BLAS F. OPLE v. RUBEN D.

TORRES, ALEXANDER AGUIRRE, HECTOR VILLANUEVA, CIELITO HABITO,ROBERT BARBERS, CARMENCITA REODICA, CESAR SARINO, RENATO VALENCIA, TOMAS P. AFRICA, HEADOF THE NATIONAL COMPUTER CENTER and CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION ON AUDITFacts: The petition at bar is a commendable effort on the part of Senator Blas F. Ople to prevent the shrinking of the rightto privacy, which the revered Mr. Justice Brandeis considered as "the most comprehensive of rights and the rightmost valued by civilized men." Petitioner Ople prays that we invalidate Administrative Order No. 308 entitled"Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System" on two important constitutional grounds, viz :(1)it is a usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate, and(2)it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenry's protected zone of privacy.We grant the petition for the rights sought to be vindicated by the petitioner need stronger barriers against furthererosion.A.O. No. 308 was published in four newspapers of general circulation on January 22, 1997 and January 23, 1997. On January 24, 1997, petitioner filed the instant petition against respondents, then Executive Secretary Ruben Torresand the heads of the government agencies, who as members of the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee, arecharged with the implementation of A.O. No. 308. On April 8, 1997, we issued a temporary restraining orderenjoining its implementation. Issue: WON the petitioner has the stand to assail the validity of A.O. No. 308 Ruling: YES Rationale: As is usual in constitutional litigation, respondents raise the threshold issues relating to the standing to sue of thepetitioner and the justiciability of the case at bar. More specifically, respondents aver that petitioner has no legalinterest to uphold and that the implementing rules of A.O. No. 308 have yet to be promulgated. These submissions do not deserve our sympathetic

Respondent Executive Secretary Torres has publicly announcedthat representatives from the GSIS and the SSS have completed the guidelines for the national identificationsystem. petitioner is possessed of the requisite standing to bring suit raising the issue that the issuance of A. No. 308 as invalid per se and as infirmed on itsface.O.O. No.O. the dissenters insistence that wetighten the rule on standing is not a commendable stance as its result would be to throttle an importantconstitutional principle and a fundamental righ . 1997.ear. In this light. His action is not premature for the rules yet to be promulgated cannot cure its fatal defects. Petitioner Ople is a distinguished member of our Senate.O. 4 As taxpayer and member of the Government Service InsuranceSystem (GSIS). therespondents themselves have started the implementation of A.No. petitioner can also impugn the legality of the misalignment of public funds and the misuse of GSISfunds to implement A. 308 and we need not wait forthe formality of the rules to pass judgment on its constitutionality. 308. Asa Senator. Petitioner Ople assails A. No.All signals from the respondents show their unswerving will to implement A.No. The ripeness for adjudication of the Petition at bar is not affected by the fact that the implementing rules of A.O. 308 have yet to be promulgated. No. Moreover. respondent Social Security System (SSS) caused the publication of a notice to bid for themanufacture of the National Identification (ID) card. 308 is a usurpation of legislative power. As early as January 19. 308 without waiting for the rules.O.