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Socorro Ramirez vs. CA and Garcia [G.R. No. 93833.

September 28, 1995]

15AUG

Ponente: KAPUNAN, J.
FACTS: Commented [DUP1]: Senator Padilla:
Petitioner made a secret recording of the conversation that was part of a civil case filed in the Regional So that when it is intercepted or recorded, the element of
secrecy would not appear to be material. Now, suppose,
Trial Court of Quezon City alleging that the private respondent, Ester S. Garcia, vexed, insulted and Your Honor, the recording is not made by all the parties but
humiliated her in a hostile and furious mood and in a manner offensive to petitioners dignity and by some parties and involved not criminal cases that would
be mentioned under Section 3 but would cover, for example
personality, contrary to morals, good customs and public policy.. Private respondent filed a criminal civil cases or special proceedings whereby a recording is
case before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City for violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled An Act to made not necessarily by all the parties but perhaps by some
in an effort to show the intent of the parties because the
prohibit and penalize wire tapping and other related violations of private communication, and other actuation of the parties prior, simultaneous even subsequent
purposes. Petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the Information. The trial court granted the said motion. to the contract or the act may be indicative of their intention.
Suppose there is such a recording, would you say, Your
The private respondent filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari with the Supreme Court, which referred Honor, that the intention is to cover it within the purview of
the case to the Court of Appeals in a Resolution. Respondent Court of Appeals promulgated its decision this bill or outside?
declaring the trial courts order as null and void, after subsequently denied the motion for Senator Taada: That is covered by the purview of this bill,
reconsideration by the petitioner. Your Honor.
Senator Padilla:
ISSUE: Even if the record should be used not in the prosecution of
Whether or not the applicable provision of Republic Act 4200 does not apply to the taping of a private offense but as evidence to be used in Civil Cases or special
proceedings?
conversation by one of the parties to the conversation. Senator Taada:
That is right. This is a complete ban on tape recorded
conversations taken without the authorization of all the
HELD: parties.
NO. Petition denied. Costs against petitioner. Senator Padilla: Now, would that be reasonable, Your
Honor?
RATIO: Senator Taada:
I believe it is reasonable because it is not sporting to record
Legislative intent is determined principally from the language of the statute. the observation of one without his knowing it and then using
The unambiguity of the express words of the provision, taken together with the above-quoted it against him. It is not fair, it is not sportsmanlike. If the
purpose; Your honor, is to record the intention of the parties.
deliberations from the Congressional Record, therefore plainly supports the view held by the I believe that all the parties should know that the
respondent court that the provision seeks to penalize even those privy to the private communications. observations are being recorded.
Where the law makes no distinctions, one does not distinguish.
Commented [DUP2]: "It has been said that innocent people
have nothing to fear from their conversations being
[P]etitioners contention that the phrase private communication in Section 1 of R.A. 4200 does not overheard. But this statement ignores the usual nature of
include private conversations narrows the ordinary meaning of the word communication to a point conversations as well as the undeniable fact that most, if not
all, civilized people have some aspects of their lives they do
of absurdity. not wish to expose. Free conversations are often
characterized by exaggerations, obscenity, agreeable
falsehoods, and the expression of anti-social desires of views
not intended to be taken seriously. The right to the privacy of
communication, among others, has expressly been assured
by our Constitution. Needless to state here, the framers of
our Constitution must have recognized the nature of
conversations between individuals and the significance of
man's spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect.
They must have known that part of the pleasures and
satisfactions of life are to be found in the unaudited, and free
exchange of communication between individuals free
from every unjustifiable intrusion by whatever means."