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Blas Ople vs Ruben Torres

G.R. no. 127685, July 23, 1998

Facts:
On December 12, 1996, then President Ramos enacted Administrative order
no. 308, which laid down the ground work for the implementation of a National
ID system. The A.O. mandated major government agencies to pool their
resources together to implement a centralized data bank of all citizens which
shall be used to streamline day to day government transactions and minimize
rampant red taping and corruption among government employees.

Herein petitioner Senator Blas Ople, filed the case at bar questioning the said
A.O. on 3 grounds 1) implementation of a national ID system requires a
legislative act, as such A.O. no. 308 is usurpation of legislative functions. 2)
that said A.O. tends to infringe the right to privacy of citizens 3) the
appropriation of funds for the implementation of said A.O. is also an exclusive
legislative function.

On the other hand, herein respondent as Executive Secretary refutes all said
arguments.

Issue:
Whether or not A.O. no. 308 is a valid exercise of the Executive power.

Held:

The Supreme Court ruled in the negative.


In holding the A.O. no. 308 as an invalid exercise of the Presidents Executive
power, the Court provided the following:

1. As raised by petitioner, A.O. no. 308 does indeed infringe upon the
legislature’s exclusive function as it laid down a system whereby
compliance therewith is a condition to transact with the government.
2. A.O. no. 308 is a potential threat to the Constitutional right to Privacy
as it allows the government to pool various data regarding an individual
without any clear concise direction as to the manner to keeping,
safeguards against improper use, and any definite answer as to what
type of information may or may not be used.
• 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.
3. A.O. no. 308 failed to substantiate any justifiable reason to allow the
would be infringement. To streamline government transactions and to
remove red taping was not sufficiently shown to be valid reasons to
counter act the strict protection of the individual’s right to privacy.