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‘Responsible exercise’ of free speech pushed in proposed bill of rights

/ 03:34 PM January 16, 2018

Photo from House of Representatives

A House subcommittee is proposing that the 1987 Constitution’s bill of rights provision protecting press freedom be changed to a right to “responsible exercise” of free speech.

During the House committee on constitutional amendments hearing on Tuesday, the committee, led by chairman Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, tackled the proposed draft replacing the 1987 Constitution.

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A subcommittee proposed that the provisions of the Article III be retained except for Section 4.

The members wanted the specific provision to be amended to: “No law shall be passed abridging the RESPONSIBLE EXERCISE OF THE freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

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In justifying the proposed amendment, the subcommittee cited a position paper by the Presidential Human Rights Committee last October, saying that the right to free speech, or any right enshrined in the bill of rights, “comes with an equal burden of responsibly exercising the same.”

“The exercise of one’s rights must be done with good faith and reasonable care,” it added.

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