Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 2

In Re: Anonymous Letter-Complaint Against Atty. Miguel Morales, Clerk of Court, MeTC of Manila 19 November 2008 Austria-Martinez, J.

Note: This is a consolidation of two administrative cases, but I believe it is only the first one (which deals with privacy) that is relevant for our purposes, and so it is the only one Ive included in this digest. FACTS: The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) received an unsigned, undated letter of complaint regarding Atty. Miguel Morales of the Office of the Clerk of Court (OCC). The letter alleged that Atty. Morales was consuming his work hours filing and attending to personal cases, and was using office supplies, equipment and utilities. Deputy Court Administrator (DCA) Reuben Dela Cruz conducted a spot investigation and gained access to Morales personal computer. Pleadings to two of Atty. Morales personal cases were found among the computer files. The computer was seized and taken to the custody of the OCA. Morales filed a motion for the release of his computer. The Court granted his motion but ordered that the files be retrieved first. Morales filed a letter-complaint addressed to then CJ Davide against DCA Dela Cruz for alleged conspiracy and culpable violation of the Consti. Morales asserted that the raid conducted by DCA Dela Cruz without search and seizure orders violated his right to privacy and the articles seized should therefore be considered inadmissible. ISSUE: 1. Are the pleadings found in Atty. Morales personal computer admissible in the administrative case against him? RULING: DISMISSED for insufficiency of evidence 1. No Article III Section 2 of the Constitution enshrines the inviolable right of the people to be secure in their persons and properties against unreasonable searches and seizures. Additionally, Article III Section 3(2) bars the admission of evidence obtained in violation of such right. Any violation of this right renders the evidence obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. One of the exceptions to the rule is consented warrantless search. DCA Dela Cruz claims that they were able to obtain the pleadings with Atty. Morales consent. However, the Court finds his assertion insufficient to make the present case fall under the exception. Consent to a search must be unequivocal, specific, intelligently given and uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. It must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. To constitute a valid consent, it must be shown that: (1) the right exists, (2) that the persons involved had the knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the existence of the right, and (3) that the person had actual intention to relinquish the right. In this case, it was not shown that Atty. Morales had an actual intention to relinquish his right. He may have agreed to opening his computer and printing the files during the spot investigation, but he immediately filed an administrative case against the DCA and his team, specifically invoking his right against unreasonable

searches and seizures.