Baguio’s anti-profanity ordinance might curtail right to freedom of expression

  • Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Baguio City’s anti-profanity ordinance may be unconstitutional
  • Panelo said cursing is just an expression and must not be prohibited
  • City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the ordinance seeks to prevent children from developing the habit of cursing
Image from Salvador Panelo’s Facebook account

The Malacañang Palace thumbed down the ordinance recently passed by Baguio City that prohibits cursing in schools and select business establishments being frequented by children and students.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo doubted that the city ordinance banning profanities may not pass the constitutionality test if brought to a court as cursing is part of a person’s right to freedom of expression.

Image from Crosswalk

“Profane words are uttered in a moment of anger, so all of us do it,” Panelo explained; saying “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.”

“Yeah, definitely. It may not pass the constitutional test when it is raised before the courts,” Panelo answered when asked if local government units should not issue ordinances that curtail one’s right to freedom of expression.

Panelo said cursing as just an expression should not be prohibited.

Image from Mayor Mauricio Domogan’s Facebook account

As mentioned in a Virtual Pinoy article dated November 6, 2018, schools and selected establishments are required to display a signage that says cursing is prohibited and that students risk expulsion in case of repeated violations of the ordinance.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the purpose of the ordinance is to prevent children from developing the habit of cursing and using foul language which he said seem to have become normal.