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Ramirez vs. CA

Ramirez vs. CA

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Published by Roshni Balani

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Published by: Roshni Balani on Dec 08, 2011
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Socorro D. Ramirez vs. CA and Esther Garcia GR No.

93833 September 28, 1995 FACTS A civil case for damages was filed by Socorro Ramirez in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City against private respondent Esther Garcia alleging that the latter “vexed, insulted and humiliated her in a "hostile and furious mood and in a manner offensive to petitioner's dignity and personality, contrary to morals, good customs and public policy.” Ramirez produced a verbatim transcript of the event alleged. The transcript was taken from a tape recording of the confrontation made by Ramirez. As a result of petitioner's recording of the event and alleging that the said act of secretly taping the confrontation was illegal, Respondent Garcia filed a criminal case against Ramirez alleging that the recording of the event was illegal and thus, a violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled "An Act to prohibit and penalize wire tapping and other related violations of private communication, and other purposes.” Ramirez filed a motion to quash on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense. The trial court agreed with her and granted the motion to quash, reasoning that the facts charged do not constitute an offense under R.A. 4200; and that the violation punished by R.A. 4200 refers to a the taping of a communication by a person other than a participant to the communication. The Court of Appeals, however, reversed reasoning that the allegations sufficiently constituted an offense under Section 1 of RA 4200. ISSUES Whether Section 1 of RA 4200 applies to the taping of private conversation by one of the parties to the conversation and not only to the unauthorized taping of a private communication by a party other than those involved in the communication Whether the substance or content of the conversation must be alleged in the Information Whether RA 4200 penalizes a “private communication” only and not a “private conversation” HELD and RATIO 1. Section 1 of RA 4200 applies to the taping of private conversations by one of the parties to the conversation. Section 1 of RA 4200 clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any person, not authorized by all the parties to any private communication to secretly record such communication by means of a tape recorder. 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 statute's intent to penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of the qualifier "any". A perusal of the Senate Congressional Records, moreover, supports the respondent court's conclusion that in enacting R.A. 4200 our lawmakers indeed contemplated to make illegal, unauthorized tape recording of private conversations or communications taken either by the parties themselves or by third persons.

2. The substance or content of the conversation need not be alleged in the

information. The nature of the conversations is immaterial to a violation of the statute. The substance of the same need not be specifically alleged in the information. What R.A. 4200 penalizes are the acts of secretly overhearing,

or signifies the "process by which meanings or thoughts are shared between individuals through a common system of symbols (as language signs or gestures)" These definitions are broad enough to include verbal or non-verbal.A. meaning "to share or to impart. 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. 3. The taping of both private communications and private conversations are penalized as there is no difference between the two." In its ordinary signification. 4200. as in a conversation.” . The word communicate comes from the latin word communicare. communication connotes the act of sharing or imparting.intercepting or recording private communications by means of the devices enumerated therein. communication connotes the act of sharing or imparting signification. written or expressive communications of "meanings or thoughts.

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