Right to information Sec. 7, Art.

III: “The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.” **guarantees only to one general right -- #1, the #2 is the only implementation on the right to information Rights guaranteed (political rights available to citizens only): 1. 2. Right to information on matters of public concern (both the purpose & limit of the right of access to public docs) The corollary right of access to official records and documents

information, however, must constitute definite propositions by the government and should not cover recognized exceptions like privileged information, military and diplomatic secrets and similar matters affecting national security and public order.40 Congress has also prescribed other limitations on the right to information in several legislations Section 7, Article III of the Constitution explains the people's right to information on matters of public concern: “…Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law." Further, The State policy (Sec 28, Art II) of full transparency in all transactions involving public interest reinforces the people's right to information on matters of public concern. These twin provisions of the Constitution seek to promote transparency in policy-making and in the operations of the government, as well as provide the people sufficient information to exercise effectively other constitutional rights. Information on on-going evaluation or review of bids or proposals being undertaken by the bidding or review committee is not immediately accessible under the right to information. While the evaluation or review is still on-going, there are no "official acts, transactions, or decisions" on the bids or proposals. However, once the committee makes its official recommendation, there arises a "definite proposition" on the part of the government. **It was held that the right to information contemplates inclusion of negotiations leading to the consummation of the transaction. Otherwise, the people can never exercise the right if no contract is consummated, or if one is consummated, it may be too late for the public to expose its defects. However, the right only affords access to records, documents and papers, which means the opportunity to inspect and copy them at his expense. The exercise is also subject to reasonable regulations to protect the integrity of public records and to minimize disruption of government operations. Exceptions: The right doesn’t extend to matters recognized as privileged information rooted in separation of powers, nor to information on military and diplomatic secrets, information affecting national security, and information on investigations of crimes by law enforcement agencies before the prosecution of the accused. Garcia vs. Board of Investments (BOI) FACTS: Former Bataan Petrochemical Corporation (BPC), now Luzon Petrochemical Corporation, formed by a group of Taiwanese investors, was granted by the BOI to have its plant site for the products “naphta cracker” and “naphta” to based in Bataan. In February 1989, one year after the BPC began its production in Bataan, the corporation applied to the BOI to have its plant site transferred from Bataan to Batangas. Cong. Enrique Garcia (2nd district of Bataan) asked the BOI for a “a copy of the amendment reportedly submitted by the Taiwanese investors to their application for the establishment of BPC’s plant as well as the original application itself” . BOI replied saying that the Taiwanese investors declined to give consent to the release of the documents requested and subsequently, granted private respondent BPC’s application, stating that the investors have the final choice as to where to have their plant site because they are the ones who risk capital for the project. Petitioner contends that BOI violates the due process and the right to information. ISSUE: WON, BOI violates the right to information clause? RULING: Since the law requires publication of applications, since the amendment is in effect a new application, and since no publication was made, clearly there was a violation of due process. Moreover, the requirement of publication is clear indication that matters such as this are of public concern. Hence, the Congressman of Bataan has the right of access to information about the application contained in documents submitted. Confidentiality of the application is not absolute since the law itself says that documents may be shown upon consent of the applicant or on orders of a court of competent jurisdiction. However, right of access may not be extended to trade secrets or confidential commercial and financial information and matters of national security. **The SC upheld the decision of the Board of Investments in denying the petitioner access to trade and industrial secrets.

Limitations (provided by law): Substantive regulations – authority to determine what matters of public concern Procedural regulations – authority to determine the manner of access to them Limits on authority to curtail these rights? Standards on the regulation of speech & press , assembly & petition & assoc are applicable to the right of access to information. Informed & critical public opinion can protect the values of democratic government FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ vs. PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY and AMARI COASTAL BAY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION FACTS: Commissioner on Public Highways w/ CDCP to reclaim certain foreshore & offshore areas of Manila Bay. Marcos created PEA to reclaim, develop, improve, acquire , lease & sell the said land & amend contract w/ CDCP. Aquino transferred to PEA the lands reclaimed under the MCCRRP & registeresd reclaimed islands called “Freedom Islands”. PEA entered into a JVA w/ Amari through negotiation without public bidding to develop the Freedom Islands. Sen. Pres. Ernesto Maceda denounced theat the JVA is the” grandmother of all scams”. They conducted an investigation & as a result: (1) the reclaimed lands PEA seeks to transfer to AMARI under the JVA are lands of the public domain which the government has not classified as alienable lands and therefore PEA cannot alienate these lands; (2) the certificates of title covering the Freedom Islands are thus void, and (3) the JVA itself is illegal. Ramos created a Legal Task Force to conduct a study on the legality of the JVA. Newspapers reported that there were on-going renegotiations between PEA and AMARI under an order issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos. According to these reports, PEA Director Nestor Kalaw, PEA Chairman Arsenio Yulo and retired Navy Officer Sergio Cruz composed the negotiating panel of PEA Chavez, as a taxpayer, filed the instant Petition for Mandamus with Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. Petitioner contends the government stands to lose billions of pesos in the sale by PEA of the reclaimed lands to AMARI. He seeks to compel the Public Estates Authority ("PEA" for brevity) to disclose all facts on PEA's then on-going renegotiations with Amari Coastal Bay and Development Corporation ("AMARI" for brevity) to reclaim portions of Manila Bay. The petition further seeks to enjoin PEA from signing a new agreement with AMARI involving such reclamation. PEA asserts that in cases of on-going negotiations the right to information is limited to "definite propositions of the government." PEA maintains the right does not include access to "intraagency or inter-agency recommendations or communications during the stage when common assertions are still in the process of being formulated or are in the 'exploratory stage'." ISSUE: WHETHER THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO INFORMATION INCLUDES OFFICIAL INFORMATION ON ON-GOING NEGOTIATIONS BEFORE A FINAL AGREEMENT? HELD: Yes. We rule that the constitutional right to information includes official information on on-going negotiations before a final contract. The

the people in general have a right to know the transactions or deals being contrived and effected by the government. Any citizen therefore has “standing” The remedy is mandamus. August 14. not necessarily to intra-agency or inter-agency recommendations or communications during the stage when common assertions are still in the process of being formulated or are in the “exploratory” stage. PCGG. 136 SCRA 27. it must be said that public official must be accountable to the people for his eligibility. as well as other government representatives. Issue: Whether or not: 1. and (2) the reported execution of a compromise. that petitioner's action is premature. The petitioner. by its very nature. Estrada created the PCCR “to study & recommend amendments and/or revisions to 1987 Constitution & the manner of implementing the same”. is clothed with personality to seek redress for the alleged obstruction of the exercise of the public right. a petition for prohibition and mandamus was filed assailing the constitutionality of the creation of the Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) and of the positions of presidential consultants. criminal matters (apprehension. Such information. Chavez v. SOLGEN. No. **while the manner of examining public records may be subject to reasonable regulation by the government agency in custody thereof.R. subject to reasonable claims of confidentiality. between the government (through PCGG) and the Marcos heirs. Such information a matter of public concern? Does petitioner has legal standing to assert the right to information? If denied. Article 7 is self-executing. part of the general public which possesses the right. all public officials and employees are obliged to respond to letters sent by public within 15 working days from receipt thereof and to ensure accessibility of all public documents for inspection by the public within reasonable working hours. Hence. that when the question is one of public right and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty. it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as such interested in the execution of the laws. They claim. It becomes apparent that when a mandamus proceeding involves the assertion of a public right. Marcoses' ill-gotten wealth. though." alleges that what impelled him to bring this action were several news reports 2 bannered in a number of broadsheets sometime in September 1997. The petitioner has firmly anchored his case upon the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. It provides that. Otherwise. Each case must be examined separately. 3. **the SC upheld the right of the petitioner. Chavez. and to afford access to public records. It has been held in the case of Tanada vs. the people are regarded as the real party in interest. as "taxpayer. on the other hand. since the proposed terms and conditions of the Agreements have not become effective and binding. 1987 Facts: The respondent CSC had denied petitioner Valentin Legaspi’s request for information on the civil service eligibilities of Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas who were employed as sanitarians in the Health Department of Cebu City. intelligence and other classified information. Held: 1. is a public right." since it has a "debilitating effect on the country's economy" that would be greatly prejudicial to the national interest of the Filipino people. Sibonghanoy and Agas had allegedly represented themselves as civil service eligibles who passed the civil service examinations for sanitarians. copies of their appointments and a list of the recipients of luxury vehicles seized by the Bureau of Customs? Ruling: Yes. Claiming that his right to be informed of the eligibilities of Sibonghanoy and Agas is guaranteed by the Constitution. Pres. No. and the person at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show that he has any legal or special interest in the result. advisers and assistants. The constitutional duty. and therefore. the requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen. This is a matter of “public right” where the real party in interest is the people. L-72119. Executive Secretary is ordered to furnish petitioner with the information requested. 4 demands that respondents make public any and all negotiations and agreements pertaining to PCGG's task of recovering the . May 29. a former. It is asserted that the petition is bereft of any allegation of Legaspi’s actual interest in the civil service eligibilities of Sibonghanoy and Agas. These news items referred to (1) the alleged discovery of billions of dollars of Marcos assets deposited in various coded accounts in Swiss banks. CSC G. invoking his constitutional right to information and the correlative duty of the state to disclose publicly all its transactions involving the national interest. diplomatic or foreign relations.such as on matters involving national security (strict confidence & scrupulous protection). because there is no showing that he has asked the PCGG to disclose the negotiations and the Agreements. citizen and former government official who initiated the prosecution of the Marcoses and their cronies who committed unmitigated plunder of the public treasury and the systematic subjugation of the country's economy. In this particular case. He claims that any compromise on the alleged billions of ill-gotten wealth involves an issue of "paramount public interest. This is covered in Sec 7. And even if he has. Issue: WON. Respondents. trade secrets & banking transactions (Intellectual Property Code & Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act) . in the performance of their duties. PCGG may not yet be compelled to make any disclosure. to observe the same restrictions on disclosure of information in general -. not being discretionary . of course. its performance may be compelled by a writ of mandamus in a proper case. There is a need.R. Gonzales (citizen & taxpayer) v Narvasa (Chairman of PCCR) G. 140835. on how to split or share these assets. Considering the intent of the framers of the Constitution. 3. Petitioner also prays that the Executive Secretary be compelled through a mandamus to furnish the petitioner with information requesting the names of executive officials holding multiple positions in government. though. and that he has no other plain. speedy and adequate remedy to acquire the information. Tuvera. to disclosure of any agreement which may have been arrived at concerning the purported ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. 299 SCRA 744 FACTS: Petitioner Francisco I. detention & prosecution) . The respondent CSC takes issue on the personality of the petitioner to bring the suit. The limitations to this right are embodied in RA 6713 “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees”. do not deny forging a compromise agreement with the Marcos heirs. Contention: -Public office which only the legislature can create by way of a law -creating such a body the President is intervening in a process from which he is totally excluded by the Constitution – the amendment of the fundamental charter In his capacity as citizen and as taxpayer. Public concern like public interest eludes exact definition. to disclose sufficient public information on any proposed settlement they have decided to take up with the ostensible owners and holders of ill-gotten wealth. Petitioner. 2. either because these directly affect their lives or simply because such matters arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. 2000 Facts: On December 9. the enjoyment of the constitutional right may be rendered nugatory by any whimsical exercise of agency discretion. petitioner prays for the issuance of the extraordinary writ of mandamus to compel the respondent CSC to disclose said information. 1999. it is incumbent upon the PCGG and its officers. cannot be discretionary on the part of said agencies.Legaspi vs. the duty to disclose the information of public concern . he seeks to enjoin the Commission on Audit from passing in audit expenditures for the PCCR and the presidential consultants. which. the Executive Secretary be ordered to give access to the names of executive officials holding multiple positions in government. must pertain to definite propositions of the government. what remedy does he have? 2. advisers and assistants.I SSUE: Are the negotiations leading to a settlement on ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses within the scope of the constitutional guarantee of access to information? HELD: Yes. They embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know. copies of their appointments and a list of the recipients of luxury vehicles seized by the Bureau of Customs and turned over to Malacañang. being a citizen who as such.

Government. in the instant case and considering the public office of the borrowers. January 19. 7659 which provided for the re-imposition of death penalty. the decision of the reviewing committee and the voting slips of the members. But the constitution does not accord them the right to compel custodians of official records to prepare lists. the Judiciary and the Executive Department of the position of the House of Representatives on this matter. MORATO (Chairman of the MTRCB) and the MOVIE & TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD Facts: Petitioner. and like in their desire to acquire information on matters of public concern. Feliciano Belmonte. discharges the same function of service to the people. The constitutional right gives them “access to official records”. MANUEL L. vs. and (5) there is no certainty that the law on capital punishment will not be repealed or modified until Congress convenes and considers all the various resolutions and bills filed before it. petitioner contends: (1) the stay order x x x is within the scope of judicial power and duty and does not trench on executive powers nor on congressional prerogatives. LEO ECHEGARAY. Belmonte replied through the Deputy General Counsel of the GSIS whose opinion is that is that a confidential relationship exists between the GSIS and all those who borrow from it. Petitioner argues. however. they may not plead privacy. 1989. No. petitioner. requesting that he be furnished with the list of names of the opposition members belonging to UNIDO & PDP Laban of (the) Batasang Pambansa who were able to secure clean loans immediately before Feb 7 election through the intercession of Imelda Marcos. whether carrying out its sovereign attributes or running some business. 629 introduced by Congressman Golez entitled "Resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representative to reject any move to review Republic Act No. shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade. In their Consolidated Comment. GSIS General Manager. CARMEN G. by virtue of their constitutional right to information? HELD: Petitioners have the right to access to the public documents. the approval of the Resolution 10-89 violates the right to information? (2) the exercise by this Court of its power to stay execution was reasonable. and shall not diminish. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme . abstracts. the admission to the practice of law. and that it would not be proper for the GSIS to breach this confidentiality unless so ordered by the courts. Moreover. member of MTRCB seeks access to the voting slips accomplished by the individual members of Censorship Board. (4) public respondents are estopped from challenging the Court's jurisdiction.. that the records she wishes to examine are public in character and other than providing for reasonable conditions regulating the manner and hours of examination. (3) the Court did not lose jurisdiction to address incidental matters involved or arising from the petition. are purely & completely private & personal”." The Resolution was concurred in by one hundred thirteen (113) congressmen. Nor may the GSIS plead privacy because privacy may be raised only by the party concerned. 1999) Nature of the case: Petition for temporarily restraining the execution of the petitioner and a motion for an urgent reconsideration. vs. A corporation has no right to privacy “since the entire basis of the right to privacy is an injury to feeling and sensibilities of the party and a corporation would have no such ground for relief. practice and procedure in all courts. on the other hand. In said meeting. notifying the Senate. and legal assistance to the underprivileged. mandamus to furnish them with certified true copies of the documents evidencing their respective loans or to allow access to public records for the subject information. On July 27. respondents Morato and the classification board have no authority to deny any citizen seeking examination of the board's records. ET AL.Valmonte vs Belmonte G. public respondents attached a copy of House Resolution No. Moreover. Also. Ruling: The action taken by the chairman violates the right to information on matters of public concern. however. cut or classified accordingly. private and personal. MA. pleading. As to furnishing lists. It is on the basis of the voting slips that films are either banned. or abstracts of the loans. respondent Morato called an executive meeting of the MTRCB to discuss. 10-89 which declared as confidential. that is. Issue: Whether or not the court has exhausted the means of restraining or reconsidering the execution of the petitioner. Facts of The Case: In their Supplemental Motion to Urgent Motion for Reconsideration. it was clearly the intent of the Constitutional Commission to include government-owned and controlled corporations in the scope of the right to information. or modify substantive rights. that respondent Board issued Resolution No. the issue raised by petitioner. the Integrated Bar. seventeen (17) members of the board voted to declare their individual voting records as classified documents which rendered the same inaccessible to the public without clearance from the chairman Issue: WON. Courts Opinion: Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights. summaries. 74930 February 13. ISSUE: Whether or not Valmonte & other petitioners are entitled to the documents sought. It is the submission of the respondents that the individual voting slip is the exclusive property of the member concerned and anybody who wants access thereto must first secure his consent. [G. 132601. Chairman Morato. increase. A public agency like the GSIS cannot invoke the right to privacy.R. claims that the voting slips partake of “the nature of conscience votes and as such. The public nature of the loanable funds of the GSIS and public office held by the alleged borrowers make the information sought a matter of public concern. Decisions made in an official capacity are public and not private matters. among others. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases. The right to privacy belongs to the individual and must be invoked by the individual. On February 27. respondents. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE. 1989 FACTS: Petitioner Ricardo Valmonte wrote a letter to Hon. and urging the President to exhaust all means under the law to immediately implement the death penalty law. borrowers. AQUINO-SARMIENTO. 1989. there is no clear obligation which may be compelled by mandamus.R. No.

political passions against him seem to have cooled down and the political events of 2000-2001 can now be viewed more objectively even by the broadcast media. based on his experience with the impeachment trial. that his initial opposition was predicated on the fact that public prejudice against him was then running high. 2007 issue of the Manila Bulletin. and papers pertaining to official acts. Perez. Ruling: ection 7. and to documents. 01-4-03-SC . or the “Party-List System Act” and belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector each seeks to. the Court resolved to deny said petition. 7941 that requires the Comelec to disclose the names of nominees. the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. On August 16. 2001. in G.M. No. disallowed the live TV coverage of the plunder proceedings before Sandiganbayan. VS. Estrada: Secretary of Justice Hernando B. jurisprudence tells us that the right of the accused must be preferred to win. ** SC denied petitioners request to televise and broadcast live the trial of president Joseph Estrada before the Sandiganbayan. ESTRADA: SECRETARY OF JUSTICE HERNANDO B. Estrada filed by theKapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP). and that party list elections must not be personality oriented according to Chairman Abalos. KPB's motion for partial reconsideration of the same decision. Rosales. 2001 ruling which. Evidently unbeknownst then to Ms. In the first petition (G. It may be recalled that petitioner vehemently opposed KBP's request for a live TV and radio coverage of his trial on ground that its allowance will violate the sub judice rule and that. and the fundamental rights of the accused on the other hand. along with the constitutional power of a court to control its proceedings in ensuring a fair and impartial trial race against another. No. transactions. or decisions. 2001 affirming the Decision of June 29. Docketed in the Comelec as SPA Case No 07-026. Meanwhile petitioner Rosales. 177271 May 4. No. et al. 2001 has long become final andexecutory. Joseph E. EN BANC A. 177271).. JOSEPH E. and therefore can no longer be reversed or modified. BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR assail the Comelec resolutions accrediting private respondents Biyaheng Pinoy et al. which will consist mainly of his testimony. among other things. A number of organized groups filed the necessary manifestations and subsequently were accredited by the Comelec to participate in the 2007 elections.R.R. Mr. was the issuance of Comelec en banc Resolution 07-0724 under date April 3. No. 2001. Petitioner is once again before the Court with the instant petition this time asking that live television coverage be allowed in the remaining proceedings in the plunder trial before the Sandiganbayan. 7941. 177314). 2004. the Court resolved to deny. The Resolution of September 13. Petitioner posits. et al. No. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA AND INTEGRATED BAR OF THEPHILIPPINES Sirs/Mesdames: Quoted hereunder. is that there is nothing in R. Comelec’s reason for keeping the names of the party list nominees away from the public is deducible from the excerpts of the news report appearing in the April 13. petitioner asks the Court to reconsider its decision of June 29. seeking to disqualify the nominees of certain party-list organizations. In any event. 2001. 2004. petitioner interposed a petition to modify the Court's June 29. this Court finds no compelling reason to so reverse or modify its already final and executory decision. to reiterate. the Court resolved to deny with finality KPB's motion for reconsideration of its June 29. 2007. ISSUE: Whether respondent Comelec. because the contents of the manual are matters of public concern affecting the lives of the people and such matters naturally arouse the interest of the individual citizen. petitioner filed a Manifestation respecting his intention not press the matter at that time but reserved the right to revive the issue when he takes the witness stand in the Sandiganbayan. and Whether respondent Comelec is mandated by the Constitution to disclose to the public the names of said nominees.R. As earlier stated. and decreed by a judge with an unprejudiced mind unbridled by running emotions or passions. With the possibility of losing not only the precious liberty but also the very life of an accused. Estrada and Integrated Bar of the Philippines. as it were by a biased media and partisan crowds. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.A. live media coverage will only pave the way for so-called "expert commentary" which can trigger massive demonstrations aimed at pressuring the Sandiganbayan to render a decision one way or the other. as well to government research data used as basis for policy development. COMELEC G. PEREZ. 177314. In the second petition (G. In the Resolution[2] of September 13. Article III of the Constitution. Kilosbayan Foundation and Bantay Katarungan Foundation impugn Comelec Resolution dated April 3. 2004. 2001 which denied the earlier Request for Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial in the Sandiganbayan of the Plunder Cases Against Former President Joseph E.M. The Manifestation of petitioner was noted by the Court in a Resolution dated January 18. Section 28. 2005. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. is a resolution of the Court dated MAR 14 2006. ET AL. 2007 FACTS: Before the Court are two consolidated petitions for certiorari and mandamus to nullify and set aside certain issuances of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) respecting party-list groups which have manifested their intention to participate in the party-list elections on May 14.A. BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR have the additional prayers that the 33 private respondents named therein be “declare*d+ as unqualified to participate in the party-list elections and that the Comelec be enjoined from allowing respondent groups from participating in the elections. whether open or subtle. viz: Sec. 2001 and ultimately render another one.. In fine.Court. 01-4-03-SC RE: REQUEST FOR RADIO-TV COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL IN THE SANDIGANBAYAN OF THE PLUNDER CASES AGAINST FORMER PRES. On December 14.7. vs. The SC said that when the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press and the right to public information. A. in the Decision dated June 29. 2007. Rosales. For resolution is this Petition dated February 23. allowing live television coverage of the remaining proceedings in the plunder trial. for lack of merit. on one hand. that presently. Estrada contends that the right of the people to information may be served through other means less distracting. degrading. by refusing to reveal the names of the nominees of the various party-list groups. No. shall be afforded the citizen. on October 9. The Sandiganbayan has set the date for the testimony of petitioner in the plunder case trial for March 15. for your information. and prejudicial than a live TV and radio coverage.Request for Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial in the Sandiganbayan of the Plunder Cases Against Former Pres. Access to official records. addressed two letters to the Director of the Comelec’s Law Department requesting a list of that groups’ nominees." **It was held that Sec 19 of the rules and regulations implementing RA 8177. has violated the right to information and free access to documents as guaranteed by the Constitution. On November 9. the Court. petitioners Loreta Ann P. Joseph E. No. inflamed. Again. in a complete reversal of stand. which provides that the manual setting forth the procedure for administering the lethal injection shall be confidential. this urgent petition has yet to be resolved. 2007 virtually declaring the nominees’ names confidential and in net effect denying petitioner Rosales’ basic disclosure request. denied the KPB's request to broadcast the trial of the plunder case against him. WHEREFORE. Bantay vs. in proceedings that are devoid of histrionics that might detract from its basic aim to ferret veritable facts free from improper influence. Bantay Republic Act (BA-RA 7941) and the Urban Poor for Legal Reforms (UP-LR) filed with the Comelec an Urgent Petition to Disqualify. it behooves all to make absolutely certain that an accused receives a verdict that would come only after the presentation of credible evidence testified to by ujnbiased witnesses unswayed by any kind of pressure. It has become the law of the case. 2001 decision. 2005. to participate in the forthcoming party-list elections without simultaneously determining whether or not their respective nominees possess the requisite qualifications defined in R. While both petitions commonly seek to compel the Comelec to disclose or publish the names of the nominees of the various party-list groups named in the petitions. Article II of the Constitution reading: . 2006 filed by former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada asking the Court to reconsider its Decision[1] of June 29. was unduly suppressive.R.

Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern. petitioners pray that the MOAAD be declared unconstitutional. Sec.” Province of North Cotabato vs GRP Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain Facts: Subject of these consolidated cases is the extent of the powers of the President in pursuing the peace process.” JPEPA which has been referred to as a ‘mega treaty’ is a comprehensive plan for opening up of markets in goods and services as well as removing barriers and restrictions on investments. involving as it does the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State. the Court found that the regularity of real estate transactions entered in the Register of Deeds. While the facts surrounding this controversy center on the armed conflict in Mindanao between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).AKBAYAN VS. which directly affects the lives of the public at large. But no national security or like concerns is involved in the disclosure of the names of the nominees of the party-list groups in question. the Court is tasked to perform a delicate balancing act. for Mandamus and Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. therefore. In fact. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. On July 18. setting a new chapter of strategic partnership for mutual opportunity and growth (for both countries). through the Chairpersons of their respective peace negotiating panels.A. Undoubtedly. 28. would eventually sit in the House of Representatives. COMELEC’s basis of its refusal to disclose the names of the nominees of subject party-list groups. Issue: WON. Manglapus. for upon motion of petitioners. It is reasonable to conclude that the Japenese representatives submitted their offers with the understanding that 'historic confidentiality' would govern the same. the right to information and its companion right of access to official records are not absolute. who. 7941. heard differing views and perspectives on JPEPA. respondents admit that the MOA-AD is indeed of public concern. . Article III. 1998. The MOA-AD was preceded by a long process of negotiation and the concluding of several prior agreements between the two parties beginning in 1996. the civil service eligibility of a public employee. Doubtless. 28) including public consultation under Republic Act No. would be a vote for its nominees. among others. however. and the identity of party-list nominees. specifically those who filed their cases before the scheduled signing of the MOA-AD. The people’s right to know is limited to “matters of public concern” and is further subject to such limitation as may be provided by law. the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. the documents and information being requested in relation to the JPEPA exempted from the general rules on transparency and full public disclosure such that the Philippine government is justified in denying access thereto? Ruling: The Court held: “Applying the principles adopted in PMPF v. On July 23. Section 7 of R. Mandamus. It must uncompromisingly delineate the bounds within which the President may lawfully exercise her discretion. the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF. in appropriate cases. The committee. Yet again. The complexity of JPEPA became all the more evident at the Senate hearing conducted by the Committee on Trade and Commerce last November 2006. the MOA-AD subject of the present cases is of public concern. it is clear that while the final text of the JPEPA may not be kept perpetually confidential – since there should be 'ample opportunity for discussion before [a treaty] is approved' – the offers exchanged by the parties during the negotiations continue to be privileged even after the JPEPA is published. however. lies. petitioners seek to compel respondents to disclose and furnish them the complete and official copies of the MOA-AD including its attachments. Disclosing these offers could impair the ability of the Philippines to deal not only with Japan but with other foreign governments in future negotiations. lest its ruling unduly restricts the freedom of action vested by that same Constitution in the Chief Executive precisely to enable her to pursue the peace process effectively.A. the legal issue involved has a bearing on all areas in the country where there has been a long-standing armed conflict. No. in the end. While the vote cast in a party-list elections is a vote for a party. and to prohibit the slated signing of the MOA-AD. they signed the General Framework of Agreement of Intent on August 27. the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing the legitimate demands of the petitioners for a list of the nominees of the party-list groups subject of their respective petitions. Malaysia. That the subject of the information sought in the present cases is a matter of public concern faces no serious challenge. Article II. when the GRP-MILF peace negotiations began. 7941 that prohibits the Comelec from disclosing or even publishing through mediums other than the “Certified List” of the names. It is a deal that encompasses even our commitments to the WTO.Sec. this Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the GRP from signing the same. 2008. such vote. The signing of the MOA-AD between the GRP and the MILF was not to materialize. 3. the proper management of GSIS funds allegedly used to grant loans to public officials. The following year. Sec. 183591.R. the Province of North Cotabato and Vice-Governor Emmanuel Piñol filed a petition. were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur. CASE DIGEST . 7) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest (1987 Constitution. the recovery of the Marcoses' alleged ill-gotten wealth. the GRP and MILF Peace Panels signed the Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities. AQUINO Facts: The signing of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) at the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Summit in Helsinki in September 2006 was hailed by both Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as a “milestone in the continuing cooperation and collaboration. 2008. pending the disclosure of the contents of the MOA-AD and the holding of a public consultation thereon. the need for adequate notice to the public of the various laws.which last sentence reads: “[T]he names of the party-list nominees shall not be shown on the certified list” is certainly not a justifying card for the Comelec to deny the requested disclosure. No. On August 5. docketed as G. but it must do so in strict adherence to the Constitution. The discussion in the Senate showed that JPEPA is not just an issue concerning trade and economic relations with Japan but one that touches on broader national development concerns. are matters of public concern. The right to information is a public right where the real parties in interest are the public. Supplementarily. Issue: Whether there is a violation of the people's right to information on matters of public concern (1987 Constitution. chaired by Senator Mar Roxas. COMELEC has a constitutional duty to disclose and release the names of the nominees of the party-list groups named in the herein petitions. There is absolutely nothing in R. 1997. In previous cases. or the citizens to be precise. The Court frowns upon any interpretation of the law or rules that would hinder in any way the free and intelligent casting of the votes in an election. 7160 (LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991)? Ruling: It has been repeatedly said in various contexts that the people have the right to elect their representatives on the basis of an informed judgment. On one hand the committee heard Government’s rosy projections on the economic benefits of JPEPA and on the other hand the views of environmental and trade activists who raised there very serious concerns about the country being turned into Japan’s toxic waste basket. but like all constitutional guarantees.

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