HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 17 no. 3 (2018)

Current Issues in Philippine Jurisprudence: Understanding the Right to Free Speech and Expression

John Ian K. Boongaling



The right to free speech/expression is crucial to the proper functioning and success of any democracy. Without the recognition of such right, it is reasonable to maintain that citizens are hindered from actively participating in political discourse as well as in the process of nation-building. To see the significance of the recognition of such right and the implications of its curtailment, one only needs to consider its critical role in the electoral process. The practice of the right to free speech/expression is required during the electoral process in the sense that the right to vote necessitates the right to free speech/expression. In this and other similar contexts, it might, therefore, be said that the value we attribute to free speech/expression lies in its consequences. However, free speech/expression is also valuable in itself for it displays our capacity for autonomy. To be specific, it displays our capacity as rational beings who participate not only in the electoral process but also in collective governance. Since we value autonomy, we also value freedom of speech/ expression.