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316. Ople vs. Torres.doc

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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 127685 July 23, 1998 BLAS F. OPLE, petitioner, vs. RUBEN . TORRES, ALE!ANER AGU RRE, #ECTOR $ LLANUE$A, C EL TO #AB TO, ROBERT BARBERS, CARMENC TA REO CA, CESAR SAR NO, RENATO $ALENC A, TOMAS P. AFR CA, #EA OF T#E NAT ONAL COMPUTER CENTER %&' C#A RMAN OF T#E COMM SS ON ON AU T, respondents. PUNO, J.: The petition at bar is a commendable effort on the part of Senator Blas . !ple to prevent the shrin in# of the ri#ht to privac$,
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  Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT ManilaEN BANC G.R. No. 127685 July 23, 1998BLAS F. OPLE, petitioner,vs. RUBEN . TORRES, ALE!ANER AGU RRE, #ECTOR $ LLANUE$A, C EL TO #AB TO, ROBERT BARBERS, CARMENC TA REO CA, CESAR SAR NO, RENATO $ALENC A, TOMAS P. AFR CA, #EA OF T#E NAT ONAL COMPUTER CENTER %&' C#A RMAN OF T#E COMM SS ON ON AU T, respondents. PUNO, J.: The petition at bar is a commendable effort on the part of Senator Blas . !ple to prevent the shrin in# of the ri#htto privac$, %hich the revered Mr. &ustice Brandeis considered as 'the most comprehensive of ri#hts and the ri#htmost valued b$ civili(ed men.' 1  Petitioner !ple pra$s that %e invalidate Administrative !rder No. )*+ entitled'Adoption of a National Computeri(ed dentification Reference S$stem' on t%o important constitutional #rounds, viz  - one, it is a usurpation of the po%er of Con#ress to le#islate, and t%o, it impermissibl$ intrudes on our citi(enr$s protected (one of privac$. /e #rant the petition for the ri#hts sou#ht to be vindicated b$ the petitioner need stron#er barriers a#ainst further erosion. A.!. No. )*+ %as issued b$ President idel 0. Ramos !n 1ecember 23, 2445 and reads as follo%s- A1!PT!N ! A NAT!NA6 C!MP7TER8E11ENTCAT!N REERENCE S9STEM/:EREAS, there is a need to provide ilipino citi(ens and forei#n residents %ith the facilit$ toconvenientl$ transact business %ith basic service and social securit$ providers and other #overnment instrumentalities;/:EREAS, this %ill re<uire a computeri(ed s$stem to properl$ and efficientl$ identif$ personssee in# basic services on social securit$ and reduce, if not totall$ eradicate fraudulenttransactions and misrepresentations;/:EREAS, a concerted and collaborative effort amon# the various basic services and socialsecurit$ providin# a#encies and other #overnment intrumentalities is re<uired to achieve such as$stem;N!/, T:ERE!RE, , 1E6 0. RAM!S, President of the Republic of the Philippines, b$ virtueof the po%ers vested in me b$ la%, do hereb$ direct the follo%in#-Sec. 2. Establishment of a National Compoterized Identification Reference System . Adecentrali(ed dentification Reference S$stem amon# the e$ basic services and social securit$providers is hereb$ established.Sec. 3. Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee . An nter=A#enc$ Coordinatin# Committee >ACC?to dra%=up the implementin# #uidelines and oversee the implementation of the S$stem is hereb$created, chaired b$ the E@ecutive Secretar$, %ith the follo%in# as members-:ead, Presidential Mana#ement Staff Secretar$, National Economic 1evelopment Authorit$Secretar$, 1epartment of the nterior and 6ocal overnmentSecretar$, 1epartment of :ealth Administrator, overnment Service nsurance S$stem, Administrator, Social Securit$ S$stem, 1   Administrator, National Statistics !fficeMana#in# 1irector, National Computer Center.Sec. ). Secretariat  . The National Computer Center >NCC? is hereb$ desi#nated as secretariat tothe ACC and as such shall provide administrative and technical support to the ACC.Sec. . Linkage Among Agencies . The Population Reference Number >PRN? #enerated b$ theNS! shall serve as the common reference number to establish a lin a#e amon# concerneda#encies. The ACC Secretariat shall coordinate %ith the different Social Securit$ and Services A#encies to establish the standards in the use of Biometrics Technolo#$ and in computer application desi#ns of their respective s$stems.Sec. . Condct of Information !issemination Campaign . The !ffice of the Press Secretar$, incoordination %ith the National Statistics !ffice, the SS and SSS as lead a#encies and other concerned a#encies shall underta e a massive tri=media information dissemination campai#n toeducate and raise public a%areness on the importance and use of the PRN and the SocialSecurit$ dentification Reference.Sec. 5. nding  . The funds necessar$ for the implementation of the s$stem shall be sourced fromthe respective bud#ets of the concerned a#encies.Sec. D. Sbmission of Reglar Reports . The NS!, SS and SSS shall submit re#ular reports tothe !ffice of the President throu#h the ACC, on the status of implementation of this underta in#.Sec. +. Effectivity  . This Administrative !rder shall ta e effect immediatel$.1!NE in the Cit$ of Manila, this 23th da$ of 1ecember in the $ear of !ur 6ord, Nineteen :undredand Ninet$=Si@.>S1.? 1E6 0. RAM!S A.!. No. )*+ %as published in four ne%spapers of #eneral circulation on &anuar$ 33, 244D and &anuar$ 3), 244D.!n &anuar$ 3, 244D, petitioner filed the instant petition a#ainst respondents, then E@ecutive Secretar$ RubenTorres and the heads of the #overnment a#encies, %ho as members of the nter=A#enc$ Coordinatin# Committee,are char#ed %ith the implementation of A.!. No. )*+. !n April +, 244D, %e issued a temporar$ restrainin# order enoinin# its implementation.Petitioner contends- A. T:E ESTAB6SNMENT ! A NAT!NA6 C!MP7TER8E1 1ENTCAT!N REERENCES9STEM REF7RES A 6ES6AT0E ACT. T:E SS7ANCE ! A.!. N!. )*+ B9 T:EPRES1ENT ! T:E REP7B6C ! T:E P:6PPNES S, T:ERE!RE, AN7NC!NSTT7T!NA6 7S7RPAT!N ! T:E 6ES6AT0E P!/ERS ! T:E C!NRESS! T:E REP7B6C ! T:E P:6PPNES.B. T:E APPR!PRAT!N ! P7B6C 7N1S B9 T:E PRES1ENT !R T:EMP6EMENTAT!N ! A.!. N!. )*+ S AN 7NC!NSTT7T!NA6 7S7RPAT!N ! T:EEGC67S0E R:T ! C!NRESS T! APPR!PRATE P7B6C 7N1S !REGPEN1T7RE.C. T:E MP6EMENTAT!N ! A.!. N!. )*+ NS1!7S69 6A9S T:E R!7N1/!RH !R AS9STEM /:C: /66 0!6ATE T:E B66 ! R:TS ENS:RNE1 N T:E C!NSTT7T!N. 2 Respondents counter=ar#ue- A. T:E NSTANT PETT!N S N!T A &7STCAB6E CASE AS /!761 /ARRANT A &71CA6RE0E/;B. A.!. N!. )*+ I2445J /AS SS7E1 /T:N T:E EGEC7T0E AN1 A1MNSTRAT0EP!/ERS ! T:E PRES1ENT /T:!7T ENCR!AC:N !N T:E 6ES6AT0E P!/ERS! C!NRESS;C. T:E 7N1S NECESSAR9 !R T:E MP6EMENTAT!N ! T:E 1ENTCAT!NREERENCE S9STEM MA9 BE S!7RCE1 R!M T:E B71ETS ! T:E C!NCERNE1 AENCES; 2  1. A.!. N!. )*+ I2445J PR!TECTS AN N1017A6S NTEREST N PR0AC9. 3 /e no% resolve. As is usual in constitutional liti#ation, respondents raise the threshold issues relatin# to the standin# to sue of thepetitioner and the usticiabilit$ of the case at bar. More specificall$, respondents aver that petitioner has no le#alinterest to uphold and that the implementin# rules of A.!. No. )*+ have $et to be promul#ated.These submissions do not deserve our s$mpathetic ear. Petitioner !ple is a distin#uished member of our Senate. As a Senator, petitioner is possessed of the re<uisite standin# to brin# suit raisin# the issue that the issuance of  A.!. No. )*+ is a usurpation of le#islative po%er. (  As ta@pa$er and member of the overnment Service nsuranceS$stem >SS?, petitioner can also impu#n the le#alit$ of the misali#nment of public funds and the misuse of SS funds to implement A.!. No. )*+. 5 The ripeness for adudication of the Petition at bar is not affected b$ the fact that the implementin# rules of A.!.No. )*+ have $et to be promul#ated. Petitioner !ple assails A.!. No. )*+ as invalid  per se  and as infirmed on itsface. :is action is not premature for the rules $et to be promul#ated cannot cure its fatal defects. Moreover, therespondents themselves have started the implementation of A.!. No. )*+ %ithout %aitin# for the rules. As earl$ as&anuar$ 24, 244D, respondent Social Securit$ S$stem >SSS? caused the publication of a notice to bid for themanufacture of the National dentification >1? card. 6  Respondent E@ecutive Secretar$ Torres has publicl$announced that representatives from the SS and the SSS have completed the #uidelines for the nationalidentification s$stem. 7  All si#nals from the respondents sho% their uns%ervin# %ill to implement A.!. No. )*+ and%e need not %ait for the formalit$ of the rules to pass ud#ment on its constitutionalit$. n this li#ht, the dissentersinsistence that %e ti#hten the rule on standin# is not a commendable stance as its result %ould be to throttle animportant constitutional principle and a fundamental ri#ht./e no% come to the core issues. Petitioner claims that A.!. No. )*+ is not a mere administrative order but a la%and hence, be$ond the po%er of the President to issue. :e alle#es that A.!. No. )*+ establishes a s$stem of identification that is all=encompassin# in scope, affects the life and libert$ of ever$ ilipino citi(en and forei#nresident, and more particularl$, violates their ri#ht to privac$.Petitioners sedulous concern for the E@ecutive not to trespass on the la%ma in# domain of Con#ress isunderstandable. The blurrin# of the demarcation line bet%een the po%er of the 6e#islature to ma e la%s and thepo%er of the E@ecutive to e@ecute la%s %ill disturb their delicate balance of po%er and cannot be allo%ed. :ence,the e@ercise b$ one branch of #overnment of po%er belon#in# to another %ill be #iven a stricter scrutin$ b$ thisCourt.The line that delineates 6e#islative and E@ecutive po%er is not indistinct. 6e#islative po%er is 'the authorit$, under the Constitution, to ma e la%s, and to alter and repeal them.' 8  The Constitution, as the %ill of the people in their ori#inal, soverei#n and unlimited capacit$, has vested this po%er in the Con#ress of the Philippines. 9  The #rant of le#islative po%er to Con#ress is broad, #eneral and comprehensive. 1)  The le#islative bod$ possesses plenar$po%er for all purposes of civil #overnment. 11  An$ po%er, deemed to be le#islative b$ usa#e and tradition, isnecessaril$ possessed b$ Con#ress, unless the Constitution has lod#ed it else%here. 12  n fine, e@cept as limitedb$ the Constitution, either e@pressl$ or impliedl$, le#islative po%er embraces all subects and e@tends to mattersof #eneral concern or common interest. 13 /hile Con#ress is vested %ith the po%er to enact la%s, the President e@ecutes the la%s. 1(  The e@ecutive po%er is vested in the Presidents. 15  t is #enerall$ defined as the po%er to enforce and administer the la%s. 16  t is thepo%er of carr$in# the la%s into practical operation and enforcin# their due observance. 17  As head of the E@ecutive 1epartment, the President is the Chief E@ecutive. :e represents the #overnment as a%hole and sees to it that all la%s are enforced b$ the officials and emplo$ees of his department. 18  :e has controlover the e@ecutive department, bureaus and offices. This means that he has the authorit$ to assume directl$ thefunctions of the e@ecutive department, bureau and office or interfere %ith the discretion of its officials.  19  Corollar$to the po%er of control, the President also has the dut$ of supervisin# the enforcement of la%s for themaintenance of #eneral peace and public order. Thus, he is #ranted administrative po%er over bureaus andoffices under his control to enable him to dischar#e his duties effectivel$. 2)  Administrative po%er is concerned %ith the %or of appl$in# policies and enforcin# orders as determined b$proper #overnmental or#ans. 21  t enables the President to fi@ a uniform standard of administrative efficienc$ andchec the official conduct of his a#ents. 22  To this end, he can issue administrative orders, rules and re#ulations. Prescindin# from these precepts, %e hold that A.!. No. )*+ involves a subect that is not appropriate to becovered b$ an administrative order. An administrative order is- 3  Sec. ).  Administrative #rders . K Acts of the President %hich relate to particular aspects of #overnmental operation in pursuance of his duties as administrative head shall be promul#ated inadministrative orders. 23  An administrative order is an ordinance issued b$ the President %hich relates to specific aspects in theadministrative operation of #overnment. t must be in harmon$ %ith the la% and should be for the solepurpose of implementin# the la% and carr$in# out the le#islative polic$. 2(  /e reect the ar#ument that A.!. No. )*+ implements the le#islative polic$ of the Administrative Code of 24+D. The Code is a #eneralla% and 'incorporates in a unified document the maor structural, functional and procedural principles of #overnance.' 25  and 'embodies chan#es in administrative structure and procedures desi#ned to serve thepeople.' 26  The Code is divided into seven >D? Boo s- Boo  deals %ith Soverei#nt$ and eneral Administration, Boo  %ith the 1istribution of Po%ers of the three branches of overnment, Boo  onthe !ffice of the President, Boo 0 on the E@ecutive Branch, Boo 0 on Constitutional Commissions,Boo 0 on National overnment Bud#etin#, and Boo 0 on Administrative Procedure. These Boo scontain provisions on the or#ani(ation, po%ers and #eneral administration of the e@ecutive, le#islative and udicial branches of #overnment, the or#ani(ation and administration of departments, bureaus and officesunder the e@ecutive branch, the or#ani(ation and functions of the Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional bodies, the rules on the national #overnment bud#et, as %ell as #uideline for the e@erciseb$ administrative a#encies of <uasi=le#islative and <uasi=udicial po%ers. The Code covers both theinternal administration of #overnment, i  . e$  internal or#ani(ation, personnel and recruitment, supervisionand discipline, and the effects of the functions performed b$ administrative officials on private individualsor parties outside #overnment. 27 t cannot be simplisticall$ ar#ued that A.!. No. )*+ merel$ implements the Administrative Code of 24+D. testablishes for the first time a National Computeri(ed dentification Reference S$stem. Such a S$stem re<uires adelicate adustment of various contendin# state policies K the primac$ of national securit$, the e@tent of privac$interest a#ainst dossier=#atherin# b$ #overnment, the choice of policies, etc. ndeed, the dissent of Mr. &usticeMendo(a states that the A.!. No. )*+ involves the all=important freedom of thou#ht. As said administrative order redefines the parameters of some basic ri#hts of our citi(enr$ vis-a-vis  the State as %ell as the line that separatesthe administrative po%er of the President to ma e rules and the le#islative po%er of Con#ress, it ou#ht to beevident that it deals %ith a subect that should be covered b$ la%.Nor is it correct to ar#ue as the dissenters do that A.1. No. )*+ is not a la% because it confers no ri#ht, imposesno dut$, affords no proctection, and creates no office. 7nder A.!. No. )*+, a citi(en cannot transact business %ith#overnment a#encies deliverin# basic services to the people %ithout the contemplated identification card. Nociti(en %ill refuse to #et this identification card for no one can avoid dealin# %ith #overnment. t is thus clear asda$li#ht that %ithout the 1, a citi(en %ill have difficult$ e@ercisin# his ri#hts and eno$in# his privile#es. iven thisrealit$, the contention that A.!. No. )*+ #ives no ri#ht and imposes no dut$ cannot stand. A#ain, %ith due respect, the dissentin# opinions undul$ e@pand the limits of administrative le#islation andconse<uentl$ erodes the plenar$ po%er of Con#ress to ma e la%s. This is contrar$ to the established approachdefinin# the traditional limits of administrative le#islation. As %ell stated b$ isher- '. . . Man$ re#ulations ho%ever,bear directl$ on the public. t is here that administrative le#islation must he restricted in its scope and application.Re#ulations are not supposed to be a substitute for the #eneral polic$=ma in# that Con#ress enacts in the form of a public la%. Althou#h administrative re#ulations are entitled to respect, the authorit$ to prescribe rules andre#ulations is not an independent source of po%er to ma e la%s.' 28  Assumin#, ar#uendo, that A.!. No. )*+ need not be the subect of a la%, still it cannot pass constitutional muster as an administrative le#islation because faciall$ it violates the ri#ht to privac$. The essence of privac$ is the 'ri#htto be let alone.' 29  n the 245 case of ris%old v. Connecticut, 3)  the 7nited States Supreme Court #ave moresubstance to the ri#ht of privac$ %hen it ruled that the ri#ht has a constitutional foundation. t held that there is ari#ht of privac$ %hich can be found %ithin the penumbras of the irst, Third, ourth, ifth and Ninth Amendments, 31   viz  -Specific #uarantees in the Bill of Ri#hts have penumbras formed b$ emanations from these#uarantees that help #ive them life and substance . . . various #uarantees create (ones of privac$. The ri#ht of association contained in the penumbra of the irst Amendment is one, as %ehave seen. The Third Amendment in its prohibition a#ainst the <uarterin# of soldiers 'in an$house' in time of peace %ithout the consent of the o%ner is another facet of that privac$. Theourth Amendment e@plicitl$ affirms the ri#ht of the people to be secure in their persons, housesand effects, a#ainst unreasonable searches and sei(ures.' The ifth Amendment in its Self=ncrimination Clause enables the citi(en to create a (one of privac$ %hich #overnment ma$ notforce him to surrender to his detriment. The Ninth Amendment provides- 'The enumeration in theConstitution, of certain ri#hts, shall not be construed to den$ or dispara#e others retained b$ thepeople.'n the 245+ case of %orfe v& %tc  , 32  %e adopted the ris%old rulin# that there is a constitutional ri#ht toprivac$. Spea in# thru Mr. &ustice, later Chief &ustice, Enri<ue ernando, %e held- 4
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