Zaldivar v Gonzales; G.R. No. 80578; 07 Oct 1988; 166 SCRA 316

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Petitioner Zaldivar moved for Special Prosecutor Gonzales to be cited in contempt for defying the Supreme Court’s cease and desist orders and for issuing contemptuous statements to the media.

Whether or not Gonzales is guilty of contempt.

YES. Statements made by respondent Gonzales to the media were contemptuous as they imply members of the Supreme Court acted on a manner not befitting the officers of the highest court of the country. Respondent is entitled to the constitutional guarantee of free speech. What Gonzales seems unaware of is that the freedom of speech and of expression, like all constitutional freedoms, is not absolute and that freedom of expression needs on occasion to be adjusted to and accommodated with the requirements of equally important public interests.

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