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Privacy of Communications and Correspondence

Privacy of Communications and Correspondence

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Published by: Kleyr De Casa Albete on Jan 10, 2013
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SECTION 3 Privacy Of Communication and CorrespondencePhilippines Constitution CASE DOCTRINES (1)The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable

except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this and the preceding section shall be inadmissible for anypurpose in any proceeding. What type of communication & correspondence does the provision cover? 1935 Consti Convention – “letters & messages” carried by agencies of gov’t Coorected: “used in general sense” Olmstead doctrine – when there is no actual trespass, there is no search, & where the object is not tangible, it cannot be seized. Tangibles – house, papers, persons & effects.. Katz v US overruled Olmstead – includes wire-tapping, with or without trespass under the ban of search & seizure clause

agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. The constitutional against unreasonable searches and seizures cannot be extended to acts committed by a private individual. B. Waiver of Rights Veroy v. Layague – search of rebels in a house – Permission was granted by Veroy to enter the house but only to ascertain the presence of rebel soldiers. Where permission to enter a residence was given, it is illegal to search the rooms therein and seize firearms without as search warrant. Okabe v. Gutierrez – estafa case – An application for or admission to bail shall not bar the accused from challenging the validity of his arrest or the legality of the warrant issued therefore.. An application for bail SHALL NOT BE considered as a waiver of rights. A valid waiver, requisites. 1) rights must exist; 2) there must be clear and convincing proof that there was an actual intention to relinquish the right C. Anti-Wire Tapping Act Navarro v. CA – police complaint gone bad – where the exchange between two persons is not private, the tape recording is not prohibited Salcedo-Ordonez v. CA – annulment with damages – husband is cheating on me case – Unauthorized tape recordings of telephone conversations not admissible D. Privacy of Bank Accounts


What are the conditions for allowable intrusion into the privacy of communication & correspondence? **The guarantee given by the privacy provision is not absolute Intent of Laurel is to condition allowable intrusion upon an order of a court “person entitled to his secrets but if it involves public questions w/c State ought to know may infringe that privacy (process or appeal to Court) 1) 2) Lawful order Public safety & order so demands

Marquez v. Desierto – secrecy of bank deposits – exceptions: 1) depositor consents in writing; 2) subject of an impeachment case; 3) by court order in cases of bribery and dereliction by public officials, 4) deposit is subject of litigation; 5) unexplained wealth E. Privacy of Communication Roxas v. Zuzuaregui – contempt of the Supreme Court – the letter ceased to be private when Roxas furnished the letter to the all the justices and not just to the one whom it is addressed The right of privacy of communication and correspondence is a right embodied in the Constitution. During illegal search, documents taken from you cannot be used against you and it is inadmissible in any courts in any proceedings.

**text not give any ground to allow intrusion but there must be probable cause & that privacy right is but an aspect of the right to be secure in one’s person.. ** identity of person & offense & the period of authorization given can be specified When in intrusion is made without judicial order? Public order & public safety through non-judicial gov’t official Ex: Exec. Officer can order intrusion when in his judgment, even w/o prior court approval he believes that PS & PO so requires. PO & PS – security of human lives, liberty & property against the activities of invaders, insurrectionists & rebels. A. Exclusionary Rule (Second paragraph of Section 3) People v. Marti – package bound for Switzerland – The Bill of Rights is not meant to be invoked against act of private individuals. It is directed against the government and its

With regards to written documents recovered by the relatives after the death of the patient (just a list of heartaches against the company he was previously connected, might be the caused of his sudden death), is not included or one of the exceptions. The right of privacy of communication and correspondence cannot be invoked by the company if such documents are vehemently manufactured. The company has no cause of action. Much more if the deceased wrote it a minute ago before he suffered cardiac arrest.

dictagraph. but the whole and every part thereof must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts. We are of the view that an extension telephone is not among such devices or arrangements What the law refers to is a "tap" of a wire or cable or the use of a "device or arrangement" for the purpose of secretly overhearing. Intermediate Appellate Court. 18 . or record the spoken words. Appellant Laconico executed on the following day an affidavit stating that he heard complainant demand P8. Atty. in order to be punishable must strictly be with the use of the enumerated devices in RA No. This section refers to instruments whose installation or presence cannot be presumed by the party or parties being overheard because. 4200 suffer from no ambiguity. 4200 because a telephone extension devise was neither among those "device(s) or arrangement(s)" 19 enumerated therein. went on a business trip. another lawyer. intercepting.A. Pintor was subsequently . the mere act of listening. cannot be placed in the same category as a dictaphone. It refers to instruments whose installation or presence cannot be presumed by the party or parties being overheard because. That same morning.arrested in upon receipt of the money. Complainant then told Laconico to wait for instructions on where to deliver the money. 1 of the law as the use thereof cannot be considered as "tapping" the wire or cable of a telephone line. arrested by agents of the Philippine Constabulary.A. or other devices enumerated in Sec.00 for the withdrawal of the case for direct assault. IAC. Complainant then charged Laconico with violation of RA 4200 for listening to the telephone conversation without complainant's consent. There must be either a physical interruption through a wiretap or the deliberate installation of a device or arrangement in order to overhear.000. This demand was heard by Atty. 4200 or others of similar nature. 1 of RA 4200 such that its use to overhear a private conversation would constitute an unlawful interception of communication between 2 parties using a telephone line. the particular clauses and phrases of the statute should not be taken as detached and isolated expressions. Laconico. In an entrapment operation Atty. Since Atty. In statutory construction. in order to determine the true intent of the legislature. should be construed to comprehend instruments of the same or similar nature. persons such as government authorities or representatives of organized groups from installing devices in order to gather evidence for use in court or to intimidate. ISSUE: W/N an extension telephone is among the prohibited devices in Sec. by their very nature. Consequently. the phrase "device or arrangement" in Section 1 of RA 4200.Wiretapping Act (RA 4200). intercepting. a case which dealt with the issue of telephone wiretapping.Gaanan v. Hence. and the statute itself explicitly mentions the unauthorized "recording" of private communications with the use of tape-recorders as among the acts punishable. Gaanan listened to the telephone conversation without complainant's consent. 145 SCRA 112 (1986) F: Complainant Atty. An extension tel. An extension telephone cannot be placed in the same category as a dictaphone. dictagraph or the other devices enumerated in Section 1 of RA 4200 .000 from him." The instant case turns on a different note. Leon Gonzaga. by their very nature. following the principle that "penal statutes must be construed 20 strictly in favor of the accused. intercepting or recording a telephone conversation. Our lawmakers intended to discourage. Pintor and Montebon offered to withdraw the complaint for direct assault they filed against Laconico after demanding P8. that is. they are not of common usage and their purpose is precisely for tapping. Gaanan through a telephone extension as requested by Laconico so as to personally hear the proposed conditions for the settlement. he told Laconico to give the money to his wife but the latter insisted that complainant himself should receive the money. because the applicable facts and circumstances pointing to a violation of R. or recording the communication. complainant charged Gaanan and Laconico with violation of the Anti. RULING: NO. blackmail or gain some unwarranted advantage over the telephone users. they are not of common usage and their purpose is precisely for tapping. In Gaanan vs. through punishment. telephoned the appellant to come to his office and advise him on the settlement of the direct assault case because his regular lawyer. instruments the use of which would be tantamount to tapping the main line of a telephone. intercept. or recording a tel. we held that the use of a telephone extension for the purpose of overhearing a private conversation without authorization did not violate R.

4200 penalizes are the acts of secretly overhearing. petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration which 6 respondent Court of Appeals denied in its Resolution dated June 19. in a confrontation in the latter's office. 1. Consequently. Ester S." As a result of petitioner's recording of the event and alleging that the said act of secretly taping the confrontation was illegal. and that 2) the violation punished by R. in lieu of a plea. and other purposes. In relation to this. respondent Court of Appeals promulgated its assailed Decision declaring the trial court's order of May 3. What R. the instant petition. 4200. First. It shall be unlawfull for any person. or by using any other device or arrangement. particularly a violation of R. We disagree. Garcia.A.A. insulted and humiliated her in a "hostile and furious mood" and in a manner offensive to petitioner's dignity and personality. as respondent Court of Appeals correctly concluded. therefore plainly supports the view held by the respondent court that the provision seeks to penalize even those privy to the private communications. one does not distinguish. otherwise the facts charged would not 7 constitute a violation of R. allegedly vexed. taken together with the abovequoted deliberations from the Congressional Record. " An Act to Prohibit and Penalized Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of Private Communication and Other Purposes.A. 1989 null and void. as her "main and principal issue" that the applicable provision of Republic Act 4200 does not apply to the taping of a private conversation by one of the parties to the conversation. Finally.RAMIREZ V CA A civil case damages was filed by petitioner Socorro D. good 1 customs and public policy. 1989. the nature of the conversations is immaterial to a violation of the statute. 1990. the trial court granted the Motion to Quash. which forthwith referred the case to the Court of Appeals in a Resolution (by the First Division) of June 19. 1990. In thus quashing the information based on the ground that the facts alleged do not constitute an offense. "even a (person) privy to a communication who records his private conversation with another without the 13 knowledge of the latter (will) qualify as a violator" under this provision of R. intercepting or recording private 9 . not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word. legislative intent is determined principally from the language of a statute. intercept. Petitioner vigorously argues. Where the law makes no distinctions. on February 21. 1989.A. not authorized by all the parties to any private communication to secretly record such communication by means of a tape recorder. Section 1 of R. 4200.A. In an order May 3.A. The aforestated provision clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any person. petitioner agues that R. Consequently. and interpretation would be resorted to only where a literal interpretation would be 11 12 either impossible or absurb or would lead to an injustice. 4200.A." provides: Sec. Where the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous. to tap any wire or cable. or however otherwise described. The unambiguity of the express words of the provision. 1990. private respondent filed a criminal case before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City for violation of Republic Act 4200. to secretly overhear. unauthorized tape recording of private conversations or communications taken either by the parties themselves or by third persons. agreeing with petitioner that 1) the facts charged do not constitute an offense under R. supports the respondent court's conclusion that in enacting R. moreover." An information charging petitioner of violation of the said Act. On February 9. and holding that: [T]he allegations sufficiently constitute an offense punishable under Section 1 of R. petitioner avers that the substance or content of the conversation must be alleged in the Information. The law makes no distinction as to whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be a party other than or different from those involved in the private communication. The substance of the same need not be specifically alleged in the information. the respondent judge acted in grave abuse of discretion correctible 5 by certiorari. 1988 is quoted Upon arraignment." contrary to morals. Hence. dated October 6. A perusal of the Senate Congressional Records. 4200 refers to a the taping of a communication by a 4 personother than a participant to the communication. 4200. Ramirez in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City alleging that the private respondent. She contends that the provision merely refers to the unauthorized taping of a private conversation by a party other than those involved in the 8 communication. Second. the law is applied according to its express terms.A. or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder. entitled "An Act to prohibit and penalize wire tapping and other related violations of private communication.A. petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the Information on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense.A. 4200 entitled. 4200 penalizes the taping of a "private communication. the private respondent filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari with this Court. 4200. The statute's intent to penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of the qualifier "any". 4200 our lawmakers indeed contemplated to make illegal." not a "private conversation" and that consequently. From the trial court's Order. her act of secretly taping her conversation with private respondent was not illegal under the said 10 act.

Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording of the same. The junior officers publicly renounced their support for the administration and called for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and several cabinet members. furthermore. Any doubts about the legislative body's meaning of the phrase "private communication" are. In re: Alejano v. Act No.m. communication connotes the act of sharing or imparting signification. the nature of the conversation. Among the exhibits offered by private respondent were three (3) cassette tapes of alleged telephone conversations between petitioner and unidentified persons. a mere allegation of a violation of one’s constitutional right is not sufficient. the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. ISSUE: W/N Tape recordings are admissible as evidence. entered and took control of the Oakwood Premier Luxury Apartments (“Oakwood”). 4200 does not include "private conversations" narrows the ordinary meaning of the word "communication" to a point of absurdity. some 321 armed soldiers. put to rest by the fact that the terms "conversation" and "communication" were interchangeably used by Senator Tañada in his Explanatory Note to the bill. As the Solicitor General pointed out in his COMMENT before the respondent court: "Nowhere (in the said law) is it required that before one can be regarded as a violator. 4200." Finally. They and any other variant thereof can be admitted in evidence for certain purposes. CA – annulment with damages – husband is cheating on me case – Unauthorized tape recordings of telephone conversations not admissible SALCEDO-ORTANEZ V CA GR NO 110662 FACTS: Respondent Rafael S. 1988. Ortanez filed City a complaint for annulment of marriage with damages against petitioner Teresita Salcedo-Ortanez. of the same date. meaning "to share or to impart. as in a conversation. led by the now detained junior officers. The word communicate comes from the latin word communicare. On 31 July 2003. Clearly.A. CA dismissed the petition stating tape recordings are not inadmissible per se. respondents trial court and Court of Appeals failed to consider the aforequoted provisions of the law in admitting in evidence the cassette tapes in question. C. The soldiers later defused the explosive devices they had earlier planted. Rep. The soldiers then returned to their barracks. 4200. The soldiers disarmed the security officers of Oakwood and planted explosive devices in its immediate surroundings. Gen. written or expressive communications of "meanings or thoughts" which are likely to include the emotionally-charged exchange. as 14 well as its communication to a third person should be professed. Cabuay 468 SCRA 188 August 25. an upscale apartment complex. issued a directive to all the Major Service Commanders to turn over custody of ten junior officers to the ISAFP . and for other purposes" expressly makes such tape recordings inadmissible in evidence. Abaya. petitioner's contention that the phrase "private communication" in Section 1 of R." In its ordinary signification.communications by means of the devices enumerated therein. The violation of constitutional right must be sufficient to void the entire proceedings. J. as the Chief of Staff of the AFP. in the privacy of the latter's office. 2005 En Banc: Carpio. or signifies the "process by which meanings or thoughts are shared between individuals through a common system of 16 symbols (as language signs or gestures)" These definitions are broad enough to include verbal or non-verbal. between petitioner and private respondent. Act No.A. the soldiers voluntarily surrendered to the authorities after several negotiations with government emissaries. HELD: No. The mere allegation that an individual made a secret recording of a private communication by means of a tape recorder would suffice to constitute an offense under Section 1 of R. on grounds of lack of marriage license and/or psychological incapacity of the petitioner. depending on how they are presented and offered and on how the trial judge utilizes them in the interest of truth and fairness and the even handed administration of justice. communication 15 connotes the act of sharing or imparting. Anti-Wire Tapping Act Salcedo-Ortanez v. Facts: Early morning of 27 July 2003. on February 22. 4200 entitled "An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of the Privacy of Communication. Around 7:00 p. located in the business district of Makati City.

the legality of which the detainees and petitioners do not even question. Habeas corpus is unavailing in this case as the detainees’ confinement is under a valid indictment. which required respondents to make a return of the writ and to appear and produce the persons of the detainees before the CA. Branch 61. unlike convicted prisoners. SG Antonio Trillanes IV and Capt. abandoned Palmigiano v. In the present case. The appellate court pointed out that the detainees are already charged of coup d’etat before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. Dunn. State v. Issue: Whether or not the detainees have the regulations imposed in the ISAFP Detention Center is a violation of the right to privacy of the detainees Held: American jurisprudence initially made a distinction between the privacy rights enjoyed by convicted inmates and pre-trial detainees. Nonetheless. enjoy a limited right of privacy in communication. Supreme Court ruled that an inmate has no reasonable expectation of privacy inside his cell. The right to privacy of those detained is subject to Section 4 of RA 7438. However. the CA ordered Gen. the detention officials should not read the letters but only open the envelopes for inspection in the presence of the detainees. outgoing mail of pre-trial detainees could not be inspected or read at all. Supreme Court held that prison officials could open in the presence of the inmates incoming mail from attorneys to inmates. Dunn declared that if complete censorship is permissible.S. involving convicted prisoners. pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners have a diminished expectation of privacy rights. Travisono and made no distinction as to the detainees’ limited right to privacy. 2003. Supreme Court explained that prisoners necessarily lose many protections of the Constitution. to uphold faithfully the rights of the detainees in accordance with Standing Operations Procedure No. the detainees and their other co-accused filed with the Regional Trial Court of Makati City a Motion for Preliminary Investigation. Abaya issued a directive to all Major Service Commanders to take into custody the military personnel under their command who took part in the Oakwood incident except the detained junior officers who were to remain under the custody of ISAFP. Dunn noted the considerable jurisprudence in the United States holding that inmate mail may be censored for the furtherance of a substantial government interest such as security or discipline. On 2 August 2003. Censorship of pre-trial detainees’ mail addressed to public officials. By the very fact of their detention. prison officials could not read such mail from attorneys. That a law is required before an executive officer could intrude on a citizen’s privacy rights] is a guarantee that is available only to the public at large but not to persons who are detained or imprisoned. chief among which is internal security. courts and counsel was held impermissible. However. McDonnell. The appellate court declared that while the opening and reading of Trillanes’ letter is an abhorrent violation of his right to privacy of communication. The letters alleged to have been read by the ISAFP authorities were not confidential letters between the detainees and their lawyers. Palmer. who was in charge of implementing the regulations in the ISAFP Detention Center. Gen.Detention Center On 1 August 2003. In Hudson v. then the lesser act of opening the mail and reading it is also permissible. the U. While incoming mail may be inspected for contraband and read in certain instances. 0263-04. this does not justify the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Palmer. The appellate court ruled that the regulation of the detainees’ right to confer with their counsels is reasonable under the circumstances. The U. since the letters were not confidential communication between the detainees and their lawyers. Travisono recognized that pre-trial detainees. the U. as well as to the limitations inherent in lawful detention or imprisonment. State v. which is the proper subject of habeas corpus proceedings. The Court of appeals dismissed the petition. Cabuay. The Court of Appeals recognized that habeas corpus may also be the appropriate remedy to assail the legality of detention if there is a deprivation of a constitutional right. Gerardo Gambala to the Commanding Officers of ISAFP. the officials of the ISAFP Detention Center could read the letters. petitioners filed a petition for habeas corpus with SC. The curtailment of certain rights is necessary. . government prosecutors filed an Information for coup d’etat with the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. as a practical matter. The violation does not amount to illegal restraint. to accommodate a myriad of “institutional needs and objectives” of prison facilities. The trial court later issued the Commitment Orders giving custody of junior officers Lt.S. the appellate court held that the constitutional rights alleged to have been violated in this case do not directly affect the detainees’ liberty. On the same date. The Supreme Court issued a resolution. If the letters are marked confidential communication between the detainees and their lawyers. citing Hudson v. which the trial court granted. The later case of State v. The petitioner who received the letters from detainees Trillanes and Maestrecampo was merely acting as the detainees’ personal courier and not as their counsel when he received the letters for mailing.S. against the soldiers involved in the 27 July 2003 Oakwood incident. In the subsequent case of Wolff v. The case of Palmigiano v. On August 11.

Also. In the Resolution of the Supreme Court en banc. Issue: Whether the letters addressed to the Supreme Court justices are matters shielded bythe constitutional right of freedom of speech or right to privacy. without any copy furnished the Supreme Court nor the members who were charged. en consulta and so that the Court en banc could pass upon the judicial acts of the Division. Maravilla-Ilustre and Laureta would realize the unjustness and unfairness of their accusations. charging some Justices of the Court of Appeals with knowingly rendering their “unjust resolution” of 20 January 1984 “through manifest and evident bad faith”.” True to her threats. acts and charges against the Supreme Court and/or the official actions of the Justices concerned and her ascription of improper motives to them. 8 JUSTICES FACE GRAFT CHARGES” thereby making it unjustly appear that the Justices of the Supreme Court and the other respondents were charged with “graft and corruption” when the Complaint was actually filed by a disgruntled litigant and her counsel after having lost her case thrice in the Supreme Court. unless satisfactorily explained.” Atty. for making it appear that the Justices of the Supreme Court and other respondents before the Tanodbayan are charged with “graft and corruption” when the complaint before the Tanodbayan. and charging Solicitor General Sedfrey A. Narvasa. conduct. The constitutional right of freedom of speech or right to privacy cannot be used as a shield for contemptuous acts against the Court. Maravilla-Ilustre filed on 16 December 1986 an Affidavit-Complaint before the Tanodbayan. the two highest Courts of the land by challenging in bad faith their integrity and claiming that they knowingly rendered unjust judgments. none of the division members are above the law. why no disciplinary action should be taken against him for the statements. and a fourth letter. . for totally disregarding the facts and circumstances and legal considerations set forth in the Supreme Court’s Resolutions of the First Division and en banc. Held: Letters addressed to individual Justices. it required (1) Eva Maravilla Ilustre to show cause. IAC being dismissed). transcend the permissible bounds of propriety and undermine and degrade the administration of justice.In RE: Laureta Facts: In almost identical letters dated 20 October 1986. We intend to hold responsible members of the First Division who participated in the promulgation of these three minute-resolutions in question. for authoring. Laureta has committed acts unbecoming an officer of the Court for his stance of dangling threats of bringing the matter to the “proper forum” to effect a change of the Court’s adverse Resolution. not covered by the constitutional guarantee. Laureta reportedly circulated copies of the Complaint to the press. in an alleged quest for justice but with the manifest intent to bring the Justices into disrepute and to subvert public confidence in the Courts and the orderly administration of justice. to show cause. all with the manifest intent to bring the Justices of this Court and of the Court of Appeals into disrepute and to subvert public confidence in the Courts. an unjust. Cruz. Wenceslao Laureta. which we find disputed by the facts and circumstances of record as above stated. is a tirade from a disgruntled litigant and a defeated counsel in a case that has been brought thrice before the Supreme Court. Herrera. in her statements. or at the very least. the Tanodbayan (Ombudsman) dismissed Maravilla-Ilustre’s Complaint. Ilustre. The contumacious character of those letters constrained the First Division to refer the same to the Court en banc. Ilustre has transcended the permissible bounds of fair comment and criticism to the detriment of the orderly administration of justice in her letters addressed to the individual Justices. with bad faith. within 10 days from notice. as an officer of the Court. in the language of the charges she filed before the Tanodbayan. as the Tribunal of last resort. dated 20 January 1986. notwithstanding his disclaimer that he had absolutely nothing to do with them. after having lost her case before the Supreme Court. and for hiding therefrom in anonymity behind his client’s name. within 10 days from notice. On 26 December 1986. for his lack of respect for and exposing to public ridicule. and who would readily accept anything but the soundness of the judgments of the Courts concerned. even in the performance of official functions. assisting and/or abetting and/or not preventing the contemptuous statements. dated 22 October 1986 addressed to Justice Florentino P. in connection with the performance of their judicial functions become part of the judicial record and are a matter of concern for the entire Court and thus. The fact that said letters are not technically considered pleadings. why she should not be held in contempt for her statements. personally sent to Justices Andres R. Eva Maravilla Ilustre/Atty. like others. and Isagani A. Ordoñez and Justice Pedro Yap of the Supreme Court with having used their power and influence in persuading and inducing the members of the First Division of the Court into promulgating their “unjust extended Minute Resolution of 14 May 1986. which statements. nor the fact that they were submitted after the main petition had been finally resolved does not detract from the gravity of the contempt committed. It was only in the exercise of forbearance by the Court that it refrained from issuing immediately a show cause order in the expectancy that after having read the Resolution of the Court en banc of 28 October 1986. acts and charges against the Supreme Court and the official actions of the Justices concerned. conduct. and in her unjustified outburst that she can no longer expect justice from the Supreme Court. Feliciano. conduct. The issue of the Daily Express of 23 December 1986 published a banner headline reading: “ORDONEZ. Ameurfina M. Wenceslao Laureta wrote in part that “we are pursuing further remedies in our quest for justice under the law. For the members thereof cannot claim immunity when their action runs afoul with penal sanctions. and (2) Atty. which was widely publicized in almost all dailies on 23 December 1986. in a stance of dangling threats to effect a change of the Court’s adverse resolution (in GR 68635: Eva Maravilla Ilustre vs. charging some Members of the Supreme Court with having knowingly and deliberately rendered. Atty. in essence. all members of the First Division of the Supreme Court. acts and charges against the Supreme Court and/or official actions of the Justices concerned. extended Minute Resolution “making” her opponents the “illegal owners” of vast estates. acts and malicious charges of his client. conduct.

Branch XVIII. that said group had ordered the “arrest” of Carancio which sentenced the latter to die by stabbing. Together. Albofera [GR L-69377. Albofera admitted having sent the letter and it was its recipient. 1982. there is nothing selfincriminatory in the letter. Lawi-an told him that the forester was already killed and warned him not to reveal this matter to anybody otherwise he would be killed. Also in July.People vs. shortly after their arrest. the prosecution presented a letter written in the Visayan dialect by Alexander Albofera. Efren Sisneros was at his farm when Lawi-an and Jun Menez passed by and called him. Martin's passport. Article III of the 1987 Constitution) implements another Constitutional provision on the security of a citizen against unreasonable search and seizure. 107383. and photographs. there is nothing really self-incriminatory in the letter.m. greetings cards. There Lawi-an told Albofera that the forester was around making a list of people engaged in “caingin. nor through an unwarranted intrusion or invasion into the privacy of the accused. Romeo Lawi-an. Esma acceded. while under detention. a driver and private respondent's secretary.000. Romeo Lawi-an was subsequently arrested on 4 July 1981. On 2 July 1981. COURT OF APPEALS G.00 “by way of moral as well as actual damages” in its Decision of 5 October 1984. and Joel Maldan decided to bring Carancio to the forest some 200 meters away from Lawi-an’s house. Boy Lawi-an. near the place of Romeo Lawi-an. The two were able to overtake the forester. a doctor of medicine. at about 9:00 a. to witness Rodrigo Esma several days before the latter testified on 20 October 1982. Managa. Albofera began questioning Carancio about his purpose in the place. Sisneros asked that his identity be kept secret in the meantime pending the arrest of Albofera and Lawi-an. The production of that letter by the prosecution was not the result of an unlawful search and seizure nor was it through unwarranted intrusion or invasion into Albofera’s privacy.. When Sisneros got near the two. Albofera warned everyone. it was not the result of an unlawful search. particularly Esma. Rodrigo Esma himself. Once inside and seated. Davao del Sur. forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet in her husband's clinic and took 157 documents consisting of private correspondence between Dr. where the authorities dug and recovered the cadaver. Davao del Sur. Boy Lawi-an. After washing their hands. but without Carancio. alias Jun. 1996 Petitioner: Cecilia Zulueta Respondents: Court of Appeals and Alfredo Martin Ponente: J. After trial. Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Alfredo Martin. Martin and his alleged paramours. Hence. 1981. Besides. 20 July 1987] En Banc. who produced and identified the same in the course of his testimony in Court. against revealing or saying anything to any person or the military. as well as alias Jun’s hands were bloodied. On March 26. when Alexander Albofera called him and informed him they would run after somebody. led the police authorities to the place in Bagong Silang where they buried the slain forester. a certain alias Jun. Held: Section 4. February 20. diaries. Albofera mainly pleaded that Esma change his declaration in his Affidavit and testify in his (Albofera’s) favor. Mendoza Facts: This is a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals. No.” Whereupon. Besides. Rodrigo Esma was tending his onion farm located in Upper Bagong Silang. at about 4:30 p. found the circumstantial evidence sufficient to warrant conviction beyond reasonable doubt of both Albofera and Lawi-an for murder. and in the presence of her mother. the the Regional Trial Court. Issue: Whether the Albofera’s letter to Esma should be excluded as evidence in light of alleged unwarranted intrusion or invasion of the accused’s privacy. sentenced them to death. and Joel Maldan. Digos. However. Carancio replied that he was there to inspect the “caingin” as a forester. Albofera and Esma proceeded at once to the house of Lawi-an. (NACHURA) ZULUETA VS. specifically in a hilly portion near the forest where the trees were not quite big besides a coffee plantation. Not long after the group returned to Lawi-an’s house. at the lower portion of the road. The police authorities arrested Albofera on 2 July 1981. Albofera. Albofera executed an extra-judicial confession before the Municipal Circuit Judge. The threat to his life caused Sisneros to be cautious in not reporting at once the matter to the authorities. Furthermore. in Criminal Case 184. in June 1981.R. the mandatory review. Bansalan. *** A letter written by the accused to a witness which was produced by the witness during the trial is admissible in evidence. among whom were Lawi-an. The following day. Carancio was taken to the house of Lawi-an where several persons were already gathered. Albofera asked Esma to join him in going after the forester. Albofera’s hands.m.. Melencio-Herrera (J): 13 concur Facts: Sometime in June or July 1980. and ordered them to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P35. Dr. Esma did not join the group but remained in the house of Lawi-an. In the course of the trial. Article IV of the 1973 Constitution (substantially reproduced in Section 3. the two. It was produced by the recipient of the letter who identified the same. affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch X) which ordered petitioner to return documents and papers taken by her from private respondent's clinic without the latter's knowledge and consent. cancelled checks. The documents and papers were seized for use in . nothing Albofera stated in his letter is being taken against him in arriving at a determination of his culpability. stating therein that he was forced to join the NPA movement for fear of his life. Sisneros finally reported the killing of that forester to his brother Margarito. a certain Teodoro Carancio. a CHDF member in Bansalan. petitioner entered the clinic of her husband.

As regards the first memorandum. In his decision of 10 May 1993. The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by making it privileged. In a memorandum dated 21 November 1989. she would be placed on preventive suspension to protect the interests of the company. save for specified exceptions. Bautro warned Catolico against the "rush delivery ofmedicines without the proper documents." The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of them in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. her side of the reported irregularity. Catolico. as this would impair the company's control of purchases and. WATEROUS SupervisorLuzviminda E. does not shed his/her integrity or his right to privacy as an individual and the constitutional protection is ever available to him or to her. Forthwith. Neither may be examined without the consent of the other as to any communication received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage. WATEROUS Supervisor Luzviminda Bautro." She also averred that the preventive suspension was ill-motivated. *** The right may be invoked against the wife who went ti the clinic of her husband and there took documents consisting of private communications between her husband & his alleged paramour. But one thing is freedom of communication. explained that the check she received from YSP was aChristmas gift and not a "refund of overprice. Inc. The only exception to the prohibition in the Constitution is if there is a "lawful order [from a] court or when public safety or order requires otherwise. Co issued another memorandum to Catolico warning her not to negotiate with suppliersof medicine without consulting the Purchasing Department. as prescribed by law." since fellow employee Irene Soliven "obtained the medicines in bad faith and through misrepresentation when she claimed that she was given a charge slip by the Admitting Dept. On 5 May 1990. Irene Soliven. On 31 July 1989. In a letter to Co dated 10 February 1990. And this has nothing to do with the duty of fidelity that each owes to the other. Co asked Catolico to explain. Indeed the documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence.evidence in a case for legal separation and for disqualification from the practice of medicine which petitioner had filed against her husband. Catolico received a memorandum from WATEROUS Vice President-General Manager Emma R. (NACHURA) . Nevertheless. Catolico did not deny her responsibility but explained that her act was "due to negligence. she was informed that effective 6 February 1990 to 7 March 1990. quite another is a compulsion for each one to share what one knows with the other. Co warning her not to dispense medicine to employees chargeable to the latter's accounts because the same was a prohibited practice. Labor Arbiter Alex Arcadio Lopez found no proof of unfair labor practice against petitioners. Catolico asked for additional time to give her explanation. 266 for her to be able to make a satisfactory explanation. and illegal suspension. within twenty-four hours. However. Neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse while the marriage subsists. In said letter she protested Saldaña's invasion of her privacy when Saldaña opened an envelope addressed to Catolico. by contracting marriage. On the same date. besides she was not authorized to deal directly with the suppliers. On 5 March 1990. Catolico filed before the Office of the Labor Arbiter a complaint for unfair labor practice. Catolico requested access to the filecontaining Sales Invoice No. on 2 February 1990. illegal dismissal. Held: (1) No. A person. The constitutional injunction declaring "the privacy of communication and correspondence [to be] inviolable" is no less applicable simply because it is the wife (who thinks herself aggrieved by her husband's infidelity) who is the party against whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced." On 29 January 1990." Any violation of this provision renders the evidence obtained inadmissible "for any purpose in any proceeding. WATEROUS Control Clerk Eugenio Valdez informed Co that he noticed an irregularity involving Catolico and Yung Shin Pharmaceuticals. he decided in favor of Catolico because petitioners Issue: (1) Whether or not the documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence. and she was granted a 48-hour extension from 1 to 3 February 1990. as it sprang from an earlier incident between her and Co's secretary. in her memorandum dated 37 January 1990. issued a memorandum notifying Catolico of her termination. In a letter dated 2 February 1990. Waterhouse Drug v NLRC Facts: Catolico was hired as a pharmacist by petitioner Waterous Drug Corporation on 15 August 1988. through her counsel." Catolico then asked the company to look into the fraudulent activities of Soliven.

the NLRC affirmed the findings of the Labor Arbiter on the ground that petitioners were not able to prove a just cause for Catolico's dismissal from her employment. They also maintained that Catolico occupied a confidential position and that Catolico's receipt of YSP's check. such an invasion gives rise to both criminal and civil liabilities. including legal representation. Catolico was also unjustly dismissed.401. But. petitioners insist that Catolico had been receiving "commissions" from YSP. and even the dismissal of an employee for loss of trustand confidence must rest on substantial grounds and not on the employer's arbitrariness. it declared that the check was inadmissible in evidence pursuant to Sections 2 and 3(1 and 2) of Article III of the Constitution. Hence. In this case. but modified the dispositive portion of the appealed decision by deleting the award for illegal suspension as the same was already included in the computation of the aggregate of the awards in the amount of P35. that the Bill of Rights does not protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by private individuals. which in no case can justify an employee's dismissal. given reasonable time to answer the charge. was inadmissible in evidence. Held: As to the first and second grounds. and that the check issued to her on 9 November 1989 was not the first or the last. and assisted by a representative if the employee so desires. As such. as correctly held by the NLRC. that the evidence against private respondent was inadmissible for having been obtained in violation of her constitutional Issue: Whether or Not the dismissal of the private respondent is in violation of the Constitution. It is settled that the burden is on the employer to prove just and valid cause for dismissing an employee. Besides. aggravated by her "propensity to violate company rules. the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED and the challenged decision and resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission dated 30 September 1993 and 2 December 1993. Besides. Ample opportunity connotes every kind of assistance that management must accord the employee to enable him to prepare adequately for his defense. however. Separation pay in lieu of reinstatement is computed at one month's salary for every year of service. It clearly appears then that Catolico's dismissal was based on hearsay information. As regards the constitutional violation upon which the NLRC anchored its decision. the dismissal was without just cause and due process. In its decision of 30 September 1993. except as to its reason for upholding the Labor Arbiter's decision.. 005160-93 are AFFIRMED. On the contrary. the check was discovered in violation of the constitutional provision on the right to privacy and communication." constituted breach of confidence. it . He thus declared the dismissal and suspension illegal but disallowed reinstatement. and there is no indication in the contentious check that it was meant as a refund for overpriced medicines. whims. which her co-employee saw when the latter opened the envelope. as counsel for Catolico claims. or probably from other suppliers. No hearing was ever conducted after the issues were joined through said letters. The check in issue was given to her. respondents' case falls apart as it is bereft of evidence which cannot be used as a legal basis for complainant's dismissal." and to show that any investigation was conducted. she was dismissed from the service in the memorandum of 5 March 1990 issued by her Supervisor after receipt of her letter and that of her counsel. Finally. Company rules do not prohibit an employee from accepting gifts from clients. he correctly awarded separation pay to Catolico. Catolico was not shown to be a managerial employee. and she had no duty to turn it over to her employer. viz. WHEREFORE. in NLRC-NCR CA No. and its failure to discharge that burden would result in a finding that the dismissal is unjustified. Catolico did not oppose or raise an objection. Petitioners seasonably appealed from the decision and urged the NLRC to set it aside because the Labor Arbiter erred in finding that Catolico was denied due process and that there was no just cause to terminate her services. Catolico was denied due process. Procedural due process requires that an employee be apprised of the charge against him.00 drawn by YSP in favor of complainant. Suspicion is not among the valid causes provided by the Labor Code for the termination of employment. It concluded: With the smoking gun evidence of respondents being rendered inadmissible.failed to "prove what alleged as complainant's dishonesty. that the citizens have no recourse against such assaults. we will uphold the award of separation pay as fixed by the Labor Arbiter. In the case at bar. or suspicion. caprices. Catolico asserts that petitioners' evidence is too "flimsy" to justify her dismissal. Labor Arbiter Lopez computed the separation pay at one-half month's salary for every year of service. by virtue of the constitutional right invoked by complainants. although Catolico was given an opportunity to explain her side. to which class of employees the term "trust and confidence" is restricted. In her Comment. hence. Catolico's dismissal then was obviously grounded on mere suspicion. It is not true. allowed ample opportunity to be heard and defend himself. since it has been determined by the Labor Arbiter that Catolico's reinstatement would not be to the best interest of the parties. and as said counsel admits. under the Bill of Rights. The NLRC then dismissed the appeal for lack of merit. It found that petitioner's evidence consisted only of the check of P640. Catolico was given ample opportunity to explain her side of the controversy.86. respectively. And contrary to the findings of NLRC.

(NACHURA) . In this case. Despite the lack of consent on the part of the private respondent.rights of privacy of communication and against unreasonable searches and seizures which is hereby set aside. an officer of the petitioner corporation opened an envelope addressed to the private respondent & found therein a check evidencing an overprice in the purchase of medicine. *** However. the check was deemed admissible in evidence. the SC in this case said that the bill of rights does not protect citizens from unreasonable searches & seizures made by private individuals.

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