Você está na página 1de 4

SUBJEC TOPIC:

Date Made:
Digest
T:
Maker:
Consti 2 Privacy of Communication & Correspondence
2/14/16
Anna Regs
CASE NAME: SABIO V GORDON | GR 174340
(Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus of CAMILO L. SABIO v GORDON)
* Consolidated three cases
PONENTE: Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez
Case Date: Oct 17 2006
Case Summary:
From Consti1 Between the right of people to access info on public concern and
the right to privacy, the former prevails
Brief Background Cory made EO1 re: creating PCGG for investigating/recovering
ill-gotten wealth from Marcos and friends. An important section would be SECTION
4(B) which reads:
o No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify
or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative
proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance
o ^ THIS is being questioned in this case for being against the constitutional
provision of ART 6, SEC 21: The Senate or the House may conduct
inquiries in aid of legislation... the rights of persons appearing in or
affected by such inquiries shall be respected
Sen. Defensor-Santiago introduced Senate Resolution 455 re: conducting an inquiry in
aid of legislation regarding alleged improprieties in the operation by the board of POTC
(Phil Overseas Telecommunication Corp), PHILCOMSAT (Phil Communications Satellite Corp), and PHC
(Philcomsat Holdings Corp).Pursuant to this, Senator Gordon requested PCGG Chairman Sabio
and his Commissioners to appear as resource persons.
Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment, and at the same
time invoked Section 4(b) of EO No. 1 (as quoted above). Senator Gordon issued a
Subpoena Ad Testificandum but again, Sabio and co. refused. In a letter responding to
why they should not be held in contempt of Senate, they explained that SECTION 4(B)
has (1) Imposed a limitation on the power of legislative inquiry and (2) has not been
repealed. Eventually, they were placed under arrest for being in contempt of Senate.
Hence, this Writ of Habeas Corpus.
The main issue to settle is if their claim that Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1 limits power of
legislative inquiry is true, meaning that this would exempt all PCGG members or staff
from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding.
The SC held that they are WRONG because (1) there is an appropriate conferral of
investigative power, (2) No exemption was indicated in the Constitution from Art 6, Sec
21 re: power to conduct inquiries, and (3) Sec 4(b) is against sooo many provisions
(power on legislative inquiry, principle of public accountability, policy of full disclosure,
and right of public to access public information) and is therefore, considered
unconstitutional.
HOWEVER, THE SC ALSO INDICATED THAT THE INQUIRY IN AID OF LEGISLATION
ISNT UNLIMITED, and one important limitation would be in the last part of Art
6, Sec 21: the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall
be respected i.e. rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
BLOCK D 2019 1

Regarding the RIGHT TO PRIVACY in relation to the power of legislative inquiry, the court
must first determine if there is a reasonable expectation of privacy and second,
if government intrusion violated this.
In this case, the SC held that there was no reasonable expectation of privacy over
matters involving their offices in a corporation where the government has interest.
Certainly, such matters are of public concern and over which the people have the right to
information.
This goes to show that the right to privacy is not absolute where there is an overriding
compelling state interest and such alleged anomalies is a compelling state interest.
Thus, there is no invasion of privacy.
As to the RIGHT AGAIN SELF-INCRIMINATION, this right maybe invoked by the said
directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation only when the incriminating
question is being asked, since they have no way of knowing in advance the
nature or effect of the questions to be asked of them (i.e. show up first then
decide if you want to speak)
THEREFORE, the petition is denied, the petitioners are compelled to appear and testify in
the public hearings, and Section 4(B) is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
Rule of Law:

According to the syllabus ART 3, SEC 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.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be
inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
SECTION 4(B) OF EO1 OF CORY AQUINO: No member or staff of the Commission shall be
required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding
concerning matters within its official cognizance
ART 6, SEC 21: The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights
of persons appearing in, or affected by, such inquiries shall be respected
^ + principle of public accountability (Art. XI, Sec. 1) + policy of full disclosure (Art. II, Sec. 28)+ right
of access to public information (Art. III, Sec. 7).

Detailed Facts:
(Its all in the summary :D)
Sen. Defensor-Santiago introduced Senate Resolution 455 for the purpose of
conducting an inquiry in aid of legislation regarding alleged improprieties in the
operations by the board of POTC (Phil Overseas Telecommunication Corp), PHILCOMSAT
(Phil Communications Satellite Corp), and PHC (Philcomsat Holdings Corp).
In Senator Gordon requested PCGG Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners to
appear as resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by
the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee
on Public Services.
Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment, and at the
same time invoked Section 4(b) of EO No. 1.
Senator Gordon issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum but again, Sabio and co.
BLOCK D 2019 2

refused.
In a letter responding to why they should not be held in contempt of Senate, they
explained that SECTION 4(B) has (1) Imposed a limitation on the power of
legislative inquiry and (2) has not been repealed.
Eventually, they were placed under arrest for being in contempt of Senate.
Major General Balajadia arrested Chairman Sabio in his office at IRC Building, No.
82 EDSA, Mandaluyong City and brought him to the Senate premises where he was
detained.
Hence, this Writ of Habeas Corpus against the respondents (Gordon, Villar, Arroyo,
JPE, etc.)
Petitioners argue that:
(1)Respondent Senate Committees have no jurisdiction over the subject matter
stated in Senate Res. No. 455
(2)The same inquiry is not in accordance with the Senate's Rules of Procedure
Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation
(3)The subpoenae against the individual petitioners are void for having been
issued without authority
(4)Conduct of legislative inquiry pursuant to Senate Res. No. 455 constitutes
undue encroachment by respondents into justiciable controversies over which
several courts and tribunals have already acquired jurisdiction
(5)The subpoenae violated petitioners' rights to privacy and against selfincrimination.

Issue:
(S) 1. W/N Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1 limits power of legislative inquiry exempting all PCGG
members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding
(S) 2. W/N the petitioners right to PRIVACY and against self-incrimination are violated
Holding:
1. NO, SECTION 4(B) OF E.O. NO. 1 IS, IN FACT, UNCONSTITUTIONAL. A mere
provision of law cannot pose a limitation to the broad power of Congress,
in the absence of any constitutional basis (See: Senate v Ermita)
(1) There is an appropriate conferral of investigative power
Art 6, Sec 21 of the Constitution grants the power of inquiry not only to
the Senate and the House of Reps, but also to their respective
committees (conferral of investigative power)
(2) No exemption was indicated in the Constitution from Art 6, Sec 21 re: power
to conduct inquiries.
The Congress' power of inquiry, being broad, encompasses everything
that concerns the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or
possibly needed statutes.
It even extends "to government agencies created by Congress and
officers whose positions are within the power of Congress to
regulate or even abolish to which PCGG belongs to
(3) Section 4(B) is repealed by the Constitution because it is inconsistent
with the constitutional provisions on the Congress power of inquiry (Art. VI,
Sec. 21), the principle of public accountability (Art. XI, Sec. 1), the policy of full
disclosure (Art. II, Sec. 28), and the right of access to public information (Art. III,
Sec. 7).
Re: the last two These twin provisions of the Constitution seek to
promote transparency in policy-making and in the operations of the
BLOCK D 2019 3

government, as well as provide the people sufficient information to enable


them to exercise effectively their constitutional rights.
2. NO, THESE RIGHTS WERE NOT VIOLATED. The court must first determine
if a person has exhibited a reasonable expectation of privacy and, if so,
whether that expectation has been violated by unreasonable government
intrusion.
First, did the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation
exhibit a reasonable expectation of privacy? Second, did the government
violate such expectation?
NO and NO. Petitioners were invited in the Senate's public hearing to
deliberate on Senate Res. No. 455, particularly "on the anomalous
losses incurred by due to the alleged improprieties in the
operations by their respective board of directors."
Obviously, the inquiry focus on petitioners' acts committed in the
discharge of their duties as officers and directors of the said corporations,
particularly Philcomsat Holdings Corporation.
Consequently, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy
over matters involving their offices in a corporation where the
government has interest. Certainly, such matters are of public
concern and over which the people have the right to information.
This goes to show that the right to privacy is not absolute where there is
an overriding compelling state interest.
o Under the present circumstances, the alleged anomalies in the
PHILCOMSAT, PHC and POTC, ranging in millions of pesos, and the
conspiratorial participation of the PCGG and its officials
are compelling reasons for the Senate to exact vital information
to aid it in crafting the necessary legislation to prevent corruption
and formulate remedial measures and policy determination
regarding PCGG's efficacy.
o There being no reasonable expectation of privacy, it follows that
their right to privacy has not been violated by respondent Senate
Committees.
Ruling:
THEREFORE, the petition is denied, the petitioners are compelled to appear and testify in
the public hearings, and Section 4(B) is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
Other Opinions:
J. Blank Blank | Dissent
J. Blank Blank | Concurring

BLOCK D 2019 4