Defamatory statements, NOT protected speech

Defamatory statements are not protected speech. In upholding the validity of cyber libel, the Supreme Court expressly stated in Disini Jr. v. Secretary of Justice (G.R. No. 203335, April 22, 2014) that a person's right to free expression and free speech is not an excuse to defame the reputation and honor of another.

Libel, like obscenity, belongs to those forms of speeches that have never attained Constitutional protection and are considered outside the realm of protected freedom. As explained by the US Supreme Court in Champlinsky v. New Hampshire:
"Allowing the broadest scope to the language and purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, it is well understood that the right of free speech is not absolute at all times and under all circumstances. There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting" words - those which, by their very utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality. "Resort to epithets or personal abuse is not in any proper sense communication of information or opinion safeguarded by the Constitution, and its punishment as a criminal act would raise no question under that instrument."