Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Case Digest of Pita vs CA


Personal determination by a Judge

PITA vs CA

FACTS:
An anti-smut campaign initiated by the Mayor of City of Manila, Ramon Bagatsing, seized & confiscated from dealers, distributors, news stand owners and peddlers along sidewalks, magazines, publications and other reading materials believe to be obscene, pornographic and indecent and later burned the seized materials in public at University belt along CM Recto Avenue. Among the publications seized, and later burned was “Pinoy Playboy” magazines and Co-edited by plaintiff Leo Pita.

Pita assailed, Preliminary Injunction, as to whether or not the defendants and or their agents can without a Court order confiscate or seize plaintiffs magazine before any judicial finding is made on which is said may be obscene or not.

HELD:
Petition is GRANTED, reversed & set-aside.

RATIONALE:

TEST OF OBSCENITY (PEOPLE vs KOTTINGER)
1.       Whether the tendency of the matter charged as obscene, is to deprave or corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences and into whose hands a publication or other article charged is being obscene may fall.
2.       Those that shocks the ordinary and common sense of men as an indecency

PASEI vs DRILON (Definition of Police Power)
State authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote GENERAL WELFARE

PROCEDURE (OBSCENE MATERIALS)
1.       The authorities must apply for the issuance of a Search Warrant from a Judge, in in their opinion, an obscenity rap is in order;
2.       The authorities must convince the Court that the materials sought to be seized are “obscene”, and pose a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER of an evil substantive enough to warrant a State interference and action;
3.       The Judge must determine whether or not the same are indeed “obscene” the question is to be resolved on a case-to-case basis and on his hand’s sound discretion;
4.       If, in the opinion of the Court, probable cause exists, it may issue the Search Warrant;
5.       Paper suit, Article 201;
6.       Any conviction is subject to appeal


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