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Consti Digest

Consti Digest

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Published by Dimple Tinapao
case digest
case digest

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Published by: Dimple Tinapao on Nov 19, 2012
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Section 3MERALCO vs LimGR 184769, Oct. 5, 2012Facts:
Cherry Lim, who works at MERALCO, was transferred to another branch due to reports that there were accusationsand threats directed against her. Lim filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas data against petitioners claiming
petitioners’ unlaw
ful act and omission consisting of the latter failing to inform her of the cause of her transfer amounting to aviolation of her right to privacy in life, liberty and security, correctible by habeas data.
Issue:
May an employee invoke the remedies available under the writ of habeas data where an employer decides totransfer her workplace on the basis of copies of an anonymous letter posted therein
 – 
imputing to her disloyalty to thecompany and calling for her to leave, which imputation it investigated but fails to inform her the details thereof?
Ruling:
No. The Writ of Habeas Data cannot be invoked in labor disputes where there is no unlawful violation of the right to
life, liberty, or security. It is evident that respondent’s reservations on the real re
asons for her transfer are what prompted her to adopt the extraordinary remedy of habeas data. Jurisdiction over such concerns is inarguably lodged by law with theNLRC and the Labor Arbiters.
Pollo vs DavidGR 181881, Oct 18, 2011Facts:
This case involved a search of an office computer assigned to the petitioner, an employee of the CSC-ROIV. Thesearch was a consequence of an anonymous letter-complaint received by repondent alleging that Pollo has beenlawyering for public officials with pending cases in
the CSC. The employee’s personal files stored in the computer were used
as evidence in the administrative proceedings initiated against him. Pollo assailed the validity of the search on his officecomputer, contending that this violated his right to privacy.
Issue:
 
Was the search conducted on Pollo’s office computer and the copying of his personal files without his knowledge
and consent violated his constitutional right to privacy?
Ruling:
No. The Court held that the search, made in relation to an investigation authorized by the CSC Chairperson andwhich occasioned the copying of petitioner's personal files, is lawful and does not transgress his constitutional right toprivacy even if done without his knowledge and consent. According to the Court, the petitioner had no reasonableexpectation of privacy in his office and computer files.
Section 4GSIS vs VillavizaGR 180291, July 27, 2010Facts:
Petitioner Garcia as President and General Manager of the GSIS filed separate charges against respondents Villavizaet.al, for Grave Misconduct and/or Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. That respondent, together withother employees in utter contempt of the Omnibus Rules on Prohibited Concerted Mass Actions in the Public Sector causedalarm and heightened some employees and disrupted the work at the Investigation Unit during office hours.
Issue #1:
What are “public concern speeches”?
Ruling:
 
“Public concern speech" is defined as speech that "'relate
s to a matter of political, social, or other concern to thecommunity.
Issue #2:
Are these constitutionally protected?
Ruling:
Yes.
Citing Scott v. Meters, the court said that though the government’s right to impose reasonable restrictions isrecognized, the court held that the NYTA’s rule was “unconstitutionally overboard.” Respondents’ wearing of red shirts did
not amount to a prohibited concerted activity or mass action rather it constituted speech on a matter of public concernand is protected by the constitution.
Brown vs Entertainment Merchant564 US ---- (Docket No. 08-1448)June 27, 2011Facts:
 
Respondents, representing the video-game and software industries, filed a pre-enforcement challenge to a Californialaw that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, believing a connection between violent video gamesand aggressive behavior in children. The Federal District Court ruled that the Act was unconstitutional but Gov.Schwarzenegger appealed the case to the Supreme Court in 2009.
 
 
Issue:
Does the California law that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors violate the First Amendment?Ruling: Yes, the Court revoked the law, ruling that video games were protected speech as other forms of media. Videogames qualify for First Amendment protection because they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices andfeatures distinctive to the medium.
B
ecause the Act imposes a restriction on the content of protected speech, it is invalidunless California can demonstrate that it passes strict scrutiny, i.e., it is justified by a compelling government interest and isnarrowly drawn to serve that interest.
Gov. Garcia vs ManriqueGR 186592, Oct 10, 2012Facts:
The instant case stemmed from an article in Luzon Tribune, wherein respondent Manrique is the publisher/editor,which allegedly contained disparaging statements against the Supreme Court. The petitioners alleged that the subject
article undermines the people’s faith in the Supreme Court due to blunt allusion that they employed bribery in order 
toobtain relief from the Court, particularly in obtaining a TRO in a certain case. Manrique alleged that there was nothingmalicious or defamatory in his article since he only stated the facts or circumstances which attended the issuance of theTRO.
Issue:
Are court decisions beyond criticism and public opinion?
Ruling:
No. The court ruled that every citizen has the right to comment upon and criticize the actuations of public officersand such right is not diminished by the fact that the criticism is aimed at judicial authority. It is, however, crucial that suchcriticisms be decent and proper.
 
Issue:
 
Is Manrique’s invocation of the freedom of speech in his criticisms tenable?
 
Ruling:
 
No. Manrique’s article no longer partakes of an adverse criticism of an official act but an indecent attempt to
malign the petitioners which ultimately brought equal harm to the reputation of this Court. Malicious publications cannotseek the protection of the constitutional guaranties of free speech and press.
Leave Division of OCA vs HeusdensA.M. No. P-11-2927, December 13, 2011Facts:
Respondent left for abroad without waiting for the result of her application. It turned out that no travel authority wasissued in her favor because she was not cleared of all her accountabilities as evidenced by the SC Certificate ofClearance. The OCA found respondent to have violated the OCA Circular for failing to secure the approval of her application for travel authority.
Issue:
What are the inherent and statutory limitations on the constitutional right to travel?
Ruling:
 
The exercise of one’s rig
ht to travel is not absolute. There are constitutional, statutory and inherent limitations
regulating the right to travel. Section 6 provides that “neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interes
t ofnational security, public safety o
r public health, as may be provided by law.” Inherent limitations on the right to travel are
those that naturally emanate from the source. An example of such inherent limitation is the power of the trial courts toprohibit persons charged with a crime to leave the country. Some of these statutory limitations are the following:1.
 
The Human Security Act of 2010 or Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9372.2.
 
The Philippine Passport Act of 1996 or R.A. No. 8239.3.
 
The “Anti
-
Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003” or R.A. No. 92
08.4.
 
The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 or R. A. No. 8042, as amended by R.A. No. 10022.5.
 
The Act on Violence against Women and Children or R.A. No. 9262.6.
 
Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 or R.A. No. 8043.
RE: REQUEST FOR COPY OF 2008 STATEMENT OF ASSETS, LIABILITIES AND NETWORTH [SALN] AND PERSONAL DATA SHEET ORCURRICULUM VITAE OF THE JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT AND OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE JUDICIARY. A. M. No. 09-8-6-SC, June 13, 2012.
Facts:
Rowena Paraan, Research Director of the PCIJ, sought copies of the SALN of the Justices of the Supreme Court for the year 2008. She also requested for copies of the Personal Data Sheet of the Justices of this Court for the purpose ofupdating their database of information on government officials.
Issue #1:
Can the SALN of justices be accessed via the right to information?
Ruling:
Yes. The right to information goes hand-in-hand with the constitutional policies of full public disclosure and honesty inthe public service.
 
 
Issue #2:
What are the limitations on the constitutional right to information?
Ruling:
The right to information is not absolute. It is further subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.Jurisprudence has provided the following limitations to that right:(1)
 
national security matters and intelligence information;(2)
 
trade secrets and banking transactions;(3)
 
criminal matters; and(4)
 
other confidential information such as confidential or classified information officially known to public officers andemployees by reason of their office and not made available to the public as well as diplomatic correspondence,closed door Cabinet meetings and executive sessions of either house of Congress, and the internal deliberations ofthe Supreme Court.
IDEALS vs PSALMGR 192088, Oct. 9, 2012
Facts:
PSALM is a GOCC created by virtue of the EPIRA law. Said law mandated PSALM to manage privatization of NPC.When PSALM commenced the privatization an invitation to bid was published and the highest bidder K-Water wasidentified. The sale to K-Water was sought to be enjoined by petitioners who contend that PSALM gravely abused its
discretion when, in the conduct of the bidding it violated the people’s right to information without having previously
released to the public critical information about the sale.
Issue #1:
Can the bid documents, etc. used in the on-going negotiation for the privatization and sale of Angat hydro plantbe accessed via the right to information?
Ruling:
Yes. The court reiterated that the constitutional right to information includes official information on on-goingnegotiations before a final contract. The information, however, must constitute definite propositions by the government andshould not cover recognized exceptions like privileged information, military and diplomatic secrets and similar mattersaffecting national security and public order.
Issue #2:
Is the duty to disclose information the same with the duty to permit access to information on matters of publicconcern?
Ruling:
No. Unlike the disclosure of information which i
s mandatory under the Constitution, the other aspect of the people’s
right to know requires a demand or request for one to gain access to documents and paper of the particular agency.Moreover, the duty to disclose covers only transactions involving public interest, while the duty to allow access has abroader scope of information which embraces not only transactions involving public interest, but any matter contained inofficial communications and public documents of the government agency.
BPI vs BPI Employee UnionGR 164301, Aug. 10, 2010
Facts
: FEBTC employees were hired by petitioner as its own employees after the merger with BPI, with their status and tenurerecognized and salaries and benefits maintained. Respondent is the exclusive bargaining agent of BPIs rank and fileemployees in Davao City. The former FEBTC rank-and-file employees in Davao City did not belong to any labor union at thetime of the merger. Prior to the effectivity of the merger, respondent union invited said FEBTC employees to a meeting. After the meeting, some of the former FEBTC employees joined the union, while others refused. When these former FEBTCemployees refused to attend the hearing, the president of the Union requested BPI to implement the Union Shop Clause ofthe CBA and to terminate their employment.
Issue:
May a corporation invoke its merger with another corporation as a valid ground to exempt its absorbed employeesfrom the coverage of a union shop clause without violating the right to freedom of association?
Ruling:
When certain employees are obliged to join a particular union as a requisite for continued employment, as in thecase of Union Security Clauses, this condition is a valid restriction of the freedom or right not to join any labor organizationbecause it is in favor of unionism. This Court, on occasion, has even held that a union security clause in a CBA is not arestriction of the right of freedom of association guaranteed by the Constitution.
NPC vs Macabingkit GR 165828 Aug 24, 2011
Facts:
In their complaint filed before the RTC in 1997, the heirs of Macabingkit said that they discovered the presence of thetunnel underneath their land when several firms refused to buy their property because of the tunnel, and that even a bank had rejected the use of their land as collateral. They told the trial court that the presence of the tunnel that was

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