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THE REVISED PENAL CODE: CRIMINAL LAW II CASES AND DOCTRINES, Arellano University School of Law aiza ebina/2014

ARTICLE 131
Prohibition, interruption and dissolution of peaceful meetings

Ignacio, et. al vs. Ela
99 Phil. 347, G.R. No. L-6858, May 31, 1956

FACTS: The petitioners are members of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, commonly known as Jehovahs Witnesses, whose tenets and
principles are derogatory to those professed by the Catholic organization. In its publication "FACE THE FACTS", that society branded the latter as
a religious organization which is "a part of the monstrosity now appearing in and claiming the right to rule the earth." Desiring to hold a meeting
in furtherance of its objectives, petitioners asked respondent to give them permission to use the public plaza together with the kiosk, but,
instead of granting the permission, respondent allowed them to hold their meeting on the northwestern part corner of the plaza. He adopted as
a policy not to allow the use of the kiosk for any meeting by any religious denomination as it is his belief that said kiosk should only be used "for
legal purposes." And when their request for reconsideration was denied, petitioners instituted the present action for mandamus. It is now
contended by petitioners that the action taken by respondent is unconstitutional being an abridgment of the freedom of speech, assembly, and
worship guaranteed by our Constitution.
ISSUE: Whether or not the right to peacefully assemble guaranteed by the Constitution may be invoked
HELD: "The right to freedom of speech, and to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances, are fundamental
personal rights of the people recognized and guaranteed by the constitutions of democratic countries. But it is a settled principle growing out of
the nature of well-ordered civil societies that the exercise of those rights is not absolute for it may be so regulated that it shall not be injurious to
the equal enjoyment of others having equal rights, nor injurious to the rights of the community or society. The power to regulate the exercise of
such and other constitutional rights is termed the sovereign police power, which is the power to prescribe regulations, to promote the health,
morals, peace, education, good order or safety, and general welfare of the people. This sovereign police power is exercised by the government
through its legislative branch by the enactment of laws regulating those and other constitutional and civil rights, and it may be delegated to
political subdivisions, such as towns, municipalities and cities by authorizing their legislative bodies called municipal and city councils to enact
ordinances for the purpose." It therefore appears that the right to freedom of speech and to peacefully assemble, though guaranteed by our
Constitution, is not absolute, for it may be regulated in order that it may not be "injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having equal rights,
nor injurious to the rights of the community or society", and this power may be exercised under the "police power" of the state, which is the
power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, peace, education, good order or safety, and general welfare of the people. The power
exercised by respondent cannot be considered as capricious or arbitrary considering the peculiar circumstances of the case. It appears that the
THE REVISED PENAL CODE: CRIMINAL LAW II CASES AND DOCTRINES, Arellano University School of Law aiza ebina/2014

public plaza, particularly the kiosk, is located at a short distance from the Roman Catholic Church. The proximity of said church to the kiosk has
caused some concern on the part of the authorities that to avoid disturbance of peace and order, or the happening of untoward incidents, they
deemed it necessary to prohibit the use of that kiosk by any religious denomination as a place of meeting of its members. This was the policy
adopted by respondent for some time previous to the request made by petitioners. Respondent never denied such request but merely tried to
enforce his policy by assigning them the northwestern part of the public plaza. It cannot therefore be said that petitioners were denied their
constitutional right to assemble for, as was said, such right is subject to regulation to maintain public order and public safety. This is especially so
considering that the tenets of petitioners congregation are derogatory to those of the Roman Catholic Church, a factor which respondent must
have considered in denying their request.
RATIO: The right to peaceful meeting is not absolute. The right to freedom of speech and to peacefully assemble, though guaranteed by our
Constitution, is not absolute, for it may be regulated in order that it may not be injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having equal right, nor
injurious to the right of the community or society and this power may be exercised under the police power of the state, which is the power to
prescribe regulations and promote the good order or safety and general welfare of the people.
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THE REVISED PENAL CODE: CRIMINAL LAW II CASES AND DOCTRINES, Arellano University School of Law aiza ebina/2014

ARTICLE 131
Prohibition, interruption and dissolution of peaceful meetings

Navarro vs. Villegas
31 SCRA 371, G.R. No. L-31687, February 26, 1970

FACTS: On February 24, 1970, the petitioner, acting in behalf of the Movement of a Democratic Philippines, wrote a letter to the respondent, the
Mayor of the City of Manila, applying to hold a rally at Plaza Miranda, February 26, 1970, from 4-11 PM. On the same day, the respondent wrote
a reply, denying his request on the grounds that, they have temporarily adopted the policy of not issuing any permit for the use of Plaza Miranda
for rallies or demonstration during weekdays due to the events that happened from the past week. On the same letter, the respondent gave the
petitioner an option to use the Sunken Garden near Intamuros for its rally, and for it to be held earlier for it to end before dark. The petitioner
filed suit contesting the Mayors action on the ground that it violates the petitioners right to peaceable assembly and petition the government
for redress of grievances (Article 3, Section 1 (8)) and of the petitioners right to the equal protection of the law (Article 3, Section 1).

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondents act on denying the request of the petitioner violates the petitioners right to peaceable assembly and
right to the equal protection of the law

HELD: The respondent Mayor has not denied nor absolutely refused the permit sought by petitioner. As stated in Primicias v. Fugoso, 80 Phil. 75,
respondent Mayor possesses reasonable discretion to determine or specify the streets or public places to be used for the assembly in order to
secure convenient use thereof by others and provide adequate and proper policing to minimize the risks of disorder and maintain public safety
and order. The respondent Mayor has expressly stated his willingness to grant permits for peaceful assemblies at Plaza Miranda during
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays when they would not cause unnecessarily great disruption of the normal activities of the community and has
further offered Sunken Gardens as an alternative to Plaza Miranda as the site of the demonstration sought to be held. That experiences in
connection with present assemblies and demonstrations do not warrant the Court's disbelieving respondent Mayor's appraisal that a public rally
at Plaza Miranda, as compared to one at the Sunken Gardens as he suggested, poses a clearer and more imminent danger of public disorders,
breaches of the peace, criminal acts, and even bloodshed as an aftermath of such assemblies, and petitioner has manifested that it has no
means of preventing such disorders. That, consequently, every time that such assemblies are announced, the community is placed in such a
state of fear and tension that offices are closed early and employees dismissed, storefronts boarded up, classes suspended, and transportation
disrupted, to the general detriment of the public: That civil rights and liberties can exist and be preserved only in an order society.

RATIO: The right to peaceably assemble is not absolute and may be regulated.

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THE REVISED PENAL CODE: CRIMINAL LAW II CASES AND DOCTRINES, Arellano University School of Law aiza ebina/2014

ARTICLE 131
Prohibition, interruption and dissolution of peaceful meetings

People vs. Alipit
44 Phil. 910, G.R. No. L-18853, August 22, 1922

FACTS: On or about the 30th of May, 1920, in the municipality of Cabuyao, Province of Laguna, Philippine Islands, the defendants Exequiel Alipit
and Victorio D. Alemus, being the municipal president and the chief of police, respectively of the said municipality of Cabuyao, did willfully,
unlawfully, maliciously and acting under a previous agreement and conspiracy, entered into between themselves and assisting and cooperating
with each other, after the accused Exequiel Alipit had fired his revolver in the air, enter the session room of the municipality building of Cabuyao
wherein the municipal council of Cabuyao was holding a meeting presided over by the vice-president, Manuel Basa, and once in said room, the
aforesaid accused Exequiel Alipit and Victorio D. Alemus, abusing their authority as municipal president and chief of police respectively, the
former with a revolver in his hand, and both using violence and intimidation not only upon the person of said vice-president Manuel Basa, but
also upon those of the councilors present at the aforesaid meeting, and without any justifiable motive or legal authority and by means of force,
arrested said vice-president Manuel Basa and compelled him to submit himself to the arrest against the latter's will and over his protest and that
of each and every one of the councilors and took him to the jail of the municipal building of Cabuyao, the accused Victorio D. Alemus taking at
the same time possession of all the papers concerning the meeting that was being held by the municipal council of Cabuyao, by which acts the
defendants succeeded in interrupting and dissolving the aforesaid meeting.

ISSUE: Whether or not the disturbance and interruption of the meeting of the council should be punished under Article 131 of the Revised Penal
Code

HELD: Nobody has the right to dissolve, through violence, the meeting of a council under the present of the existence of such a legal defect
which was not apparent, but required an investigation before it could be determined. Any stranger, even if he be the municipal president
himself or the chief of the municipal police, must respect the meeting of the municipal council which for the time being, at least, raises the
presumption that no defect exists to render it illegal. That meeting of the municipal council was entitled to this respect on the part of the
defendants and the aforesaid presumption was effective as to them. We are of the opinion that the law violated by the accused is Act No. 1755,
which in its section 1, says:

Any person who willfully or by force or fraud prevent or attempts to prevent the meeting of the Philippine Commission or the organizing or
meeting of the Philippine Assembly or of any Insular legislative body of the Philippine Islands hereafter established, or the meeting or organizing
of any provincial board or municipal or township council, and any person who willfully disturbs the Philippine Commission or the Philippine
Assembly, or in Insular legislative body of the Philippine Islands hereafter established, or any provincial board or municipal or township council,
while in session, or who is guilty of any disorderly conduct in the immediate view or presence of any such body tending to interrupt the
THE REVISED PENAL CODE: CRIMINAL LAW II CASES AND DOCTRINES, Arellano University School of Law aiza ebina/2014

proceedings of such body or to impair the respect due to its authority, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two thousand pesos or by
imprisonment for not more than five years, or by both, in the discretion of the court.

And in view of the allegations contained in the information herein, the accused may, and must, be convicted of a violation of said section 1 of
this Act and punished accordingly.

RATIO: Interrupting and dissolving the meeting of municipal council by a public officer is a crime against a legislative body, not punished under
Article 131.

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THE REVISED PENAL CODE: CRIMINAL LAW II CASES AND DOCTRINES, Arellano University School of Law aiza ebina/2014

ARTICLE 131
Prohibition, interruption and dissolution of peaceful meetings
ARTICLE 132
Interruption of religious worship

People vs. Reyes, et.al.
C.A.-G.R. No. 13633-R, July 27, 1955

FACTS: The Iglesia ni Cristo held a meeting at a public plaza after securing a permit to do so from the mayor. The meeting started with some
singing, after which the minister of the sect read from the Bible and then delivered a sermon, in the course of which he attacked the Catholic
and Aglipayan churches. The Chief of Police ordered his policemen to stop the minister. When the minister refused, the Chief of Police fired two
shots in the air which dispersed the crowd and stopped the meeting.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Chief of Police is liable under Article 132 of the Revised Penal Code

HELD: The act of the Chief of Police is not a violation of Article 132, but of Article 131. There was no interruption of legal worship, but only of a
peaceful meeting.

RATIO: Stopping the speaker who was attacking certain churches in public meeting is a violation of Article 131, prohibition, interruption and
dissolution of peaceful meetings.

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THE REVISED PENAL CODE: CRIMINAL LAW II CASES AND DOCTRINES, Arellano University School of Law aiza ebina/2014

ARTICLE 133
Offending the religious feelings

People vs. Mandoriao, Jr.
C.A., 51 O.G. 4619

FACTS: The Iglesia ni Cristo held a religious rally at a public place in Baguio. About 200 people attended the meeting; about 50 of who were
members of the Iglesia ni Cristo but the rest were outsiders and curious listeners. While Salvio, a minister of Iglesia ni Cristo, was expounding on
his topic to the effect that Christ is not God, but only man, the crowd became unruly. Some people urged Mandoriao to go up the stage and have
a debate with Salvio. Mandoriao however, was not able to speak before the microphone because the wire connecting it was abruptly
disconnected.

ISSUE: Whether or not the meeting was a religious ceremony

HELD: The meeting here was not a religious ceremony. A religious meeting is an assemblage of people met for the purpose of performing acts
of adoration to the Supreme Being, or to perform religious services in recognition of God as an object of worship The meeting here was not
limited to the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo. The supposed prayers and singing of hymns were merely incidental because the principal object
of the rally was to persuade new converts to their religion. Assuming that the rally was a religious ceremony, the appellant cannot be said to
have performed acts or uttered words offensive to the feelings of the faithful. The act complained of must be directed against a dogma or ritual,
or upon an object of veneration. There was no object of veneration at the meeting.

RATIO: Religious ceremonies are those religious acts performed outside of a church, such as processions and special prayers for burying dead
persons. When the application of the Church of Christ was to hold the meeting at a public place and the permit expressly stated that the purpose
was to hold a prayer rally, what was held on that occasion was not a religious ceremony, even if a minister was then preaching (that Jesus Christ
was not God but only a man). The rally was attended by persons who are not members of the sect.


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THE REVISED PENAL CODE: CRIMINAL LAW II CASES AND DOCTRINES, Arellano University School of Law aiza ebina/2014

ARTICLE 133
Offending the religious feelings

People vs. Baes
68 Phil. 203, G.R. No. L-46000, May 25, 1939

FACTS: That on April 14, 1937, at about 9 o'clock a.m., in the municipality of Lumban, Province of Laguna, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction
of this court, the aforesaid accused, while holding the funeral of one who in life was called Antonio Macabigtas, in accordance with the rites of
religious sect known as the "Church of Christ", willfully, unlawfully, and criminally caused the funeral to pass, as it in fact passed, through the
churchyard fronting the Roman Catholic Church, which churchyard belongs to the said Church, and is devoted to the religious worship thereof,
against the opposition of the undersigned complainant who, through force and threats of physical violence by the accused, was compelled to
allow the funeral to pass through the said churchyard. An act committed in grave profanation of the place, in open disregard of the religious
feelings of the Catholics of this municipality, and in violation of Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code.

ISSUE: Whether or not the acts complained of constitute the crime defined and penalized by Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code

HELD: Whether or of the act complained of is offensive to the religious feelings of the Catholics, is a question of fact which must be judged only
according to the feelings of the Catholics and not those of other faithful ones, for it is possible that certain acts may offend the feelings of those
who profess a certain religion, while not otherwise offensive to the feelings of those professing another faith. We, therefore, take the view that
the facts alleged in the complaint constitute the offense defined and penalized in Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code, and should the fiscal file
an information alleging the said facts and a trial be thereafter held at which the said facts should be conclusively established, the court may find
the accused guilty of the offense complained of, or that of coercion, or that of trespass under Article 281 of the Revised Penal Code, as may be
proper, pursuant to Section 29 of General Orders, No. 58. "An act is said to be notoriously offensive to the religious feelings of the faithful when
a person ridicules or makes light of anything constituting a religious dogma; works or scoffs at anything devoted to religious ceremonies; plays
with or damages or destroys any object of veneration by the faithful."

RATIO: ACTS NOTORIOUSLY OFFENSIVE TO THE FEELINGS OF THE FAITHFUL the acts must be directed against religious practice or dogma or
ritual for the purpose of ridicule, as mocking or scoffing at or attempting to damage an object of religious veneration.

Offense to feelings is judged from complainants point of view.

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