MANILA, Philippines – With a government crackdown on allegedly false coronavirus information, freedom of speech in the Philippines is once again threatened, this time, with the added burden of the pandemic.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has summoned more than a dozen people over their coronavirus posts on social media. One of the posts is a critical commentary about the government spending P2 billion in 2019 for a private jet, while it cannot hire and sufficiently pay healthcare frontliners.
Freedom of speech is one of the greatest freedoms constitutionally guaranteed to Filipinos. It is a freedom so protected that it can only be restrained using a strict set of tests of a very high bar. (READ: Carpio: Facebook post on P2B private jet is protected speech)
What are these tests? And how do they apply in the pandemic?
We discuss these in Episode 3 of the Law of Duterte Land podcast.
The voices of former Supreme Court spokesperson Ted Te, Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) chairman Chel Diokno, and constitutional law professor Tony La Viña are heard here.
For legal concerns amid the pandemic, you may reach out to these groups on Facebook:
- Ateneo Human Rights Center
- Integrated Bar of the Philippines-National Center for Legal Aid
- National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers
Listen to past episodes:
- Episode 1 Part 1: Supreme Court’s most controversial decisions
- Episode 1 Part 1: Department of Justice’s evolving definition of warrantless arrests.
- Episode 2: The rule of law in the time of the coronavirus
If you have tips and suggestions for episodes, email the host at email@example.com. – Rappler.com
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