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>RA 4880 prohibits in section 50-A the too early nomination of candidates and

limits the period of election campaign in section 50-B


>was challenged on constitutional grounds (basic liberties of free speech and
free press, freedom of assembly and freedom of association are invoked to nullify
the act.)
Petitioner Cabigao was, at the time of the filing the petition, an incumbent councilor in the 4th District of
Manila and the Nacionalista Party official candidate for Vice-Mayor of Manila to which he was subsequently
elected on November 11, 1967; petitioner Gonzales, on the other hand, is a private individual, a registered
voter in the City of Manila and a political leader of his co-petitioner.

>Senator Lorenzo M. Taada was asked to appear as amicus curiae, and


>elucidated that Act No. 4880 could indeed be looked upon as a limitation on the
preferred rights of speech and press, of assembly and of association.
>He did justify its enactment however under the clear and present danger
doctrine, there being the substantive evil of elections being debased and
degraded by unrestricted campaigning, excess of partisanship and undue
concentration in politics with the loss not only of efficiency in government but of
lives as well.
Issue: Whether or Not RA 4880 unconstitutional.

Held: YES. The prohibition of any speeches, announcements or commentaries,


or the holding of interviews for or against the election of any party or candidate
for public office and the prohibition of the publication or distribution of campaign
literature or materials, against the solicitation of votes whether directly or
indirectly, or the undertaking of any campaign literature or propaganda for or
against any candidate or party is repugnant to a constitutional command.
Dangerous tendency doctrine, which permitted the application of
restrictions when :
a) there is a rational connection between the speech and the danger
apprehended and
b) the tendency of one to create the other is shown
Clear and present danger rule, where the question is whether the words
are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear

and present danger that they will bring about substantive evils that Congress
has a right to prevent

The danger must be present and inevitable

It is question of proximity and degree


Balancing of interest test, where there is a judicial balancing of the
conflicting social values and individual interests competing for ascendancy in
legislation that restricts expression
In other words, which one deserves greater protection based on
the circumstances?
The interference with the freedom of speech and assembly is in
a more generalized way
The effects of speech in terms of the probability of realizing a
specific danger is not readily apparent

Justice Castro; concurring and dissenting opinion


>Castro believes that the clear and present danger rule and the dangerous
tendency rule should not universally apply in all cases.
These rules were fashioned in the course of testing legislation that
limited speech expected to have deleterious consequences on the
security and public order of the community. Sections 50-A and 50-B
recognize that such speech and assembly are lawful, but sought to
limit the same for a certain point in time

>It is not an automatic mechanism that relieves the court of the need for careful
scrutiny of the given situation and the evaluation of the interests involved.
>It does not apply in cases where the degree of evil and the proximity of the evil
does not easily lend itself
>just like in this case where the court should necessarily speculate and
prophesies the increase of incidence of election related violence and death,
corruption of the electorate, dominion of the rich etc.

>The purpose of RA4880 is to prevent the degradation of the political process.


>He believes that what is proper is that the social value of free speech must be
weighed against the social value of the political process.
>And this can be done through the balancing of interest test where the court
should weigh the interest served by the legislation on one hand and the
fundamental freedoms on the other.
> Question of how much deference should be given to the legislative
judgement?