Ople v. Torres 292 SCRA 141. (1998) G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998

Fact: The petitioner seek the attention of the court to prevent the shrinking of the right to privacy, Petitioner prays that the court  invalidate Administrative Order No. 308 entitled “Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System” on two important constitutional grounds, viz: one, it is a usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate, and two, it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenry’s protected zone of privacy.adrianantazo.wordpress.com

Issue: Whether the implementation of AO No. 308 violates the Rights to Privacy enshrined in the constitution?adrianantazo.wordpress.com

Held:  Yes, A.O. No. 308 cannot pass constitutional muster as an administrative legislation because facially it violates the right to privacy. The essence of privacy is the “right to be let alone.” The right to privacy as such is accorded recognition independently of its identification with liberty; in itself, it is fully deserving of constitutional protection. The potential for misuse of the data to be gathered under A.O. No. 308 cannot be underplayed. The right to privacy is one of the most threatened rights of man living in a mass society. The threats emanate from various sources — governments, journalists, employers, social scientists, etc.  In the case at bar, the threat comes from the executive branch of government which by issuing A.O. No. 308 pressures the people to surrender their privacy by giving information about themselves on the pretext that it will facilitate delivery of basic services. Given the record-keeping power of the computer, only the indifferent fail to perceive the danger that A.O. No. 308 gives the government the power to compile a devastating dossier against unsuspecting citizens. It is timely to take note of the well-worded warning of Kalvin, Jr., “the disturbing result could be that everyone will live burdened by an unerasable record of his past and his limitations. In a way, the threat is that because of its record-keeping, the society will have lost its benign capacity to forget.” 89 Oblivious to this counsel, the dissents still say we should not be too quick in labelling the right to privacy as a fundamental right. We close with the statement that the right to privacy was not engraved in our Constitution for flattery.    adrianantazo.wordpress.com


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