The Philippines' highest court has struck down government powers introduced by President Gloria Arroyo to forcefully break up streets protests as they begin.

The Supreme Court nullified the pre-emptive policy Tuesday saying it had no place in the Philippine legal system, and calling it a "darkness that shrouds freedom."

The court also asked local governments to designate "freedom parks" where people could freely express grievances with the government.

Ms. Arroyo imposed the pre-emptive response last year to stop massive rallies calling for her resignation.

Today's court decision is seen as another blow to Ms. Arroyo's government powers.  Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that a presidential order banning government officials from attending congressional hearings was unconstitutional. 

The court has yet to rule on a third order by Ms. Arroyo, a week-long state of emergency she invoked in February after discovering an alleged coup plot against her.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.