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1. Ople vs Torres; G.R. No. 127685; July 23, 1998

In Ople vs Torres, Petitioner Blas Ople prayed that the Supreme Court invalidate Administrative Order
No. 308 entitled "Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System". One of his
grounds was that it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenry's protected zone of privacy.

The heart of A.O. No. 308 lies in its Section 4 which provides for a Population Reference Number (PRN)
as a "common reference number to establish a linkage among concerned agencies" through the use of
"Biometrics Technology" and "computer application designs." A.O. No. 308 should also raise our
antennas for a further look will show that it does not state whether encoding of data is limited to
biological information alone for identification purposes.

A.O. No. 308 is predicated on two considerations: (1) the need to provide our citizens and foreigners
with the facility to conveniently transact business with basic service and social security providers and
other government instrumentalities; and (2) the need to reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent
transactions and misrepresentations by persons seeking basic services.

It is debatable whether these interests are compelling enough to warrant the issuance of A.O. No. 308.
But what is not arguable is the broadness, the vagueness, the overbreadth of A.O. No. 308 which if
implemented will put our people's right to privacy in clear and present danger. The possibilities of abuse
and misuse of the PRN, biometrics and computer technology are accentuated when we consider that
the individual lacks control over what can be read or placed on his ID, much less verify the correctness of
the data encoded. They threaten the very abuses that the Bill of Rights seeks to prevent.

2. Griswold vs Connecticut; 381 U.S. 479 (1965)

In Griswold v. Connecticut, the US Supreme Court resolved another decisional privacy claim by striking
down a statute that prohibited the use of contraceptives by married couples. Justice Douglas, delivering
the opinion, declared:

"The present case, then, concerns a relationship lying within the zone of privacy created by several
fundamental constitutional guarantees. And it concerns a law which, in forbidding the use of
contraceptives, rather than regulating their manufacture or sale, seeks to achieve its goals by means
having a maximum destructive impact upon that relationship. Such a law cannot stand in light of the
familiar principle, so often applied by this Court, that a governmental purpose to control or prevent
activities constitutionally subject to state regulation may not be achieved by means which sweep
unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms. (NAACP v. Alabama, 377 U.S.
288, 307)."

3. City of Manila vs Laguio; G.R. No. 118127; April 12, 2005

The Ordinance disallows the operation of sauna parlors, massage parlors, karaoke bars, beerhouses,
night clubs, day clubs, super clubs, discotheques, cabarets, dance halls, motels and inns in the Ermita-
Malate area. In Section 3 thereof, owners and/or operators of the enumerated establishments are given
three (3) months from the date of approval of the Ordinance within which to wind up business
operations or to transfer to any place outside the Ermita-Malate area or convert said businesses to
other kinds of business allowable within the area. Further, it states in Section 4 that in cases of
subsequent violations of the provisions of the Ordinance, the premises of the erring establishment shall
be closed and padlocked permanently.

It is readily apparent that the means employed by the Ordinance for the achievement of its purposes,
the governmental interference itself, infringes on the constitutional guarantees of a persons
fundamental right to liberty and property.

"Liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution was defined by Justice Malcolm to include the right to exist
and the right to be free from arbitrary restraint or servitude. The term cannot be dwarfed into mere
freedom from physical restraint of the person of the citizen, but is deemed to embrace the right of man
to enjoy the facilities with which he has been endowed by his Creator, subject only to such restraint as
are necessary for the common welfare.[68] In accordance with this case, the rights of the citizen to be
free to use his faculties in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any
lawful calling; and to pursue any avocation are all deemed embraced in the concept of liberty.


Liberty in the constitutional sense not only means freedom from unlawful government restraint; it must
include privacy as well, if it is to be a repository of freedom. The right to be let alone is the beginning of
all freedom it is the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." (as cited
in Morfe vs Mutuc)