No prior permit required to peaceably assemble

BP 880 is a martial law era statute that is ironically titled because it is being used to stifle exercise of the very same rights it supposedly guarantees. Under sec. 13, only a leader/organizer may be held liable, a participant cannot be held liable.

Under sec. 13, the rest of the prohibited acts pertain to the police or authorities, i.e., what they cannot do (read in relation to sec. 9 on non interference) in relation to peaceful assemblies, even without a permit. 

In BAYAN v. Ermita, the SC directed LGUS to designate freedom parks under Sec. 15 within 15 days; if, after such period, none are designated, ALL public parks and plazas in LGUS are deemed freedom parks, with no permit required for an assembly save for notice for coordination. 

Dispositive portion of BAYAN v. Ermita: 

WHEREFORE, the petitions are granted in part, and respondents, more particularly the Secretary of the Interior and Local Governments, are DIRECTED to take all necessary steps for the immediate compliance with Section 15 of Batas Pambansa No 880 through the establishment or designation of at least one suitable freedom park or plaza in every city and municipality of the country. After thirty (30) days from the finality of this Decision, subject to the giving of advance notices, no prior permit shall be required to exercise the right to peaceably assemble and petition in the public parks or plazas of a city or municipality that has not yet complied with Section 15 of the law. Furthermore, Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR), insofar as it would purport to differ from or be in lieu of maximum tolerance, NULL and VOID, and respondents are ENJOINED to REFRAIN from using it and to STRICTLY OBSERVE the requirements of maximum tolerance. The petitions are DISMISSED in all other respects, and the CONSTITUTIONALITY of Batas Pambansa No. 880 is SUSTAINED.

Reading Secs. 13(a) vis 14 (a), 15, and 9 in relation to BAYAN v. Ermita, can a person be arrested without a warrant under Rule 113, sec. 5(a) or even (b)? NO, for so long as the assembly is peaceful and it is in a designated freedom park or one deemed so (cf. BAYAN)

Source: Ted TE (@TedTe)

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