[Mirror] Lopez, Ma. Arnee

SY 2011-2012, First Semester


Can We Publish the Anomalies of the Government using the Internet?

An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human community. Institutions are identified with a social purpose and permanence, transcending individual human lives and intentions, and with the making and enforcing of rules governing cooperative human behavior. [1]

Government is one kind of institution which is vulnerable to so many issues and attention of so many eyes. Creating a web site which can publicize the anomalies of the people who runs the government as well as the system is a positive act to inform a people of the state. Under the Sec.VII of Article III of the constitution states 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.

In the Philippines, media has a capacity to inform the people, thru print adds, television, radio programs and now by the use of internet, by excersing the freedom of expression which prescribe in the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. A private person may also inform the public the positive and negative issue in the government by the use of the internet. However, to come up a website like wikeleaks, a person who desire to make a website must be first know the limitation. Not all documents may be publish such as the following;

  • Those which include lewd, obscene, profane, libelous words;
  • Those which intends to incite others to execute acts of rebellion, insurrection or breach of peace by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, etc as stated in section 138 of the revised penal code; writing which tend to overthrow or undermine the security of the government or to weaken the confidence of the people in the government;
  • That information which if made public is punishable under section 117 of the revised penal code, which includes data of a confidential nature relative to the defense of the Philippines.

Those instances above are absolutely prohibited because the information will affect the general public in terms of moral, social and economical aspect not only the people as well as the government.

Under the Declaration and state policy, Article II Section 28 states that;

Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

When the general welfare is at stake full public disclosure on documents and transaction must be apply. The general public may acquire a copy of the said document. The document may publish on the website like wikeleaks and any people in the world can read the article and may suggest the solution for the issue. However not all positive response will receive in the posted article, there is also criticism and bad comments. I think that is the essence of posting the document to inform the people and get the response of the people.

Conclusion:

A wikeleaks in the Philippines may be established provided that the limitation under the constitution shall be applied. The interest of the general public is the key word of all the rights stated above. Whether or not the people will affect on the publication, as stated in one latin maxim “salus popoli es suprema lex” the welfare of the people is the supreme law.


Endnotes

[1] Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institution


Right of Privacy is a basic right of a Filipino.

The right of privacy is a basic right to any Filipino. It is bestowed by virtue of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Article III of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines contains the Bill of Rights. Section 1 of the Bill of Rights states that the “Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity.

Section 3(1) of Article III of the 1987 Constitution states that 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. It further states that “any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.”

For an instance, individual has a right to compel the private repositories of law and jurisprudence like lawphil and chanrobles to remove his name in a case decided by the Supreme Court of the Philippines which in fact publish in their website, such individual has a right of privacy under Section 3(1) of Article III of the 1987 Constitution. When his safety is at stake or the General welfare of the people is inviolable.

Where in an occurrence, the law provides a protection of a person of is a rape victim. In Section 5 of RA 8505, An act providing the assistance for the rape victim states that, At any stage of the investigation, prosecution and trial of a complaint for rape, the police officer, the prosecutor, the court and its officers, as well as the parties to the complaint shall recognize the right to privacy of the offended party and the accused. Towards this end, … the name and personal circumstances of the offended party and/or the accused, or any other information tending to establish their identities, and such circumstances or information on the complaint shall not be disclosed to the public.

Furthermore, Section 12 of RA 8369, Privacy and Confidentiality of Proceedings. – All hearings and conciliation of the child and family cases shall be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child’s and the family’s dignity and worth, and shall respect their privacy at all stages of the proceedings.Records of the cases shall be dealt with utmost confidentiality and the identity of parties shall not be divulged unless necessary and with authority of the judge

Section 7 of the 18987 constitution of the Philippines states 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 deleting of the names of the person does not violate the rights of other people because the law sited above clearly stated that the application of that provision is subject to such limitation as may provided by the law.

Conclusion:

The Civil Code of the Philippines states that “[e]very person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy, and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons,” and punishes acts that violate privacy by private citizens, public officers, or employees of private companies. [1]

Article 26 of the Civil Code states that “every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief: (1) Prying into the privacy of another’s residence; (2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another; (3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends; (4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs, lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal condition.” [2]


Endnotes

[1] Cordero v. Buigasco, 34130-R, April 17, 1972, 17 CAR (2s) 539; Jaworski v. Jadwani, CV-66405, December 15, 1983.

[2] Civil Code, Art. 26; See n. 35 of the Philippine Supreme Court Decision of the National ID System, supra.

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