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Socorro Ramirez vs Court of Appeals 248 SCRA 590 G. R. No. 93833 September 25 995 !

acts" A civil case for #ama$es %as file# b& petitio'er Socorro Ramirez i' t(e R)C of *uezo' Cit& alle$i'$ t(at t(e private respo'#e't+ ,ster Garcia+ i' a co'fro'tatio' i' t(e latter-s office+ alle$e#l& ve.e#+ i'sulte# a'# (umiliate# (er i' a /(ostile a'# furious moo#0 a'# i' a ma''er offe'sive to petitio'er-s #i$'it& a'# perso'alit&+ /co'trar& to morals+ $oo# customs a'# public polic&.0 1' support of (er claim+ petitio'er pro#uce# a verbatim tra'script of t(e eve't. )(e tra'script o' %(ic( t(e civil case %as base# %as culle# from a tape recor#i'$ of t(e co'fro'tatio' ma#e b& petitio'er. As a result of petitio'er-s recor#i'$ of t(e eve't a'# alle$i'$ t(at t(e sai# act of secretl& tapi'$ t(e co'fro'tatio' %as ille$al+ private respo'#e't file# a crimi'al case before t(e R)C of 2asa& Cit& for violatio' of RA 4200+ e'title# /A' Act to 2ro(ibit a'# 2e'alize 3iretappi'$ a'# 4t(er Relate# 5iolatio's of 2rivate Commu'icatio'+ a'# 4t(er 2urposes.0 6po' arrai$'me't+ i' lieu of a plea+ petitio'er file# a 7otio' to *uas( t(e 1'formatio' o' t(e $rou'# t(at t(e facts c(ar$e# #o 'ot co'stitute a' offe'se particularl& a violatio' of RA 4200. )(e trial court $ra'te# t(e 7otio' to *uas(+ a$reei'$ %it( petitio'er. !rom t(e trial court-s 4r#er+ t(e private respo'#e't file# a 2etitio' for Revie% o' Certiorari %it( t(is Court+ %(ic( fort(%it( referre# t(e case to t(e CA. Respo'#e't Court of Appeals promul$ate# its assaile# 8ecisio' #eclari'$ t(e trial court-s or#er 'ull a'# voi#. 1ssue" .3(et(er or 'ot RA 4200 applies to tapi'$ of a private co'versatio' b& o'e of t(e parties to a co'versatio'.a 9el#" :e$islative i'te't is #etermi'e# pri'cipall& from t(e la'$ua$e of a statute. 3(ere t(e la'$ua$e of a statute is clear a'# u'ambi$uous+ t(e la% is applie# accor#i'$ to its e.press terms+ a'# i'terpretatio' %oul# be resorte# to o'l& %(ere a literal i'terpretatio' %oul# be eit(er impossible or absur# or %oul# lea# to a' i';ustice. Sectio' of RA 4200 e'title# / A' act to 2ro(ibit a'# 2e'alize 3ire# )appi'$ a'# ot(er Relate# 5iolatio's of 2rivate Commu'icatio' a'# 4t(er 2urposes.0 2rovi#es" /Sectio' . 1t s(all be u'la%ful for a'& perso'+ 'ot bei'$ aut(orize# b& all t(e parties to a'& private commu'icatio' or spo<e' %or#+ to tap a'& %ire or cable+ or b& usi'$ a'& ot(er

#evice or arra'$eme't+ to secretl& over(ear+ i'tercept+ or recor# suc( commu'icatio' or spo<e' %or# b& usi'$ a #evice commo'l& <'o%' as a #ictap(o'e or #icta$rap( or #etectap(o'e or %al<ie=tal<ie or tape recor#er+ or (o%ever ot(er%ise #escribe#.0 )(e provisio' clearl& a'# u'e>uivocall& ma<es it ille$al for a'& perso'+ 'ot aut(orize# b& all parties to a'& private commu'icatio'+ to secretl& recor# suc( commu'icatio' b& mea's of a tape recor#er. )(e la% ma<es 'o #isti'ctio' as to %(et(er t(e part& sou$(t to be pe'alize# b& t(e statute ou$(t to be a part& ot(er t(a' or #iffere't from t(ose i'volve# i' t(e private commu'icatio'. )(e statute-s i'te't to pe'alize all perso's u'aut(orize# to ma<e suc( recor#i'$ is u'#erscore# b& t(e use of >ualifier /a'&.0 Co'se>ue'tl&+ as respo'#e't CA correctl& co'clu#e#+ /eve' a ?perso'@ priv& to a commu'icatio' %(o recor#s (is private co'versatio' %it( a'ot(er %it(out t(e <'o%le#$e of t(e latter ?%ill@ >ualif& as a violator u'#er t(is provisio' of RA 4200. )(e u'ambi$uit& of t(e e.press %or#s of t(e provisio' t(erefore plai'l& supports t(e vie% (el# b& t(e respo'#e't court t(at t(e provisio' see<s to pe'alize eve' t(ose priv& to t(e private commu'icatio's. 3(ere t(e la% ma<es 'o #isti'ctio's+ o'e #oes 'ot #isti'$uis(.