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Public Assembly Act

BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 880
.

AN ACT ENSURING THE FREE EXERCISE BY THE PEOPLE OF
THEIR RIGHT PEACEABLY TO ASSEMBLE AND PETITION THE
GOVERNMENT AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
.chan robles virtual law library
.chan robles virtual law library
Section 1. Title. — This Act shall be known as “The Public Assembly Act of
1985.” .chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 2. Declaration of policy. — The constitutional right of the people
peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of
grievances is essential and vital to the strength and stability of the State.
To this end, the State shall ensure the free exercise of such right without
pr ejudice to the rights of others to life, liberty and equal protection of the
law. .chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 3. Definition of terms. — For purposes of this Act: .chan robles virtual law library
(a) “Public assembly” means any rally, demonstratio n, march, parade,
procession or any other form of mass or concerted action held in a public
place for the purpose of presenting a lawful cause; or expressing an
opinion to the general public on any particular issue; or protesting or
influencing any state o f affairs whether political, economic or social; or
petitioning the government for redress of grievances.
The processions, rallies, parades, demonstrations, public meetings and
assemblages for religious purposes shall be governed by local ordinances:
Prov ided, however, That the declaration of policy as provided in Section 2
of this Act shall be faithfully observed.
The definition herein contained shall not include picketing and other
concerted action in strike areas by workers and employees resulting from
a labor dispute as defined by the Labor Code, its implementing rules and
regulations, and by the Batas Pambansa Bilang 227.
(b) “Public place” shall include any highway, boulevard, avenue, road,
street, bridge or other thoroughfare, park, plaza, square, and/or any open
space of public ownership where the people are allowed access. .chan robles
virtual law library
(c) “Maximum tolerance” means the highest degree of restraint that the
military, police and other peace keeping authorities shall observe duri ng a
public assembly or in the dispersal of the same.

(d) “Modification of permit” shall include the change of the place and time
of the public assembly, rerouting of the parade or street march, the
volume of loud -speakers or sound system and similar cha nges. .chan robles virtual
law library
Sec. 4. Permit when required and when not required. — A written permit
shall be required for any person or persons to organize and hold a public
assembly in a public place. However, no permit shall be required if the
public assembly shall be done or made in a freedom park duly established
by law or ordinance or in private property, in which case only the consent
of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required, or in
the campus of a government -owne d and operated educational institution
which shall be subject to the rules and regulations of said educational
institution. Political meetings or rallies held during any election
campaign period as provided for by law are not covered by this Act. .chan
robl es virtual law library
Sec. 5. Application requirements. — All applications for a permit shall
comply with the following guidelines:
(a) The applications shall be in writing and shall include the names of the
leaders or organizers; the purpose of such public assembly; the date, time
and duration thereof, and place or streets to be used for the intended
activity; and the probable number of persons participating, the transport
and the public address systems to be used. .chan robles virtual law library
(b ) The application shall incorporate the duty and responsibility of
applicant under Section 8 hereof.
(c) The application shall be filed with the office of the mayor of the city or
municipality in whose jurisdiction the intended activity is to be held, at
least five (5) working days before the scheduled public assembly.
(d) Upon receipt of the application, which must be duly acknowledged in
writing, the office of the city or municipal mayor shall cause the same to
immediately be posted at a conspicuous p lace in the city or municipal
building. .chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 6. Action to be taken on the application. — .chan robles virtual law library
(a) It shall be the duty of the mayor or any official acting in his behalf to
issue or grant a permit unless there is clear and convincing evidence that
the public assembly will create a clear and present danger to public order,
public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health.

(b) The mayor or any official acting in his behalf shall act on the
application within two (2) working days from the date the application was
filed, failing which, the permit shall be deemed granted. Should for any
reason the mayor or any official acting in his be half refuse to accept the
application for a permit, said application shall be posted by the applicant
on the premises of the office of the mayor and shall be deemed to have
been filed.
(c) If the mayor is of the view that there is imminent and grave dang er of
a substantive evil warranting the denial or modification of the permit, he
shall immediately inform the applicant who must be heard on the matter.
(d) The action on the permit shall be in writing and served on the
application within twenty -four hou rs.
(e) If the mayor or any official acting in his behalf denies the application
or modifies the terms thereof in his permit, the applicant may contest the
decision in an appropriate court of law.
(f) In case suit is brought before the Metropolitan Trial Court, the
Municipal Trial Court, the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, the Regional
Trial Court, or the Intermediate Appellate Court, its decisions may be
appealed to the appropriate court within forty -eight (48) hours after
receipt of the same. No appeal b ond and record on appeal shall be
required. A decision granting such permit or modifying it in terms
satisfactory to the applicant shall, be immediately executory. .chan robles virtual
law library
(g) All cases filed in court under this section shall be d ecided within
twenty -four (24) hours from date of filing. Cases filed hereunder shall be
immediately endorsed to the executive judge for disposition or, in his
absence, to the next in rank.
(h) In all cases, any decision may be appealed to the Supreme Cou rt.
(i) Telegraphic appeals to be followed by formal appeals are hereby
allowed.
Sec. 7. Use of public thoroughfare. — Should the proposed public
assembly involve the use, for an appreciable length of time, of any public
highway, boulevard, avenue, road or street, the mayor or any official
acting in his behalf may, to prevent grave public inconvenience, designate
the route thereof which is convenient to the participants or reroute the
vehicular traffic to another direction so that there will be no seriou s or
undue interference with the free flow of commerce and trade.

Sec. 8. Responsibility of applicant. — It shall be the duty and
responsibility of the leaders and organizers of a public assembly to take
all reasonable measures and steps to the end that the intended public
assembly shall be conducted peacefully in accordance with the terms of
the permit. These shall include but not be limited to the following:
(a) To inform the participants of their responsibility under the permit;
(b) To police the ranks of the demonstrators in order to prevent non –
demonstrators from disrupting the lawful activities of the public
assembly;
(c) To confer with local government officials concerned and law enforcers
to the end that the public assembly may be held peace fully;
(d) To see to it that the public assembly undertaken shall not go beyond
the time stated in the permit; and
(e) To take positive steps that demonstrators do not molest any person or
do any act unduly interfering with the rights of other persons n ot
participating in the public assembly. .chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 9. Non -interference by law enforcement authorities. — Law
enforcement agencies shall not interfere with the holding of a public
assembly. However, to adequately ensure public safety, a law enforcement
contingent under the command of a responsible police officer may be
detailed and stationed in a place at least one hundred (100) meter away
from the area of activity ready to maintain peace and order at all times.
Sec. 10. Polic e assistance when requested. — It shall be imperative for
law enforcement agencies, when their assistance is requested by the
leaders or organizers, to perform their duties always mindful that their
responsibility to provide proper protection to those exer cising their right
peaceably to assemble and the freedom of expression is primordial.
Towards this end, law enforcement agencies shall observe the following
guidelines:
(a) Members of the law enforcement contingent who deal with the
demonstrators shall b e in complete uniform with their nameplates and
units to which they belong displayed prominently on the front and dorsal
parts of their uniform and must observe the policy of “maximum
tolerance” as herein defined;
(b) The members of the law enforcement c ontingent shall not carry any
kind of firearms but may be equipped with baton or riot sticks, shields,

crash helmets with visor, gas masks, boots or ankle high shoes with shin
guards;
(c) Tear gas, smoke grenades, water cannons, or any similar anti -riot
device shall not be used unless the public assembly is attended by actual
violence or serious threats of violence, or deliberate destruction of
property. .chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 11. Dispersal of public assembly with permit. — No public asse mbly
with a permit shall be dispersed. However, when an assembly becomes
violent, the police may disperse such public assembly as follows:
(a) At the first sign of impending violence, the ranking officer of the law
enforcement contingent shall call the a ttention of the leaders of the
public assembly and ask the latter to prevent any possible disturbance;
(b) If actual violence starts to a point where rocks or other harmful
objects from the participants are thrown at the police or at the non –
participants , or at any property causing damage to such property, the
ranking officer of the law enforcement contingent shall audibly warn the
participants that if the disturbance persists, the public assembly will be
dispersed;
(c) If the violence or disturbances p revailing as stated in the preceding
subparagraph should not stop or abate, the ranking officer of the law
enforcement contingent shall audibly issue a warning to the participants
of the public assembly, and after allowing a reasonable period of time to
la pse, shall immediately order it to forthwith disperse;
(d) No arrest of any leader, organizer or participant shall also be made
during the public assembly unless he violates during the assembly a law,
statute, ordinance or any provision of this Act. Such arrest shall be
governed by Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended:
(e) Isolated acts or incidents of disorder or branch of the peace during the
public assembly shall not constitute a group for dispersal.
Sec. 12. Dispersal of public assembly without permit. — When the public
assembly is held without a permit where a permit is required, the said
public assembly may be peacefully dispersed. .chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 13. Prohibited acts. — The following shall constitute violations of
this Act:

(a) The holding of any public assembly as defined in this Act by any leader
or organizer without having first secured that written permit where a
permit is required from the office concerned, or the use of such pe rmit for
such purposes in any place other than those set out in said permit:
Provided, however, That no person can be punished or held criminally
liable for participating in or attending an otherwise peaceful assembly;
(b) Arbitrary and unjustified denia l or modification of a permit in violation
of the provisions of this Act by the mayor or any other official acting in
his behalf.
(c) The unjustified and arbitrary refusal to accept or acknowledge receipt
of the application for a permit by the mayor or an y official acting in his
behalf; .chan robles virtual law library
(d) Obstructing, impeding, disrupting or otherwise denying the exercise of
the right to peaceful assembly;
(e) The unnecessary firing of firearms by a member of any law
enforcement agency or any person to disperse the public assembly;
(f) Acts in violation of Section 10 hereof;
(g) Acts described hereunder if committed within one hundred (100)
meters from the area of activity of the public assembly or on the occasion
thereof; .chan rob les virtual law library
1. the carrying of a deadly or offensive weapon or device such as firearm,
pillbox, bomb, and the like;
2. the carrying of a bladed weapon and the like; .chan robles virtual law library
3. the malicious burning of any object in the streets or thoroughfares;
4. the carrying of firearms by members of the law enforcement unit; .chan
robles virtual law library
5. the interfering with or intentionally disturbing the holding of a public
assembly by the use of a motor vehicle, its ho rns and loud sound systems.
Sec. 14. Penalties. — Any person found guilty and convicted of any of the
prohibited acts defined in the immediately preceding section shall be
punished as follows: .chan robles virtual law library

(a) violation of subparagra ph (a) shall be punished by imprisonment of one
month and one day to six months;
(b) violations of subparagraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and item 4, subparagraph
(g) shall be punished by imprisonment of six months and one day to six
years;
(c) violati on of item 1, subparagraph (g) shall be punished by
imprisonment of six months and one day to six years without prejudice to
prosecution under Presidential Decree No. 1866; .chan robles virtual law library
(d) violations of item 2, item 3, or item 5 of su bparagraph (g) shall be
punished by imprisonment of one day to thirty days.
Sec. 15. Freedom parks. — Every city and municipality in the country
shall within six months after the effectivity of this Act establish or
designate at least one suitable “free dom park” or mall in their respective
jurisdictions which, as far as practicable, shall be centrally located within
the poblacion where demonstrations and meetings may be held at any
time without the need of any prior permit.
In the cities and municipali ties of Metropolitan Manila, the respective
mayors shall establish the freedom parks within the period of six months
from the effectivity of this Act. .chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 16. Constitutionality. — Should any provision of this Act be decl ared
invalid or unconstitutional, the validity or constitutionality of the other
provisions shall not be affected thereby.
Sec. 17. Repealing clause. — All laws, decrees, letters of instructions,
resolutions, orders, ordinances or parts thereof which ar e inconsistent
with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended, or modified
accordingly. .chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 18. Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect upon its approval. .chan
robles virtual law library
Approved: October 22, 1985

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