Public servants have limited privacy rights


BAGUIO CITY — Atty. Emmanuel Fernando of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Department of Philosophy and College of Law discussed the privacy rights of a person as he becomes a public servant, on November 14 at the UP Baguio College of Social Sciences.

According to Fernando, “A public servant has lost [part of] his right to privacy the moment he became a public servant.”

As an example and a support to his point, he used the case of Ayer Productions Pty. Ltd. and McElroy Films Productions vs. Hon. Ignacio Capulong and Juan Ponce Enrile or more commonly known as the Ayer vs. Capulong case.

In the said case, Enrile demanded that his name be excluded from the film by Ayer Productions titled “The Four Day Revolution”, which centered on the historic struggle of the Filipinos during the EDSA revolution.

Then President Fidel Ramos already approved the film, which was supposed to have a total running time of six hours and was presented through a documentary-drama style.

Fernando then went on to discuss the court ruling, which stated that the topic of the film was of public interest and presents no present and clear danger since neither Enrile nor the respondent judge knew what the finished film would look like.

He then proceeded to explain that Enrile was a public figure and that gives the mass a valid reason for being interested in his life thus, supporting his statement that a public person has limited rights to his privacy.

Fernando also discussed different concepts under the right to privacy including the RA 9995 or the Photo and Video Voyeurism Act, which is the result of the Hayden Kho scandal cases.

The event was spearheaded by the UP Baguio Philosophy Circle and was one of the two forums held to celebrate International Philosophy Week. #


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