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S
V
E
T
N
VALMO
BELMONTE

13 FEBRUARY 1989

Facts

FACTS
Petitioners:

RESPONDENT:

Feliciano "Sonny"
Belmonte, Jr.
Quezon City 4th District Representative
Speaker of the House
GSIS General Manager (1986-1991)

Oswaldo Carbonell
Doy Del Castillo
Rolando Bartolome
Leo Obligar
Jun Gutierrez
Reynaldo Bagatsing
Jun "Ninoy" Alba
Percy Lapid
Rommel Corro
Rolando Fadul

VS

Ricardo Valmonte

Lawyer
Media
Filipino

FACTS

Feb 7, 1986
Feb 25, 1986

Source: philstar.com

FACTS
JUNE 4, 1986 VALMONTE'S LETTER TO BELMONTE
JUNE 17, 1986 MEYNARDO TIRO'S REPLY TO VALMONTE

List of names of the Batasang Pambansa members


belonging to the opposition who were able to secure
clean loans immediately before the February 7
election thru the intercession of the then First Lady
Imelda Marcos
CTG of documents evidencing clean loans
granted by GSIS
access to the public records for
the subject information

JUNE 20, 1986 VALMONTE HASN'T RECEIVED TIRO'S REPLY YET;


VALMONTE WROTE ANOTHER LETTER TO BELMONTE
JUNE 26, 1986 VALMONTE & OTHER PETITIONERS FILED THE INSTANT SUIT

FACTS

NO

ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE CASE IS COVERED BY THE PRINCIPLE OF


EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
HELD:

RD: THE CASE INVOLVES A QUESTION OF LAW WHICH ONLY THE REGULAR
COURTS CAN HANDLE MORE COMPETENTLY THAN OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE
AGENCIES.

Issues

ISSUES
1.LIST

OF NAMES OF THE BATASANG PAMBANSA


OPPOSITION MEMBERS WHO WERE ABLE TO
SECURE CLEAN LOANS GRANTED BY THE GSIS.

2.CERTIFIED

TRUE COPIES OF THE DOCUMENTS


EVIDENCING THE LOANS.

3.ACCESS

TO THE PUBLIC RECORDS FOR THE


SUBJECT INFORMATION.

Whether or not the petitioners


#2 are entitled to the list of the
names of the Batasang
Pambansa opposition members
who were able to secure clean
loans granted by the GSIS.

NO

Whether or not the petitioners


#1 are entitled to access to the
documents evidencing loans
granted by the GSIS.

YES

Ratio Decipendi
(ISSUE #1)

Whether or not the petitioners


are entitled to access to the
documents evidencing loans
granted by the GSIS.

1.ENTITLEMENT

TO PUBLIC INFORMATION, RECORDS, DOCUMENTS,


AND
IS
"The right of
the THE
people LIKE
to
information
on
matters
of
A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT.
The
right
of
the
people
to
Subject
to
reasonable
public
concern
shall
be

ARTICLE III SEC. 7 OF THE 1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION

. ARTICLE

IV SEC. 6 OF THE 1973 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION

information
on matters
of public
conditions
recognized.
Access
to prescribed
official
concern
shall
be
recognized.
records,
and to the
documents,
by
law,
state
Access
to official
records,toand to
and
papers
pertaining
adopts
implements
a to
documents
andand
papers
pertaining
official acts,
transactions,
or
policy
fullas public
decisions,
asof well
to
official
acts,
transactions,
or
government
research
data
used
disclosure
of
all
its
decisions, shall be afforded the
as
basis subject
for
policy
citizen
to
such
transactions
involving
development,
shall
be
afforded
limitations
as
may be provided by
public
interest.
the
citizen,
subject
to such
law. (Italics mine)
limitations as may be provided
by law. "(Italics mine)

. CONSTITUTIONAL
PUBLIC SERVICE

POLICIES OF "FULL PUBLIC DISCLOSURE" (ART 2 SEC 28) AND HONESTY IN THE

2.

THE DOCUMENTS REQUESTED BY THE PETITIONERS ARE WITHIN THE DEFINITION


OF "MATTERS OF PUBLIC CONCERN".

GSIS IS A TRUSTEE OF CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND ITS EMPLOYEES AND THE
ADMINISTRATOR OF VARIOUS INSURANCE PROGRAMS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE LATTER.

CONSIDERING THE NATURE OF ITS FUNDS, GSIS IS EXPECTED TO MANAGE ITS RESOURCES WITH UTMOST
PRUDENCE AND IN STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH THE PERTINENT LAWS OR RULES AND REGULATIONS.

GSIS IS NOT SUPPOSED TO GRANT CLEAN LOANS.

3.THE

INFORMATION SOUGHT BY THE PETITIONERS IS NOT AMONG THOSE


EXCLUDED BY LAW.

THERE IS NO POLICY DECLARING CONFIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GSIS AND ITS
BORROWERS, AS OPPOSED TO WHAT THE RESPONDENT CLAIMS.

THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY BELONGS TO THE INDIVIDUAL IN HIS PRIVATE CAPACITY.

THE CONCERNED BORROWERS MAY NOT SUCCEED IF THE THEY THEMSELVES CHOOSE TO INVOKE THEIR
RIGHT TO PRIVACY.

ALL NEGOTIATIONS, EITHER INCIDENTAL OR OTHERWISE, OF ALL AGENCIES, DEPARTMENTS,


MINISTRIES AND INSTRUMENTALITIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, SHALL BE FULLY DISCLOSED PUBLICLY.

Ratio Decipendi
(ISSUE #2)
Whether or not the petitioners
are entitled to the list of the
names of the Batasang
Pambansa opposition members
who were able to secure clean
loans granted by the GSIS.

THE

CONSTITUTION DOES NOT ACCORD THE CITIZENS A RIGHT TO COMPEL


CUSTODIANS OF RECORDS TO PREPARE A LIST, ABSTRACTS, SUMMARIES,
AND THE LIKE IN THEIR DESIRE TO ACQUIRE INFORMATION ON MATTERS OF
PUBLIC CONCERN.