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Monday, November 21, 2016

Some Laws Limit Freedom of Speech or Expression, So Be Careful

When Ms. Agot Isidro has intentionally attacked President Duterte by calling him a ‘Psychopath’ can it be considered as ‘Libel’ punishable by law? According to medical definition, Psychopath is a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
In Article III, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines specifies that no law shall be passed abridging the Freedom of Speech or of Expression. However, some laws limit this Freedom, for example:
  • Criminalizes libel and slander by act or deed – is about any act which shall cast Dishonor, Discredit or Contempt upon another person.
  • Blasphemy against decency and good customs – by public displays or exhibitions which glorify criminals or condon crimes; use of prohibited drugs and selling obscene literature.

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