The right to privacy

By Atty. Rester John L. Nonato
Cebu Daily News
6:56 am | Friday, January 20th, 2012 0shareNew 0

THE right to privacy has recently been invoked several times in the argument against the recent revenue issuances by the Bureau of Internal Revenue imposing disclosure requirements in amending the tax forms required to be filed by every taxpayer. This included Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 57-2011, which has already been rectified and amended by Revenue Regulation No. 19-2011. Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 57-2011 required taxpayers to reveal additional information about their other sources of income. With this background, we examine the legal basis of the right to privacy of every individual. The essence of privacy is the ³right to be let alone.´ [Cooley on Torts, Sec. 135, vol. 1, 4th ed., [1932]; see also Warren and Brandeis, ³The Right to Privacy,´ 4 Harvard Law Review 193-220 [1890] ² this article greatly influenced the enactment of privacy statutes in the United States (Cortes, I., The Constitutional Foundations of Privacy, p. 15 [1970])]. In the American case of Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 14 L. ed. 2d 510 (1965), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy has a constitutional foundation. In the case of Morfe v. Mutuc, 22 SCRA 424, the Philippine Supreme Court adopted the Griswold ruling that there is a constitutional right to privacy. The court held: ³Griswold invalidated a Connecticut statute which made the use of contraceptives a criminal offense on the ground of its amounting to an unconstitutional invasion of the right of privacy of married persons; rightfully it stressed a relationship lying within the zone of privacy created by several fundamental constitutional guarantees. It has wider implications though. The constitutional right to privacy has come into its own.´ The right to privacy is enshrined in several provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. We quote Section 3(1) of the Bill of Rights as follows: ³Sec. 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.´ The right to privacy is also heavily protected in various provisions of the Bill of Rights in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, namely: ³Sec. 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

ARTICLE III BILL OF RIGHTS (1987 Philippine Constitution) Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

force. as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development. Access to official records. or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged. Section 5. associations. houses. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. The right of the people. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts. Section 10. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security. Section 7. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech. violence. (2) No torture. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed. shall forever be allowed. Section 6. public safety. (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. Section 11. of expression. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. transactions. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. . or of the press. to form unions.Section 2. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court. Section 3. or any other means which violate the free will shall be used against him. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion.incommunicado. Section 4. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. without discrimination or preference. or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. he must be provided with one. solitary. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel. Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty. or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law. Section 12. Section 8. including those employed in the public and private sectors. or decisions. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. threat. or public health. shall be afforded the citizen. Secret detention places. as may be provided by law. intimidation. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. Section 9. papers. or other similar forms of detention are prohibited. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice.

for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes. shall. All persons.(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as well as compensation to the rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. the Congress hereafter provides for it. 2011 in Commentaries. No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax. Information technology law . quasi-judicial. However. nor cruel. and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. unless. Section 20. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. and their families. and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. or degrading punishment against any prisoner or detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by law. conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act. the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. Section 17. Section 22. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it. Excessive bail shall not be required. Section 15. degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. impartial. Neither shall death penalty be imposed. or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. Section 13. Section 19. after arraignment. psychological. be bailable by sufficient sureties. (1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations. Section 18. Section 21. (2) In all criminal prosecutions. The right to privacy in the Philippines March 16. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced toreclusion perpetua. All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial. before conviction. to have a speedy. No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted. except those charged with offenses punishable byreclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong. trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable. Section 16. (2) The employment of physical. to meet the witnesses face to face. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed. Section 14. or administrative bodies. (2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. and public trial.

a police or law enforcement official and the members of his team may.. not found in the 1987 Philippine Constitution. listen to. or spoken or written words of any person suspected of the crime of terrorism or the crime of conspiracy to commit terrorism. 2007 (This Law shall be automatically suspended one (1) month before and two (2) months after the holding of any election). interception and recording of communications between lawyers and clients. conversation.The right to privacy in the Philippines is a constitutional right that has been expressly declared in case law. discussions. 9372. or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law. upon a written order of the Court of Appeals. The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court. conversations.The written order of the authorizing division of the Court of Appeals to track down. or with the use of any other suitable ways or means for that purpose. doctors and patients. Approved on March 6. Please observe the procedure in obtaining the ´The Warrant [or Order] of Surveillanceµ. Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. Surveillance of suspects and interception and recording of communications. intercept. Violation by private entities are only actionable under a civil claim for torts or quasi-delict. Section 8. tap. SURVEILLANCE OF SUSPECTS AND INTERCEPTION AND RECORDING OF COMMUNICATIONS OF SUSPECTS OR CHARGED OF TERRORISM Section 7. or spoken or written words between members of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization. or group of persons or of any person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism. message. Read: NOTE: Applicable provisions of the Human Security Act/Anti-Terrorism Law. The provisions of RA 4200 (Anti-Wiretapping Law) to the contrary notwithstanding. Any breach can be referred to regular courts. and record communications. with the use of any mode. the constitutional right to privacy is generally enforceable only against the government and not private individuals and entities. discussion. shall only be granted by the authorizing division of the Court of Appeals UPON AN EX-PARTE written application of a police or . listen. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW CHAPTER V ² THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY Section 3. Formal Application for Judicial Authorization. form or kind or type of electronic or other surveillance equipment or intercepting and tracking devices. Provided. 2007 and effective on July 15. association. There is no specialized agency in charge of privacy protection. Because of the state action doctrine. journalists and their sources and confidential business correspondence shall not be authorized. any communication. intercept and record. That surveillance. Republic Act No. messages.

y The identity (name and address. or being committed. tap. bugged or recorded by law enforcement authorities has the right to be informed of the acts done by the law enforcement authorities in the premises or to challenge. y That there is probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that evidence which is essential to the conviction of any charged or suspected person for. or is about to be committed. .law enforcement official who has been duly authorized in writing by the Anti-Terrorism Council created in Section 53 of this Act to file such ex-parte application. or spoken or written words are to be tracked down. The written order granted by the authorizing division of the Court of Appeals as well as its order. Effective Period of Judicial Authorization. discussions. such as name and address. 10. intercept. 9. which shall not exceed 30 days from the date of receipt of the written order of the authorizing division of the court of Appeals by the applicant police or law enforcement official. intercepted or recorded and. or spoken or written words. and record the communications. such person shall be subject to continuous surveillance provided there is reasonable ground to do so. the legality of the interference before the Court of Appeals which issued said written order. messages. of the charged of suspected persons whose communications. tapped. conversations. the electronic transmission systems or the telephone numbers to be tracked down. including his application to extend or renew. listen to. electronic. or sought to be prevented. papers. listened to. tapped. intercepted. Classification and Contents of the Order of the Court. conversations. and upon examination under oath and affirmation of the applicant and the witnesses who may produce to establish: y That there is probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that the said crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism has been committed. and the police or law enforcement organization) of the members of his team judicially authorized to track down. Any authorization granted by the authorizing division of the court of Appeals«shall only be effective for the length of time specified in the written order of the authorizing division of the Court of Appeals. conversations. or is being committed. listened to. That the person being surveilled or whose communications. y The offense or offenses committed. the original application of the applicant. spoken or written words and effects have been monitored. or spoken or written words. messages. and y That there is no other effective means readily available for acquiring such evidence. messages. messages. Section. to extend or renew the same. and y The length of time which the authorization shall be used or carried out. if known. The written order of the authorizing division of the court of Appeals shall specify the following: y The identity. or telephone (whether wireless or otherwise) communications. or to the solution or prevention of any such crimes. if he or she intends to do so. conversations. discussions. letters. discussions. will be obtained. listened to. if any. and the written authorizations of the Anti-Terrorism Council shall be deemed and are hereby declared as classified information: Provided. if any. discussions. in case of radio. and recorded and their locations if the person suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism is not fully known. Sec.

28. accounts and records. may authorize in writing any police or law enforcement officer and the members of his team duly authorized in writing by the anti-terrorism council to: 1. The bank or financial institution shall not refuse to allow such examination or to provide the desired information. which shall not exceed 30 days from the expiration of the original period«The ex-parte application for renewal has been duly authorized by the Anti-terrorism Council in writing. PROCEEDING. examine or cause the examination of. interception. Application to examine deposits. assets. SHALL ABSOLUTELY NOT BE ADMISSIBLE AND USABLE AS EVIDENCE AGAINST ANYBODY IN ANY JUDICIAL. The written order of the CA authorizing the examination of bank deposits. Of a member of such judicially declared and outlawed organization. [Penalty to be imposed on the police official who fails to inform the person subject of surveillance of the termination of the surveillance. Of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization or group of persons. placements. JUDICIAL AUTHORIZATION TO EXAMINE BANK DEPOSITS. gather or cause the gathering of any relevant information about such deposits. messages. assets and records: y A person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism. assets. the deposits. interception and recording shall be penalized to 10 years and 1 day to 12 years. intercepted. The justices of CA designated as special court to handle anti-terrorism cases after satisfying themselves of the existence of probable cause in a hearing called for that purpose that: y y y A person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism. trust accounts. judicial authorization required to examine bank deposits. INQUIRY. when so ordered by and served with the written order of the Court of Appeals. and records from a bank or financial institution. and recorded communications. accounts and records. QUASI-JUDICIAL. OR HEARING. AND RECORDS OF SUSPECTED OR CHARGED TERRORISTS Section 27. and recording of the termination of the said surveillance. trust accounts.The CA may extend or renew the said authorization for another non-extendible period. and records in a bank or financial institution. the applicant police or law enforcement official shall immediately notify the person subject of the surveillance. placements. If no case is filed within the 30-day period. association or group of persons. ACCOUNTS. monitoring. placements. Evidentiary Value of Deposited Materials. Any listened to. Section 15. OR ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATION. Sec. . LEGISLATIVE. trust accounts. conversations«WHICH HAVE BEEN SECURED IN VIOLATION OF THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT. interception and recording. and 2.

in a bank or financial institution- -SHALL ONLY BE GRANTED BY THE AUTHORIZING DIVISION OF THE CA UPON AN EX-PARTE APPLICATION TO THAT EFFECT OF A POLICE OR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL who has been duly authorized by the Anti-Terrorism Council to file such ex-parte application and upon examination under oath or affirmation of the applicant and his witnesses he may produce to establish the facts that will justify the need and urgency of examining and freezing the bank deposits. data. proceeding or hearing. trust accounts. J. September 19. quasi-judicial. association or group of persons. TORRES. placements. summaries. association or group of persons. excerpts. shall absolutely not be admissible and usable as evidence against anybody in any judicial. placements. legislative or administrative investigation. then President FIDEL V. OPLE VS. 1. July 23. memoranda. assets and records of: y A person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism. Of a member of such judicially declared and outlawed organization. she used the same in their legal separation case. ZULUETA VS.. 308 entitled ´ADOPTION OF A NATIONAL COMPUTERIZED IDENTIFICATION REFERENCE SYSTEMµ. work sheets. Thereafter. Of a member of such judicially declared and outlawed organization. Of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization or group of persons. notes. 1996 The wife forcibly opened the drawers at the clinic of her doctor-husband and took diaries. 502 SCRA 419 2. 3. Evidentiary value of deposited bank materials. Said documents are inadmissible in evidence. y Of a member of such judicially declared and outlawed organization. inquiry. Facts: On December 12. CA. trust accounts. -which have been secured in violation of the provisions of this Act. 1998 Puno. CABALQUINTO. y Of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization or group of persons. association or group of persons.Any information. 2006. Section 35. February 10. 1996.y y Of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization or group of persons. This is so because the intimacies of husband and wife does not justify the breaking of cabinets to determine marital infidelity. . RAMOS issued Administrative Order No. checks and greeting cards of his alleged paramours. PEOPLE VS. reports or documents acquired from the examination of the bank deposits. assets and records: y y y Of A person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism.

Biometry is the science of the application of statistical methods to biological facts. An administrative order is an ordinance issued by the President which relates to specific aspects in the administrative operation of the government. retinal scan. Held: 1. The data. It enables the President to fix a uniform standard of administrative efficiency and check the official conduct of his agents. affects the life and liberty of every Filipino citizens and foreign residents and therefore. The AO establishes a system of identification that is all-encompassing in scope. The AO violates the citizen·s right to privacy protected by the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. It must be in harmony with the law and should be for the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying out the legislative policy. The subject of AO 308 therefore is beyond the power of the President to issue and it is a usurpation of legislative power. The AO likewise violates the right to privacy since its main purpose is to provide a ´common reference number to establish a linkage among concerned agencies through the use of BIOMETRICS TECHNOLOGY. 2. The AO was questioned by Senator Ople on the following grounds: 1. which is supposed to be exercised by the President. not by an Administrative Order issued by the President. hand geometry or facial features. but the existence of this vast reservoir of personal information constitutes a covert invitation to misuse. AO 308 involves a subject that is not appropriate to be covered by an Administrative Order. . Through the PRN. The appropriation of public funds for the implementation of the said AO is unconstitutional since Congress has the exclusive authority to appropriate funds for such expenditure. 2. however. and 3.The AO seeks to have all Filipino citizens and foreign residents to have a Population Reference Number (PRN) generated by the National Statistics Office (NSO) through the use of BIOMETRICS TECHNOLOGY . a mathematical analysis of a biological data. it is supposed to be a law passed by Congress that implements it. may be gathered for gainful and useful government purposes. Administrative Power. a temptation that may be too great for some of our authorities to resist. is concerned with the work of applying policies and enforcing orders as determined by proper governmental organs. the government offices has the chance of building a huge and formidable information base through the electronic linkage of the files of every citizen. Prescinding from the foregoing precepts. It is the confirmation of an individual·s identity through a fingerprint. The establishment of the PRN without any law is an unconstitutional usurpation of the legislative powers of the Congress of the Philippines.

WITHOUT FEAR OF SANCTION OR PENALTY. 2006 & June 20. 2006 Carpio. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation No. AN INTRUDER. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY RUBEN TORRES Administrative Order No. CAN MAKE USE OF THE DATA FOR WHATEVER PURPOSE. 420 does not violate the citizen·s right to privacy since it does not require all the citizens to be issued a national ID as what happened in AO 308. and it infringes on the citizen·s right to privacy . KILUSANG MAYO UNO VS.. April 19. b. 308 is unconstitutional since it falls short of assuring that personal information gathered about our people will be used only for specified purposes thereby violating the citizen·s right to privacy. It does not provide who shall control and access the data and under what circumstances and for what purpose. OR WORSE. The Supreme Court likewise held that EO 308 as unconstitutional for it violates the citizen·s right to privacy. J. YET. THERE ARE NO CONTROLS TO GUARD AGAINST LEAKAGE OF INFORMATIONS. The computer linkage gives other government agencies access to the information. 308[National computerized Identification Reference System] issued by then President Fidel V. the AO does not even tells us in clear and unequivocal terms how these informations gathered shall be handled. 2006 & June 20. WHEN THE ACCESS CODE OF THE CONTROL PROGRAMS OF THE PARTICULAR COMPUTER SYSTEM IS BROKEN. ET AL. AO No. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA. 420 is unconstitutional on two (2) grounds: a. 2006 BAYAN MUNA VS.Further. Multi-purpose Identification System by all Government Agencies in the Executive Department. where none existed beforeµ. ET AL. April 19. Only those dealing usurpation of legislative powers. This is so despite the fact that the Supreme Court held in an En Banc decision in 1998 OPLE VS. MANIPULATE THE DATA STORED WITHIN THE SYSTEM. These factors are essential to safeguard the privacy and guaranty the integrity of the information. 420 that mandates the Adoption of a Unified. Ramos that the same is unconstitutional because ´a national ID card system requires legislation because it creates a new national data collection and card issuance system.. the petitioners claimed that Proclamation No. Held: The said Executive Order No. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA. Based on the Ople ruling.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution No. Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT). 2006. October 17.m. The meticulous regard we accord to these zones arises not only from our conviction that the right to privacy is a ´constitutional rightµ and ´the right most valued by civilized men. 455). No.O. 2006. The Facts: On February 20.µ On May 8. any form of intrusion is impermissible unless excused by law and in accordance with customary legal process. J. Arroyo and Members. CAMILO L. wrote Chairman Camilo L. No.µ[6][48] . Zones of privacy are recognized and protected in our laws. I S S U E S: Is the investigation conducted on the petitioners violative of their right to privacy? H E L D: The claim of immunity is without merit. under the authority of Senator Richard J. 82 EDSA.[1][4] ´directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC). Chairman Sabio and other commissioners of the PCGG declined the invitation because of prior commitment. On September 12. 455 (Senate Res. at around 10:45 a.or employed with the said government entities who are required to provide the required information for the issuance of the said ID. Mandaluyong City and brought him to the Senate premises where he was detained. 455. No. G. Chairman Sabio filed with the Supreme Court a petition for habeas corpus against the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. GORDON. ´no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacyµ and ´everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. Sabio of the PCGG. Chief of Staff Rio C. Senators Richard Gordon and Joker P.. they invoked Section 4(b) of 1 earlier quoted. SABIO vs. their Chairmen. No.µ[5][47] but also from our adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which mandates that.[3][7] At the same time. Gordon. inviting him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by theCommittee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. The purpose of the public meeting was to deliberate on Senate Res. 2006.[2][6] On May 9. Major General Balajadia arrested Chairman Sabio in his office at IRC Building. 174340. 2006. Hence. Inocencio. and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. 504 SCRA 704 Sandoval-Gutierrez.[4][46] Within these zones.R. 2006. one of the herein petitioners. E. No.

Mutuc. and the conspiratorial participation of the PCGG and its officials are compelling reasons for the Senate to exact vital information from the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporations. Certainly. particularly ´on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC). i. There being no reasonable expectation of .e. Under the present circumstances.. particularly Philcomsat Holdings Corporation. a court must determine whether a person has exhibited a reasonable expectation of privacy and. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose. ranging in millions of pesos. 455. whether that expectation has been violated by unreasonable government intrusion. did the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation exhibit a reasonable expectation of privacy?. No.[10][52] employed the rational basis relationship test when it held that there was no infringement of the individual·s right to privacy as the requirement to disclosure information is for a valid purpose. did the government violate such expectation? The answers are in the negative.[9][51] the Court. Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT).[11][53] In Valmonte v. in line with Whalen v. the Members of the former Batasang Pambansa enjoy a more limited right to privacyas compared to ordinary individuals. as well as from Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners to aid it in crafting the necessary legislation to prevent corruption and formulate remedial measures and policy determination regarding PCGG·s efficacy. Petitioners were invited in the Senate·s public hearing to deliberate on Senate Res.µ Obviously. Consequently.[8][50] Applying this determination to these cases. the important inquiries are: first. maintain a standard of honesty in public service. the inquiry focus on petitioners· acts committed in the discharge of their duties as officers and directors of the said corporations. It highlights a person·s ´right to be let aloneµ or the ´right to determine what.µ[7][49] Section 2 guarantees ´the right of the people to be secure in their persons.µ In evaluating a claim for violation of the right to privacy.Our Bill of Rights. In Morfe v.[12][54] the Court remarked that as public figures. and Philcomsat Holdings Corporations (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in the operations by their respective board of directors. if so. Roe. This goes to show that the right to privacy is not absolute where there is an overridingcompelling state interest. Taking this into consideration. and their actions are subject to closer scrutiny. and promote morality in public administration.µ Section 3 renders inviolable the ´privacy of communication and correspondenceµ and further cautions that ´any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. enshrined in Article III of the Constitution. and second. the alleged anomalies in the PHILCOMSAT. how much. PHC and POTC. to whom and when information about himself shall be disclosed. such matters are of public concern and over which the people have the right to information. houses. provides at least two guarantees that explicitly create zones of privacy. the Court ruled that the right of the people to access information on matters of public concern prevails over the right to privacy of financial transactions. to curtail and minimize the opportunities for official corruption. they have no reasonable expectation of privacy over matters involving their offices in a corporation where the government has interest. Belmonte.

continued to grow. Thus. Total public sector union membership was nearly 247. For this reason. PCGG·s nominees to Philcomsat Holdings Corporation. the government has an overriding interest to prevent speech that will divulge the movement and positions of troops in times of war. Another common example is shouting fire in a crowded theater. will be respected by respondent Senate Committees. PCGG Chairman Camilo Sabio and Commissioners Ricardo Abcede. it their duty to cooperate with them in their efforts to obtain the facts needed for intelligent legislative action. Unions have the right to form or join federations or other labor groups. meaning there must be seriousness and immediacy about the danger sought to be prevented. The number of firms using contractual labor. including most public employees. Nicasio Conti. Article 3. The unremitting obligation of every citizen is to respond to subpoenae. Trade unions are independent of the Government. Philippine case law on free speech is largely based on US jurisprudence. compared to 17.086 as of August 2002. and to testify fully with respect to matters within the realm of proper investigation.853. . compared with 1. In fine. As of August. with the exception of the military and the police. the Bureau of Labor Relations reported 1. and Tereso Javier. he Right of Association The Constitution and laws provide for the right of workers. primarily large employers. Let it be stressed at this point that so long as the constitutional rights of witnesses. Narciso Nario. like Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners. of the press or the right to peaceful public assembly. speech becomes unprotected if it presents a clear and present danger of a grave and imminent evil which the government has a right to prevent.928 private sector unions. courts employ a strict scrutiny standard and have invariably called it the "clear and present danger" rule. Under this rule. there were 171 registered labor federations and more than 19.242 public sector unions. as well as its directors and officers. The right to free speech under the Philippine Constitution is an almost verbatim rendering of the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. 455. As of August. The 1. and Manuel Andal and Julio Jalandoni. Section 4 of the Philippine Constitution prohibits any law that abridges the freedom of speech. to form and join trade unions. No.771 reported in 2002. 455.929 in 2002.privacy on the part of those directors and officers over the subject covered by Senate Res. which is likely to create panic and stampede. Clear and Present Danger In testing the validity of any governmental regulation of speech.7 million union members represented approximately 5 percent of the total workforce of 34 million. The feared evil must have gravity and proximity. up from 229. although the Philippine Supreme Court has diverged from US case law in certain cases. to respect the dignity of the Congress and its Committees. it follows that their right to privacy has not been violated by respondent Senate Committees. must comply with theSubpoenae Ad Testificandum issued by respondent Senate Committees directing them to appear and testify in public hearings relative to Senate Resolution No.

Seven journalists were killed during the year. On April 28. The ICFTU has claimed that a union may be registered only if it represents at least 20 percent of workers in a bargaining unit. Several television and radio stations were owned by the state. This was the first arrest of an editor since 1986. Journalists were the targets of several violent incidents during the year. unions maintained that widespread ignorance of basic standards and rights was a major obstacle to union organization. no one has been convicted and imprisoned for these killings. A village official reportedly had filed a libel case against the columnist. According to the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP). On July 8. At year's end the case was pending. The NUJP accused the police and the Government of failing to adequately investigate these killings. a radio reporter from Agusan del Norte was shot and killed near his radio station. Before disputes reach the NLRC. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association . the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and the Federation of Free Workers. police arrested the publisher-editor of an opposition newspaper on charges of libel. The editor was not incarcerated and was free on bail. The Government did not otherwise interfere with academic freedom. On August 20. The commentator had repeatedly criticized the mayor of Davao City on the air. motorcyclists shot and killed a broadcaster from Quezon Province who was a former NPA member. the country is now considered one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. were affiliated with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the World Confederation of Labor. On May 17. gunmen on a motorcycle killed a Davao City radio commentator who was a former spokesperson of an anti-communist group. a radio commentator known for his criticism of corruption in the provincial government was shot and killed in front of his house in Laguna. based on allegations of corruption against some of the President's associates. On August 19. According to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. respectively. the Department of Labor and Employment provides the services of a mediation board. a lone assailant shot and killed a former barangay captain and reportercolumnist for a tabloid circulated in Tarlac province. Freedom of Speech and Press The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press. or patrons. which settles most of the unfair labor practice disputes raised as grounds for strikes before the strikes may be declared. Two of the largest trade union federations. and of subjecting journalists to harassment and surveillance. They tended to reflect the particular political or economic orientations of owners. through the mediation board. On August 4.Allegations of intimidation and discrimination in connection with union activities are grounds for review as possible unfair labor practices before the quasi-judicial National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). some of whom were close associates of present or past high-level political officials. The Government did not restrict Internet use. also worked to improve the functioning of labor-management councils in companies that already had unions. unidentified assailants shot and killed a Legazpi City radio announcer and former vice mayor suspected of supporting communist guerillas. and students on other campuses complained of military surveillance. and the Government generally respected these rights in practice. Broadcast and print media were freewheeling and often criticized for lacking rigorous journalistic ethics. An average of three journalists are killed every year. Most print and electronic media were privately owned. On September 6. However. School administrators reportedly warned several student journalists against publishing critical commentaries and articles. and that the law requires an excessively high number of unions before a federation or national center can be formed. Unions have the right to affiliate with international trade union confederations and trade secretariats. publishers. DOLE.

buildings. and material objects of all kinds are the means by which people live. Six protesters reportedly were injured. the right to property protects individual freedom of action. and the Government generally respected these rights in practice. militant groups and human rights organizations in Iloilo condemned the violent dispersal of a rally protesting government policies. It is the task of objective law to define the individual¶s rights so as to protect everyone¶s right to produce and dispose of material values. the Government at times has followed an unwritten policy of allowing rallies to occur without requiring the filing of a request. and at times some of these groups provoked security forces by shoving or throwing objects. Without property rights. one person¶s property rights never infringe on another¶s.´ For the New Intellectual ³When you consider socialism. or interference by other men (neither criminals nor governments). Because the right to property is a principle. Therefore.The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly and association. There is no right to material values that have to be provided by others. in violation of their rights. keep. and dispose of material values without physical compulsion. Whoever regards this as human and right. Remember that there is no such dichotomy as µhuman rights¶ versus µproperty rights. has no right to the title of µhuman. In July. Although the law requires that groups request a permit to hold a rally. since the competent have nothing to gain from the incompetent. only that one will own what one earns. it applies universally to every human being. Land. and there is no need to ³balance´ conflicting rights. In May. coercion. members of a militant student organization in Pangasinan reported the violent dispersal of their assembly. do not fool yourself about its nature. The right to property is the right to gain. Several NGOs complained about security forces violently dispersing rallies. only a slave can work with no right to the product of his effort. every life-sustaining action they take has a material dimension. Because human beings are physical organisms.¶´ ³This is John Galt Speaking. In March. Property Rights Like all rights. no other rights are possible²including the rights to life and liberty. use.¶ No human rights can exist . The doctrine that µhuman rights¶ are superior to µproperty rights¶ simply means that some human beings have the right to make property out of others. a truckload of police reportedly assaulted with water cannon and truncheons workers protesting alleged unfair labor practices. Q&A with Ayn Rand Is there a distinction between property rights and ³human rights´? ³Only a ghost can exist without material property. Property rights do not guarantee success in the pursuit of material values. it means the right of the incompetent to own their betters and to use them as productive cattle. Violence generally was limited.

there is no way to solve or to avoid a hopeless chaos of clashing views. and whims. . No man can have a right to impose an unchosen obligation. To deny property rights means to turn men into property owned by the state. ³Man¶s Rights. Who is to provide them? If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others. is a slave. The man who produces while others dispose of his product. medical care.´ ³The Monument Builders. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort. no other rights are possible. he does not own his life. demands.without property rights. which necessitates the violation of the rights of another. desires..´ The Virtue of Selfishness Jobs.´ ³The Cashing-In: The Student µRebellion.¶´ Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal What is the relevance of property rights to identifying the essential nature of social systems? . .´ ³Man¶s Rights. education. Without property rights.´ Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal How important are property rights? ³The right to life is the source of all rights²and the right to property is their only implementation. Whoever claims the µright¶ to µredistribute¶ the wealth produced by others is claiming the µright¶ to treat human beings as chattel.´ A right does not include the material implementation of that right by other men. Any alleged ³right´ of one man. The right to property means that a man has the right to take the economic actions necessary to earn property. do not grow in nature. it includes only the freedom to earn that implementation by one¶s own effort. Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual men. is not and cannot be a right. to use it and to dispose of it. These are man-made values²goods and services produced by men. etc. and are needed to sustain their lives. Without property rights. interests. the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. food. recreation(!). homes. if the producer does not own the result of his effort. it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor. . There can be no such thing as ³the right to enslave. an unrewarded duty or an involuntary servitude on another man. clothing.´ Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal ³It is only on the basis of property rights that the sphere and application of individual rights can be defined in any given social situation. it does not mean that others must provide him with property.

i.³Observe that both µsocialism¶ and µfascism¶ involve the issue of property rights. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. ³Ownership without control is a contradiction in terms: it means µproperty. Observe the difference in those two theories: socialism negates private property rights altogether.¶ without the right to use it or to dispose of it.. including property rights. but transfers control of the property to the government.´ ³What Is Capitalism?´ Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal . It means that the citizens retain the responsibility of holding property. in which all property is privately owned. in the state.´ Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal ³Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights.´ ³The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus. and advocates µthe vesting of ownership and control¶ in the community as a whole. while the government acquires all the advantages without any of the responsibility.e. fascism leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals. without any of its advantages.