On appeal, sadly first to the RTC because it is such a small offense and such an inferior court in more ways than jurisdiction. Yes, on appeal, this case will be overturned on the ground that the decision not the law, Article 133, violates Celdran's freedom of expression.
Carlos was protesting the Church's doctrinal opposition to birth control, pretty much as the Church was protesting Congress's advocacy of the same. So the Church went to Congress and packed the galleries with nuns, priests and other faithful because that was the proper venue to express itself on the issue. Church people behaved themselves in the gallery.
Carlos went to the Cathedral to protest the protest of the Church against Congress's birth control because that was the proper venue in which to do it. The only question was the manner of the protest. In my view and that of the witnesses of the prosecution, Celdran did not behave outrageously. Dressed like Charlie Chaplin he merely raised a placard that merely puzzled but in no way instantly provoked and outraged the faithful who witnessed it.
Where else should Celdran have staged his protest? Outside in the street? But the pedestrians did not oppose birth control so why harass them? It was the Church and that is where Celdran had to go to stage his modest demonstration. In the same way, protesters against the Vietnam war donned t-shirts with the words "f*ck the draft" in the vicinity of recruitment centers and burned the American flag to offend American patriots. The US Supreme Court found both expressions, terse in one case and wordless but inflammatory in the other, covered by the Bill of Rights freedom of expression. The US Supreme Court did not strike down the draft or declare the flag fit for burning that would have been overbroad. Courts decide on the narrowest grounds. So in this case shall the Supreme Court leave in place a good law, Article 133, meant for the protection of the sacriligeous from the fury of the religious, while striking down its improper application in the circumstances of this case. Conviction reverse, the accused is free to go. Adjourned.
Good night and good luck.