Be a convenor of truth, Leonen urge

SUPREME Court (SC) Associate Justice Marvic Leonen advised media practitioners in the city as well as mass communication, political science and law students to report facts faithfully as their right to freedom of expression.

Leonen in a lecture entitled, "The Interplay of the Law and the Media and the Exercise of the Freedom of Expression in Today's Setting" at the University of the Cordilleras said freedom of expression is not absolute and there must be extra care on whatever is expressed in traditional or social media.

While the freedom of expression is enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Leonen said this must be observed carefully and whatever is broadcasted or published should reliable and will not affect negatively the perspective of the people.

"We should still protect the 1987 Constitution. If you are reading anonymous writer, people who are reading should be also critical," Leonen said, adding there is no such thing as absolute freedom of expression.

Leonen explained anybody can express opinion in any media platforms but he warned that they should not mislead the public.

The associate justice added because of wrong information, the people might believe and be affected.

"People rely on others who have created propaganda. Read a book and listen to the pros and cons. Do not stereotype people because you are humanizing the person involved," Leonen said.

The justice also cited several cases in his explanations on how to work with the law and how to exercise freedom of expression.

Leonen hails from Baguio City and is the youngest justice of SC when he was appointed November 2012. He is set to serve the highest tribunal for a total of 21 years.

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