SY 2011-2012, First Semester
- Broadcasting Company and the Social Networking Services
- Wikileaks an abuse to right to information?
- Whether chanrobes.com, lawphil.net, and other repository of Philippine laws and jurisprudence may be compelled by private citizen who claim wherein his name was mention, to remove the jurisprudence because it violates his right of privacy?
Nowadays, people cannot live without computer especially those live in rural areas and thus we are engaged in exploiting internet in our everyday life. The introduction of social networking services attracts more people to utilize internet whether to check upon their friends, relatives, love ones or their enemies. |There’s this saying that keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer in a discreet manner or else you will be “blocked”. Not only for that, people engaged in social network because of the different services it provides such as hundred choices of games, chat and even video conversation. With this services broadcasting companies used this as a means to promote and advertise their own network. The question raised now is that, among different social networking services, facebook and twitter being the most popular, would it be unfair to utilized this famous social networking services to the detriment of other services such as friendster, multiply etc?
On my opinion, the used of facebook and twitter being the most popular social network services by broadcasting company or broadcasting personnel do not constitute unfair competition to the detriment of other social networking services. Our constitution promotes the freedom of speech, of expression and the freedom of the press. The used of facebook and twitter is just a tool in exercising freedom of speech, expression and of the press. Broadcasting company especially those tv and on-air personnel do not directly promote the said networking services but utilized it as a means to reach their audience and listeners.
Moreover, it do not constitute unfair competition under Republic Act 166 Section 29 An act to provide for the Registration and protection of trade-marks, trade-names and service-mark, defining unfair competition and false marketing providing remedies against the same and for other purpose. It provides that any person who shall employ deception or any other means contrary to good faith by which he shall pass off the goods manufactured by him or in which he deals, or his business, or services for those of the one having established such goodwill, or who shall commit any acts calculated to produce said result, shall be guilty of unfair competition, and shall be subject to an action therefor. In the present scenario, there is an absence of bad faith on the part of media personnel or company in promoting the social networking services to the detriment of other social networking site. In fact there is no intention on the part of such company and broadcasting personalities to endorsed such site but rather used this to facilitate in the dissemination of information to the public.
Can we as an ordinary citizen create our own version of wikileaks.org to expose anomalies of the state and anomalies of major corporations?
As a citizen we are protected by our own rights that can’t be curtailed by anyone especially by the government subject to limitations imposed by the law. Such right though we must enjoy but nevertheless we should not abuse it. Rights that are freely enjoyed by the citizens are embodied in Constitutions and Statutes. Among such rights is our freedom to right to information found in Article 3 Section 7 which provides that “The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law”. The limitations are those matters of information against public order and interest on which the right of information is not curtailed but limited.
In our modern time, access to internet is easy as snap of fingers. It contains a lot of information that you needed. We just don’t have tri-media such as radio, tv and newspaper that feed us information but now we have the web to give us different facts. Just like the wikileaks.org which leaks information about ethical, historical and political matters which reveals suppressed information by the government or major companies or corporations that creates injustice.
In our country, we as an ordinary citizen may create our own web to provide sources of information to the public on matters not contrary to public order or interest. We as a citizen should be responsible to our own actions. If it will hamper the administration of justice, we should provide such information and disclosed it in public. We should be aware and be concerned for all other fellow countryman. In creating a web similar to wikileaks means exposing anomalies of the state and anomalies of major corporation might be a better idea but if it tends to create chaos afterwards and such matter is subject to the limitations imposed by the Constitution embodied in Article 3 Section 7, we should not used it to shake the foundation of the government.
Whether chanrobes.com, lawphil.net, and other repository of Philippine laws and jurisprudence may be compelled by private citizen who claim wherein his name was mention, to remove the jurisprudence because it violates his right of privacy?
Private Citizen cannot claim removal of jurisprudence on the premise that his/her name was mentioned in the said case thus violating his right of privacy. It is basic rule that jurisprudence such as decisions of Supreme Court form part of the law of the land. Such decision should be made available or accessible to public being a public document. You cannot therefore remove the jurisprudence in its entirety, however pursuant to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of People vs Cabalquinto there are information’s which are material to the case that was withheld such as the real name of the rape victim and instead, fictitious initials are used to represent her, also the personal circumstances of the victim or any other information tending to establish or compromise her identity, as well as those of her immediate family or household members are not disclosed in said decision. Such jurisprudence still exists but information as to the identity of the victim was withdrawn and such other matter which will reveal her identity. It is in response to a letter from a mother of a child abuse victim which is addressed to the Chief Justice expressing her anxiety over the posting of full text decision of the Supreme Court on its web page. The mother in that case submitted that confidentiality and the best interest of the child must prevail over public access to information and pleaded that her daughter’s case, as well as those of a similar nature, be excluded from the Web Page.
Only those protected by RA 7610 otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse , RA 9262 otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, and Rule on Violence against Women and their Children can claim right of privacy for the confidentiality of information disclosed in the judicial proceeding. Such information should not be posted in the web page.
Sec. 29 of RA 7610 provides that. Confidentiality-at the instance of the offended party, his name may be withheld from the public until the court acquires jurisdiction over the case.
Likewise Sec. 44 of RA 9262 similarly provides that: Confidentiality. All records pertaining to cases of violence against women and their children including those in the barangay shall be confidential and all public officers and employees and public or private clinics or hospitals shall respect the right to privacy of the victim. Whoever publishes or causes to be published, in any format, the name, address, telephone number, school, business address, employer, or other identifying information of a victim or an immediate family member, without the latter’s consent, shall be liable to the contempt power of the court.
Moreover, the Rule on Violence Against Women and their Children states that: Privacy and confidentiality of proceedings. All hearings of cases of violence against women and their children shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the dignity of women and their children and respect for their privacy.
It was definitely clear that those falls under the protection of the above provisions can claim right to privacy and such information as previously stated should not be disclosed in public especially via internet where public can have an easy access of such information in a snap of finger. In weighing the right of privacy and right to access to information, right of privacy covered under those provisions should prevail over the latter.
Right of privacy may be invoked by anyone provided that it must be shown that the person’s expectation of privacy is reasonable. Such expectancy depends on two part test (a) whether by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an expectation of privacy and (b) whether this expectation is one that society recognizes as reasonable. Such right cannot claim by any other person such as the accused on a case, women not covered by the above provisions and those who are not minors. We should considered facts and circumstances surrounding the issue whether by his conduct, the individual exhibit expectation of the right of privacy and such expectation is reasonably recognized by our society.