Baguio City’s ordinance prohibiting the use of profane language may be unconstitutional because it might curtail freedom of speech and expression, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the ordinance banning profanities in places frequented by the youth, such as schools, business establishments, and computer shops might violate the provision on freedom of speech guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution.
“Profane words are uttered in a moment of anger, so all of us do it,” Panelo said.
“I have not heard of anyone not cursing when one is angry. I think even cursing is part of freedom of speech for as long as you don’t injure the person that is the subject of your curse.”
Asked if local government units should not issue an ordinance that would curtail freedom of expression, Panelo said yes.
“Yeah, definitely. It may not pass the constitutional test when it is raised before the courts,” he said.
“It’s just an expression. I don’t think it is or it should be prohibited.”
Baguio City’s Anti-Profanity Ordinance prohibits the use of profane words in places frequented by children, high school students and college students in Baguio City.
Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan told DZMM that teachers and school guidance counselors were also tasked to point to students caught cursing and summon their parents immediately.
As mandated under the ordinance, public spaces occupied by children are also required to put signs stating the ban.
Baguio, dubbed as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, is home to over 300,000 people and of whom some are below 30 years old.