Prof to defy UP ban vs showing anti-Islam film

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2012 02:55 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2012 10:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Despite a ban imposed by the chancellor of the University of the Philippines – Diliman, a professor from the state university will proceed in showing his class the trailer of the controversial anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims".

Professor Harry Roque said he intends to show the film trailer to his students in Constitutional Law 2 where he is discussing freedom of expression, freedom of religion and academic freedom.

"My license to show the trailer and discuss it is in connection with our ongoing study on freedom of expression in the constitution. No order from the Chancellor or from anyone else can infringe on these rights," Roque said in a statement.

"I am showing it because unless we see it, we will not know what is depicted in the film. Unless we see it, we cannot make a judgment on it. This is why there is a constitutional commitment to this freedom. It is only in the free marketplace of ideas that we can discern the truth and form our individual opinions," he added.

The lawyer-professor warned that those who will try to prevent him from discharging his functions as an academic and as a lawyer will be civilly and criminally liable.

The US-made film's trailer, which portrayed the Prophet Mohammed as a fool and philanderer, sparked outrage among Muslims around the world.

The protests targeted Americans. The first wave of violent protest resulted in the death of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other embassy staff.

Several governments have moved to block the video in their respective countries in an effort to prevent further escalation of violence.