public right vested him with sufficient interest to maintain this suit. Petitioner also contests respondents' claim that the NTC press release of 11 June 2005 is a mere warning as it already prejudged the Garci Tapes as inauthentic and violative of the Anti-Wiretapping Law, making it a "cleverly disguised x x x gag order."

    ISSUE

    The principal issue for resolution is whether the NTC warning embodied in the press release of 11 June 2005 constitutes an impermissible prior restraint on freedom of expression.

    I vote to (1) grant the petition, (2) declare the NTC warning, embodied in its press release dated 11 June 2005, an unconstitutional prior restraint on protected expression, and (3) enjoin the NTC from enforcing the same.

    1. Standing to File Petition

    Petitioner has standing to file this petition. When the issue involves freedom of expression, as in the present case, any citizen has the right to bring suit to question the constitutionality of a government action in violation of freedom of expression, whether or not the government action is directed at such citizen. The government action may chill into silence those to whom the action is directed. Any citizen must be allowed to take up the cudgels for those who have been cowed into inaction because freedom of expression is a vital public right that must be defended by everyone and anyone.

    Freedom of expression, being fundamental to the preservation of a free, open and democratic society, is of transcendental importance that must be defended by every patriotic citizen at the earliest opportunity. We have held that any concerned citizen has standing to raise an issue of transcendental importance to the nation,7 and petitioner in this present petition raises such issue.

    2. Overview of Freedom of Expression, Prior Restraint and Subsequent Punishment

    Freedom of expression is the foundation of a free, open and democratic society. Freedom of expression is an indispensable condition8 to the exercise of almost all other civil and political rights. No society can remain free, open and democratic without freedom of expression. Freedom of expression guarantees full, spirited, and even contentious discussion of all social, economic and political issues. To survive, a free and democratic society must zealously safeguard freedom of expression.

    Freedom of expression allows citizens to expose and check abuses of public officials. Freedom of expression allows citizens to make informed choices of candidates for public office. Freedom of expression crystallizes important public policy issues, and allows citizens to participate in the discussion and resolution of such issues. Freedom of expression allows the competition of ideas, the clash of claims and counterclaims, from which the truth will likely emerge. Freedom of expression allows the airing of social grievances, mitigating sudden eruptions of violence from marginalized groups who otherwise would not be heard by government. Freedom of expression provides a civilized way of engagement among political, ideological, religious or ethnic opponents for if one cannot use his tongue to argue, he might use his fist instead.

    Freedom of expression is the freedom to disseminate ideas and beliefs, whether competing, conforming or otherwise. It is the freedom to express to others what one likes or dislikes, as it is the freedom of others to express to one and all what they favor or disfavor. It is the free expression for the ideas we love, as well as the free expression for the ideas we hate.9 Indeed, the function of freedom of expression is to stir disputes:

    [I]t may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea.10

    Section 4, Article III of the Constitution prohibits the enactment of any law curtailing freedom of expression:

    No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

    Thus, the rule is that expression is not subject to any prior restraint or censorship because the Constitution commands that freedom of expression shall not be abridged. Over time, however, courts have carved out narrow and well defined exceptions to this rule out of necessity.

    The exceptions, when expression may be subject to prior restraint, apply in this jurisdiction to only four categories of expression, namely: pornography,11 false or misleading advertisement,12 advocacy of imminent lawless action,13 and danger to national security.14 All other expression is not subject to prior restraint. As stated in Turner Broasting System v. Federal Communication Commission, "[T]he First Amendment (Free Speech Clause), subject only to narrow and well understood exceptions, does not countenance governmental control over the content of messages expressed by private individuals."15

    Expression not subject to prior restraint is protected expression or high-value expression. Any content-based prior restraint on protected expression is unconstitutional without exception. A protected expression means what it says - it is absolutely protected from censorship. Thus, there can be no prior restraint on public debates on the amendment or repeal of existing laws, on the ratification of treaties, on the imposition of new tax measures, or on proposed amendments to the Constitution.

    Prior restraint on expression is content-based if the restraint is aimed at the message or idea of the expression. Courts will subject to strict scrutiny content-based restraint. If the content-based prior restraint is directed at protected expression, courts will strike down the restraint as unconstitutional because there can be no content-based prior restraint on protected expression. The analysis thus turns on whether the prior restraint is content-based, and if so, whether such restraint is directed at protected expression, that is, those not falling under any of the recognized categories of unprotected expression.

    If the prior restraint is not aimed at the message or idea of the expression, it is content-neutral even if it burdens expression. A content-neutral restraint is a restraint which regulates the time, place or manner of the expression in public places16 without any restraint on the content of the expression. Courts will subject content-neutral restraints to intermediate scrutiny.17

    An example of a content-neutral restraint is a permit specifying the date, time and route of a rally passing through busy public streets. A content-neutral prior restraint on protected expression which does not touch on the content of the expression enjoys the presumption of validity and is thus enforceable subject to appeal to the courts.18 Courts will uphold time, place or manner restraints if they are content-neutral, narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, and leave open ample alternative channels of expression.19

    In content-neutral prior restraint on protected speech, there should be no prior restraint on the content of the expression itself. Thus, submission of movies or pre-taped television programs to a government review board is constitutional only if the review is for classification and not for censoring any part of the content of the submitted materials.20 However, failure to submit such materials to the review board may be penalized without regard to the content of the materials.21 The review board has no power to reject the airing of the submitted materials. The review board's power is only to classify the materials, whether for general patronage, for adults only, or for some other classification. The power to classify expressions applies only to movies and pre-taped television programs22 but not to live television programs. Any classification of live television programs necessarily entails prior restraint on expression.

    Expression that may be subject to prior restraint is unprotected expression or low-value expression. By definition, prior restraint on unprotected expression is content-based23 since the restraint is imposed because of the content itself. In this jurisdiction, there are currently only four categories of unprotected expression that may be subject to prior restraint. This Court recognized false or misleading advertisement as unprotected expression only in October 2007.24

    Only unprotected expression may be subject to prior restraint. However, any such prior restraint on unprotected expression must hurdle a high barrier. First, such prior restraint is presumed unconstitutional. Second, the government bears a heavy burden of proving the constitutionality of the prior restraint.25

    Courts will subject to strict scrutiny any government action imposing prior restraint on unprotected expression.26 The government action will be sustained if there is a compelling State interest, and prior restraint is necessary to protect such State interest. In such a case, the prior restraint shall be narrowly drawn - only to the extent necessary to protect or attain the compelling State interest.

    Prior restraint is a more severe restriction on freedom of expression than subsequent punishment. Although subsequent punishment also deters expression, still the ideas are disseminated to the public. Prior restraint prevents even the dissemination of ideas to the public.

    While there can be no prior restraint on protected expression, such expression may be subject to subsequent punishment,27 either civilly or criminally. Thus, the publication of election surveys cannot be subject to prior restraint,28 but an aggrieved person can sue for redress of injury if the survey turns out to be fabricated. Also, while Article 201 (2)(b)(3) of the Revised Penal Code punishing "shows which offend any race or religion" cannot be used to justify prior restraint on religious expression, this provision can be invoked to justify subsequent punishment of the perpetrator of such offensive shows.29

    Similarly, if the unprotected expression does not warrant prior restraint, the same expression may still be subject to subsequent punishment, civilly or criminally. Libel falls under this class of unprotected expression. However, if the expression cannot be subject to the lesser restriction of subsequent punishment, logically it cannot also be subject to the more severe restriction of prior restraint. Thus, since profane language or "hate speech" against a religious minority is not subject to subsequent punishment in this jurisdiction,30 such expression cannot be subject to prior restraint.

    If the unprotected expression warrants prior restraint, necessarily the same expression is subject to subsequent punishment. There must be a law punishing criminally the unprotected expression before prior restraint on such expression can be justified. The legislature must punish the unprotected expression because it creates a substantive evil that the State must prevent. Otherwise, there will be no legal basis for imposing a prior restraint on such expression.

    The prevailing test in this jurisdiction to determine the constitutionality of government action imposing prior restraint on three categories of unprotected expression - pornography,31 advocacy of imminent lawless action, and danger to national security - is the clear and present danger test.32 The expression restrained must present a clear and present danger of bringing about a substantive evil that the State has a right and duty to prevent, and such danger must be grave and imminent.33

    Prior restraint on unprotected expression takes many forms - it may be a law, administrative regulation, or impermissible pressures like threats of revoking licenses or withholding of benefits.34 The impermissible pressures need not be embodied in a government agency regulation, but may emanate from policies, advisories or conduct of officials of government agencies.

    3. Government Action in the Present Case

    The government action in the present case is a warning by the NTC that the airing or broasting of the Garci Tapes by radio and television stations is a "cause for the suspension, revocation and/or cancellation of the licenses or authorizations" issued to radio and television stations. The NTC warning, embodied in a press release, relies on two grounds. First, the airing of the Garci Tapes "is a continuing violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law and the conditions of the Provisional Authority and/or Certificate of Authority issued to radio and TV stations." Second, the Garci Tapes have not been authenticated, and subsequent investigation may establish that the tapes contain false information or willful misrepresentation.

    Specifically, the NTC press release contains the following categorical warning:

    Taking into consideration the country's unusual situation, and in order not to unnecessarily aggravate the same, the NTC warns all radio stations and television networks owners/operators that the conditions of the authorizations and permits issued to them by Government like the Provisional Authority and/or Certificate of Authority explicitly provides that said companies shall not use its stations for the broasting or telecasting of false information or willful misrepresentation. Relative thereto, it has come to the attention of the Commission that certain personalities are in possession of alleged taped conversation which they claim, (sic) involve the President of the Philippines and a Commissioner of the COMELEC regarding their supposed violation of election laws. These personalities have admitted that the taped conversations are product of illegal wiretapping operations.

    Considering that these taped conversations have not been duly authenticated nor could it be said at this time that the tapes contain an accurate or truthful representation of what was recorded therein, (sic) it is the position of the Commission that the continuous airing or broast of the said taped conversations by radio and television stations is a continuing violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law and the conditions of the Provisional Authority and/or Certificate of Authority issued to these radio and television stations. If it has been (sic) subsequently established that the said tapes are false and/or fraudulent after a prosecution or appropriate investigation, the concerned radio and television companies are hereby warned that their broast/airing of such false information and/or willful misrepresentation shall be just cause for the suspension, revocation and/or cancellation of the licenses or authorizations issued to the said companies. (Boldfacing and underscoring supplied)

    The NTC does not claim that the public airing of the Garci Tapes constitutes unprotected expression that may be subject to prior restraint. The NTC does not specify what substantive evil the State seeks to prevent in imposing prior restraint on the airing of the Garci Tapes. The NTC does not claim that the public airing of the Garci Tapes constitutes a clear and present danger of a substantive evil, of grave and imminent character, that the State has a right and duty to prevent.

    The NTC did not conduct any hearing in reaching its conclusion that the airing of the Garci Tapes constitutes a continuing violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law. At the time of issuance of the NTC press release, and even up to now, the parties to the conversations in the Garci Tapes have not complained that the wire-tapping was without their consent, an essential element for violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law.35 It was even the Office of the President, through the Press Secretary, that played and released to media the Garci Tapes containing the alleged "spliced" conversation between President Arroyo and Commissioner Garcillano. There is also the issue of whether a wireless cellular phone conversation is covered by the Anti - Wiretapping Law.

    Clearly, the NTC has no factual or legal basis in claiming that the airing of the Garci Tapes constitutes a violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law. The radio and television stations were not even given an opportunity to be heard by the NTC. The NTC did not observe basic due process as mandated in Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations.36

    The NTC claims that the Garci Tapes, "after a prosecution or the appropriate investigation," may constitute "false information and/or willful misrepresentation." However, the NTC does not claim that such possible false information or willful misrepresentation constitutes misleading commercial advertisement. In the United States, false or deceptive commercial speech is categorized as unprotected expression that may be subject to prior restraint. Recently, this Court upheld the constitutionality of Section 6 of the Milk Code requiring the submission to a government screening committee of advertising materials for infant formula milk to prevent false or deceptive claims to the public.37 There is, however, no claim here by respondents that the Garci Tapes constitute false or misleading commercial advertisement.

    The NTC concedes that the Garci Tapes have not been authenticated as accurate or truthful. The NTC also concedes that only "after a prosecution or appropriate investigation" can it be established that the Garci Tapes constitute "false information and/or willful misrepresentation." Clearly, the NTC admits that it does not even know if the Garci Tapes contain false information or willful misrepresentation.

    4. Nature of Prior Restraint in the Present Case

    The NTC action restraining the airing of the Garci Tapes is a content-based prior restraint because it is directed at the message of the Garci Tapes. The NTC's claim that the Garci Tapes might contain "false information and/or willful misrepresentation," and thus should not be publicly aired, is an admission that the restraint is content-based.

    5. Nature of Expression in the Present Case

    The public airing of the Garci Tapes is a protected expression because it does not fall under any of the four existing categories of unprotected expression recognized in this jurisdiction. The airing of the Garci Tapes is essentially a political expression because it exposes that a presidential candidate had allegedly improper conversations with a COMELEC Commissioner right after the close of voting in the last presidential elections.

    Obviously, the content of the Garci Tapes affects gravely the sanctity of the ballot. Public discussion on the sanctity of the ballot is indisputably a protected expression that cannot be subject to prior restraint. Public discussion on the credibility of the electoral process is one of the highest political expressions of any electorate, and thus deserves the utmost protection. If ever there is a hierarchy of protected expressions, political expression would occupy the highest rank,38 and among different kinds of political expression, the subject of fair and honest elections would be at the top. In any event, public discussion on all political issues should always remain uninhibited, robust and wide open.

    The rule, which recognizes no exception, is that there can be no content-based prior restraint on protected expression. On this ground alone, the NTC press release is unconstitutional. Of course, if the courts determine that the subject matter of a wiretapping, illegal or not, endangers the security of the State, the public airing of the tape becomes unprotected expression that may be subject to prior restraint. However, there is no claim here by respondents that the subject matter of the Garci Tapes involves national security and publicly airing the tapes would endanger the security of the State.39

    The alleged violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law is not in itself a ground to impose a prior restraint on the airing of the Garci Tapes because the Constitution expressly prohibits the enactment of any law, and that includes anti-wiretapping laws, curtailing freedom of expression.40 The only exceptions to this rule are the four recognized categories of unprotected expression. However, the content of the Garci Tapes does not fall under any of these categories of unprotected expression.

    The airing of the Garci Tapes does not violate the right to privacy because the content of the Garci Tapes is a matter of important public concern. The Constitution guarantees the people's right to information on matters of public concern.41 The remedy of any person aggrieved by the public airing of the Garci Tapes is to file a complaint for violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law after the commission of the crime. Subsequent punishment, absent a lawful defense, is the remedy available in case of violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law.

    The present case involves a prior restraint on protected expression. Prior restraint on protected expression differs significantly from subsequent punishment of protected expression. While there can be no prior restraint on protected expression, there can be subsequent punishment for protected expression under libel, tort or other laws. In the present case, the NTC action seeks prior restraint on the airing of the Garci Tapes, not punishment of personnel of radio and television stations for actual violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law.

    6. Only the Courts May Impose Content-Based Prior Restraint

    The NTC has no power to impose content-based prior restraint on expression. The charter of the NTC does not vest NTC with any content-based censorship power over radio and television stations.

    In the present case, the airing of the Garci Tapes is a protected expression that can never be subject to prior restraint. However, even assuming for the sake of argument that the airing of the Garci Tapes constitutes unprotected expression, only the courts have the power to adjudicate on the factual and legal issue of whether the airing of the Garci Tapes presents a clear and present danger of bringing about a substantive evil that the State has a right and duty to prevent, so as to justify the prior restraint.

    Any order imposing prior restraint on unprotected expression requires prior adjudication by the courts on whether the prior restraint is constitutional. This is a necessary consequence from the presumption of invalidity of any prior restraint on unprotected expression. Unless ruled by the courts as a valid prior restraint, government agencies cannot implement outright such prior restraint because such restraint is presumed unconstitutional at inception.

    As an agency that allocates frequencies or airwaves, the NTC may regulate the bandwidth position, transmitter wattage, and location of radio and television stations, but not the content of the broasts. Such content-neutral prior restraint may make operating radio and television stations more costly. However, such content-neutral restraint does not restrict the content of the broast.

    7. Government Failed to Overcome Presumption of Invalidity

    Assuming that the airing of the Garci Tapes constitutes unprotected expression, the NTC action imposing prior restraint on the airing is presumed unconstitutional. The Government bears a heavy burden to prove that the NTC action is constitutional. The Government has failed to meet this burden.

    In their Comment, respondents did not invoke any compelling State interest to impose prior restraint on the public airing of the Garci Tapes. The respondents claim that they merely "fairly warned" radio and television stations to observe the Anti-Wiretapping Law and pertinent NTC circulars on program standards. Respondents have not explained how and why the observance by radio and television stations of the Anti-Wiretapping Law and pertinent NTC circulars constitutes a compelling State interest justifying prior restraint on the public airing of the Garci Tapes.

    Violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law, like the violation of any criminal statute, can always be subject to criminal prosecution after the violation is committed. Respondents have not explained why there is a need in the present case to impose prior restraint just to prevent a possible future violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law. Respondents have not explained how the violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law, or of the pertinent NTC circulars, can incite imminent lawless behavior or endanger the security of the State. To allow such restraint is to allow prior restraint on all future broasts that may possibly violate any of the existing criminal statutes. That would be the dawn of sweeping and endless censorship on broast media.

    8. The NTC Warning is a Classic Form of Prior Restraint

    The NTC press release threatening to suspend or cancel the airwave permits of radio and television stations constitutes impermissible pressure amounting to prior restraint on protected expression. Whether the threat is made in an order, regulation, advisory or press release, the chilling effect is the same: the threat freezes radio and television stations into deafening silence. Radio and television stations that have invested substantial sums in capital equipment and market development suddenly face suspension or cancellation of their permits. The NTC threat is thus real and potent.

    In Burgos v. Chief of Staff,42 this Court ruled that the closure of the We Forum newspapers under a general warrant "is in the nature of a previous restraint or censorship abhorrent to the freedom of the press guaranteed under the fundamental law." The NTC warning to radio and television stations not to air the Garci Tapes or else their permits will be suspended or cancelled has the same effect - a prior restraint on constitutionally protected expression.

    In the recent case of David v. Macapagal-Arroyo,43 this Court declared unconstitutional government threats to close down mass media establishments that refused to comply with government prescribed "standards" on news reporting following the declaration of a State of National Emergency by President Arroyo on 24 February 2006. The Court described these threats in this manner:

    Thereafter, a wave of warning[s] came from government officials. Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor was quoted as saying that such raid was "meant to show a 'strong presence,' to tell media outlets not to connive or do anything that would help the rebels in bringing down this government." Director General Lomibao further stated that "if they do not follow the standards - and the standards are if they would contribute to instability in the government, or if they do not subscribe to what is in General Order No. 5 and Proc. No. 1017 - we will recommend a 'takeover.'" National Telecommunications Commissioner Ronald Solis urged television and radio networks to "cooperate" with the government for the duration of the state of national emergency. He warned that his agency will not hesitate to recommend the closure of any broast outfit that violates rules set out for media coverage during times when the national security is threatened.44 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    The Court struck down this "wave of warning[s]" as impermissible restraint on freedom of expression. The Court ruled that "the imposition of standards on media or any form of prior restraint on the press, as well as the warrantless search of the Tribune offices and whimsical seizure of its articles for publication and other materials, are declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL."45

    The history of press freedom has been a constant struggle against the censor whose weapon is the suspension or cancellation of licenses to publish or broast. The NTC warning resurrects the weapon of the censor. The NTC warning is a classic form of prior restraint on protected expression, which in the words of Near v. Minnesota is "the essence of censorship."46 Long before the American Declaration of Independence in 1776, William Blackstone had already written in his Commentaries on the Law of England, "The liberty of the press x x x consists in laying no previous restraints upon publication x x x."47

    Although couched in a press release and not in an administrative regulation, the NTC threat to suspend or cancel permits remains real and effective, for without airwaves or frequencies, radio and television stations will fall silent and die. The NTC press release does not seek to advance a legitimate regulatory objective, but to suppress through coercion information on a matter of vital public concern.

    9. Conclusion

    In sum, the NTC press release constitutes an unconstitutional prior restraint on protected expression. There can be no content-based prior restraint on protected expression. This rule has no exception.

    I therefore vote to (1) grant the petition, (2) declare the NTC warning, embodied in its press release dated 11 June 2005, an unconstitutional prior restraint on protected expression, and (3) enjoin the NTC from enforcing the same.

    Endnotes:


    1 The taped conversations are referred to here as the "Garci Tapes."

    2 Report of the Joint Committee on the Canvass of Votes for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates in the May 10, 2004 Elections, dated 23 June 2004.

    3 In their Comment to the petition, the NTC and respondent Gonzalez only mentioned Bunye's press conference of 6 June 2005. However, respondents do not deny petitioner's assertion that the 9 June 2005 press conference also took place.

    4 On 7 June 2005, Atty. Alan Paguia, counsel of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, gave to a radio station two tapes, including the Garci Tapes, which he claimed to be authentic. On 10 June 2005, Samuel Ong, a high ranking official of the National Bureau of Investigation, presented to the media the alleged "master tape" of the Garci Tapes.

    5 The press release reads in its entirety:

    NTC GIVES FAIR WARNING TO RADIO AND TELEVISION OWNERS/

    OPERATORS TO OBSERVE ANTI-WIRE TAPPING LAW AND PERTINENT

    NTC CIRCULARS ON PROGRAM STANDARDS

    In view of the unusual situation the country is in today, The (sic) National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) calls for sobriety among the operators and management of all radio and television stations in the country and reminds them, especially all broasters, to be careful and circumspect in the handling of news reportage, coverages [sic] of current affairs and discussion of public issues, by strictly adhering to the pertinent laws of the country, the current program standards embodied in radio and television codes and the existing circulars of the NTC.

    The NTC said that now, more than ever, the profession of broasting demands a high sense of responsibility and discerning judgment of fairness and honesty at all times among broasters amidst all these rumors of unrest, destabilization attempts and controversies surrounding the alleged wiretapping of President GMA (sic) telephone conversations.

    Taking into consideration the country's unusual situation, and in order not to unnecessarily aggravate the same, the NTC warns all radio stations and television networks owners/operators that the conditions of the authorizations and permits issued to them by Government like the Provisional Authority and/or Certificate of Authority explicitly provides that said companies shall not use its stations for the broasting or telecasting of false information or willful misrepresentation. Relative thereto, it has come to the attention of the Commission that certain personalities are in possession of alleged taped conversation which they claim, (sic) involve the President of the Philippines and a Commissioner of the COMELEC regarding their supposed violation of election laws. These personalities have admitted that the taped conversations are product of illegal wiretapping operations.

    Considering that these taped conversations have not been duly authenticated nor could it be said at this time that the tapes contain an accurate or truthful representation of what was recorded therein, (sic) it is the position of the Commission that the continuous airing or broast of the said taped conversations by radio and television stations is a continuing violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law and the conditions of the Provisional Authority and/or Certificate of Authority issued to these radio and television stations. If it has been (sic) subsequently established that the said tapes are false and/or fraudulent after a prosecution or appropriate investigation, the concerned radio and television companies are hereby warned that their broast/airing of such false information and/or willful misrepresentation shall be just cause for the suspension, revocation and/or cancellation of the licenses or authorizations issued to the said companies.

    In addition to the above, the Commission reiterates the pertinent NTC circulars on program standards to be observed by radio and television stations. NTC Memorandum Circular No. 111-12-85 explicitly states, among others, that "all radio broasting and television stations shall, during any broast or telecast, cut off from the air the speech play, act or scene or other matters being broast and/or telecast if the tendency thereof" is to disseminate false information or such other willful misrepresentation, or to propose and/or incite treason, rebellion or sedition. The foregoing directive had been reiterated in NTC Memorandum Circular No. 22-89 which, in addition thereto, prohibited radio, broasting and television stations from using their stations to broast or telecast any speech, language or scene disseminating false information or willful misrepresentation, or inciting, encouraging or assisting in subversive or treasonable acts.

    The Commission will not hesitate, after observing the requirements of due process, to apply with full force the provisions of the said Circulars and their accompanying sanctions or erring radio and television stations and their owners/operators.

    6 The joint press statement reads (Rollo, pp. 62-63):

    JOINT PRESS STATEMENT: THE NTC AND KBP

    1. Call for sobriety, responsible journalism, and of law, and the radio and television Codes.

    2. NTC respects and will not hinder freedom of the press and the right to information on matters of public concern. KBP & its members have always been committed to the exercise of press freedom with high sense of responsibility and discerning judgment of fairness and honesty.

    3. NTC did not issue any MC [Memorandum Circular] or Order constituting a restraint of press freedom or censorship. The NTC further denies and does not intend to limit or restrict the interview of members of the opposition or free expression of views.

    4. What is being asked by NTC is that the exercise of press freedom is done responsibly.

    5. KBP has program standards that KBP members will observe in the treatment of news and public affairs programs. These include verification of sources, non-airing of materials that would constitute inciting to sedition and/or rebellion.

    6. The KBP Codes also require that no false statement or willful misrepresentation is made in the treatment of news or commentaries.

    7. The supposed wiretapped tapes should be treated with sensitivity and handled responsibly giving due consideration to the process being undertaken to verify and validate the authenticity and actual content of the same.

    7 David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No. 1713396, 3 May 2006, 489 SCRA 160.

    8 In Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319 (1937), Justice Benjamin Cardozo wrote that freedom of expression is "the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom."

    9 See dissenting opinion of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U.S. 644 (1929).

    10 Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 4 (1949).

    11 Gonzales v. Kalaw-Katigbak, No. L-69500, 22 July 1985, 137 SCRA 717.

    12 Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines v. Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, G.R. No. 173034, 9 October 2007. Another fundamental ground for regulating false or misleading advertisement is Section 11(2), Article XVI of the Constitution which states: "The advertising industry is impressed with public interest, and shall be regulated by law for the protection of consumers and the promotion of the general welfare."

    13 Eastern Broasting Corporation v. Dans, No. L-59329, 19 July 1985, 137 SCRA 628.

    14 Id.

    15 512 U.S. 622, 640 (1994).

    16 Bayan, Karapatan, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) v. Ermita, G.R. NOS. 169838, 169848 and 156881, 25 April 2006, 488 SCRA 2260.

    17 Constitutional Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, pp. 902, 936 (2nd Edition).

    18 Ruiz v. Gordon, 211 Phil. 411 (1983).

    19 United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171 (1983).

    20 Gonzalez v. Kalaw-Katigbak, see Note 11. The Court declared, "It is the opinion of this Court, therefore, that to avoid an unconstitutional taint on its creation, the power of respondent Board is limited to the classification of films."

    21 Movie and Television Review and Classification Board v. ABS-CBN Broasting Corporation, G.R. No. 155282, 17 January 2005, 448 SCRA 5750.

    22 A case may be made that only television programs akin to motion pictures, like tele-novelas, are subject to the power of review and classification by a government review board, and such power cannot extend to other pre-taped programs like political shows.

    23 Constitutional Law, Chemerinsky, see Note 17, p. 903.

    24 See Note 12.

    25 Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) v. Court of Appeals, Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television, G.R. No. 119673, 26 July 1996, 259 SCRA 529; New York Times v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971).

    26 Id.

    27 Ayer Productions Pty. Ltd. v. Capulong, G.R. No. L-82380, 29 April 1988, 160 SCRA 861.

    28 Social Weather Station, et al. v. COMELEC, 409 Phil. 571 (2001).

    29 See Note 25.

    30 VRS Publications, Inc. v. Islamic Da wah Council of the Philippines, Inc., 444 Phil. 230 (2003). In effect, this makes "hate speech" against a religious or ethnic minority a protected expression.

    31 In pornography or obscenity cases, the ancillary test is the contemporary community standards test enunciated in Roth v. United States (354 U.S. 476 [1957]), which asks: whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest. See Gonzalez v. Kalaw-Katigbak, Note 11.

    32 See notes 12 and 13. In false or misleading advertisement cases, no test was enunciated in Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines v. Health Secretary (see Note 12) although the Concurring and Separate Opinion of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno advocated the four-part analysis in Central Hudson Gas & Electric v. Public Service Commission (447 U.S. 557 [1980]), to wit: (1) the advertisement must concern lawful activity and not be misleading; (2) the asserted governmental interest must be substantial; (3) the state regulation directly advances the governmental interest asserted; and (4) the restriction is no more extensive than is necessary to serve that interest.

    33 Bayan v. Ermita, see Note 16. In the United States, the prevailing test is the Brandenburg standard (Brandenburg v. Ohio, [395 U.S. 444 1969]) which refined the clear and present danger rule articulated by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Schenck v. United States (249 U.S. 47 [1919]) by limiting its application to expressions where there is "imminent lawless action." See American Constitutional Law, Otis H. Stephen, Jr. and John M. Scheb II, Vol. II, p. 133 (4th Edition).

    34 Federal Communications Commission v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364 (1984).

    35 Section 1, Republic Act No. 4200.

    36 69 Phil. 635 (1940).

    37 See Note 12.

    38 Some commentators, including Prof. Robert Bork, argue that political expression is the only expression protected by the Free Speech Clause. The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected this view. Constitutional Law, Chemerinsky, see Note 17, p. 897.

    39 See Commonwealth Act No. 616 and Article 117 of the Revised Penal Code.

    40 See Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001). In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an anti-wiretapping law violates the First Amendment if it prohibits disclosure of intercepted information that is of significant public concern.

    41 Section 7, Article III, Constitution.

    42 218 Phil. 754 (1984).

    43 See Note 7.

    44 Id. at 268.

    45 Id. at 275.

    46 283 U.S. 697 (1931).

    47 American Constitutional Law, Ralph A. Rossum and G. Alan Tass, vol. II, p. 183 (7th Edition).

    G.R. No. 168338 - ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO SEPARATE CONCURRING OPINION


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