SY 2011-2012, First Semester
- Would it be appropriate for a broadcast company to say follow them on a particular social networking site?
- Can we as ordinary citizens create our own version of Wikileaks.org and report therein the anomalies of the State and the major corporations?
- When the right of the people to information clashes with the right to privacy, which one will prevail?
As enshrined in Philippine Constitution, Section 7 of Bill of Rights provides as follows: “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.”
On the other hand right to privacy can be found in 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.”
Section 5 of the Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998, stipulates that “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.”
Section 8 of the Proposed Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law stipulates that “the right of the juvenile to privacy shall be protected at all times. All measures necessary to promote this right shall be taken, including the exclusion of the media.
Philippine Supreme Court Decisions are public record of public concern and as guaranteed by the constitution people shall have free access to such documents. Internet also provides different websites for repositories of jurisprudence. Included in these decisions are the names of the parties involved in the suit. May a party invoke his right to privacy and compel his name be removed or replaced with initials for being violative of his right?
As public document, it must not be altered nor modified unless there is a existing law which grants a party that his name be withhold. As in A.M. No. 99-7-06-SC, Supreme Court resolves in the meantime to refrain from posting on its Web Page the full text of decisions in cases involving child sexual abuse or cases of similar in nature.
Is a website like wikileaks.org legal in the Philippines? Wikileaks.org is a famous website for exposing the unethical behavior in the different governments and corporations.
As guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution, Article III Section 4 states that “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” And In relation to Article III Section 7 of the Constitution 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.”
In revealing anomalies, clash between the freedom of expression and public safety arises. When the information is in the best interest of the public, the people are entitled to be informed but when information is released that may do harm to the public then it is better to keep the information hidden from them. The freedom of expression can’t supersede the rights of the people to be free from harm. When conflict arises between freedom of expression and public safety, the latter is placed on a higher level than the right of the people to information.
We can create our own wikileaks.org and report all the anomalies of the government and major corporations but subject to limitations so that safety of the individuals and public concerned will not be compromised.
With the emergence of social networks such as twitter and facebook it opened new avenues where ideas and opinion can be expressed. The phrases “follow us on Twitter” or “Like us on Facebook” became broadcasters’ words who want to encourage their viewers to interact with them via Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Twitter and Facebook are trade name, as defined in the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines section 121.3 “Trade name” means the name or designation identifying or distinguishing an enterprise. The elements of the infringement of trade name are the following: a) actual use in the commerce in the philippines and registered in the intellectual property office, b) use by another person in connection with sale, offering for sale, or advertising of any goods, business or services in connection with such use is likely to cause confusion or mistake or deceive purchasers or others; c) the trademark is used for identical or similar goods; and d) such act is done without the consent of trademark registrant or assignee. So if broadcasting companies would announce their names does not violate any trade mark law but gives preference over other social networks by way of advertisement.