Sr. Mary John Mananzan: Freedom of speech not a license to say anything you want

Published March 12, 2019, 2:57 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Leslie Ann Aquino 

Former chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), Sr. Mary John Mananzan, said that freedom of speech is not a license to say anything you want. This she said a day after President Duterte made his controversial remarks about women stating that one cannot take away from him his right to freedom of expression.

(Center for Women's Resources / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Center for Women’s Resources / MANILA BULLETIN)

Duterte said he intentionally makes such remarks as he is trying to bring women to the “limits of despair.”

“Freedom of speech is not a license to say anything you want. It must be within the boundaries of law and human decency,” Mananzan said in an interview.

“Of course, you can say what you want but you may not say libelous words and words injurious to others,” added the nun.

“That’s basic ethical norm and yet he doesn’t know it?” asked Mananzan.

She said Duterte shouldn’t be surprised anymore if more and more women become critical of him.

“So you say insulting and demeaning words to women, then they have the right to criticize you, and condemn what you say,” Mananzan said.

Read more: Duterte: I love and respect women, but they have to respect my right to free expression