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MA. CARMEN G. AQUINO-SARMIENTO, petitioner, vs. MANUEL L.

MORATO (in his capacity as Chairman of


the MTRCB) and the MOVIE & TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD, respondents.
Aquino Vs Morato
FACTS : In February 1989, petitioner, herself a member of respondent Movie and Television Review and
Classification Board (MTRCB), wrote its records officer requesting that she be allowed to examine the board's
records pertaining to the voting slips accomplished by the individual board members after a review of the movies
and television productions. It is on the basis of said slips that films are either banned, cut or classified accordingly.
Petitioner's request was eventually denied by respondent Morato on the ground that whenever the members of the
board sit in judgment over a film, their decisions as reflected in the individual voting slips partake the nature of
conscience votes and as such, are purely and completely private and personal On February 27, 1989, respondent
Morato called an executive meeting of the MTRCB to discuss, among others, the issue raised by petitioner. In said
meeting, seventeen (17) members of the board voted to declare their individual voting records as classified
documents which rendered the same inaccessible to the public without clearance from the chairman. Thereafter,
respondent Morato denied petitioner's request to examine the voting slips. However, it was only much later, i.e., on
July 27, 1989, that respondent Board issued Resolution No. 10-89 which declared as confidential, private and
personal, the decision of the reviewing committee and the voting slips of the members.
ISSUE : WON Resolution No. 10-89 is valid
HELD : The term private has been defined as "belonging to or concerning, an individual person, company, or
interest"; whereas, public means "pertaining to, or belonging to, or affecting a nation, state, or community at large.
As may be gleaned from the decree (PD 1986) creating the respondent classification board, there is no doubt that its
very existence is public is character. it is an office created to serve public interest. It being the case, respondents can
lay no valid claim to privacy. The right to privacy belongs to the individual acting in his private capacity and not to a
governmental agency or officers tasked with, and acting in, the discharge of public duties. the decisions of the Board
and the individual voting slips accomplished by the members concerned are acts made pursuant to their official
functions, and as such, are neither personal nor private in nature but rather public in character. They are, therefore,
public records access to which is guaranteed to the citizenry by no less than the fundamental law of the land
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G.R. No. 74930 February 13, 1989 RICARDO VALMONTE, OSWALDO CARBONELL, DOY DEL CASTILLO,
ROLANDO BARTOLOME, LEO OBLIGAR, JUN GUTIERREZ, REYNALDO BAGATSING, JUN "NINOY"
ALBA, PERCY LAPID, ROMMEL CORRO and ROLANDO FADUL, petitioners, vs. FELICIANO BELMONTE,
JR., respondent.
Valmonte Vs Belmonte
FACTS : Petitioners in this special civil action for mandamus with preliminary injunction invoke their right to
information and pray that respondent be directed: (a) to furnish petitioners the list of the names of the Batasang
Pambansa members belonging to the UNIDO and PDP-Laban who were able to secure clean loans immediately
before the February 7 election thru the intercession/marginal note of the then First Lady Imelda Marcos; and/or (b)
to furnish petitioners with certified true copies of the documents evidencing their respective loans; and/or (c) to
allow petitioners access to the public records for the subject information On June 20, 1986, apparently not having
yet received the reply of the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) Deputy General Counsel, petitioner
Valmonte wrote respondent another letter, saying that for failure to receive a reply, "(W)e are now considering
ourselves free to do whatever action necessary within the premises to pursue our desired objective in pursuance of
public interest."
ISSUE : WON Valmonte, et. al. are entitled as citizens and taxpayers to inquire upon GSIS records on behest loans
given by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos to Batasang Pambansa members belonging to the UNIDO and PDPLaban political parties.
HELD : Respondent has failed to cite any law granting the GSIS the privilege of confidentiality as regards the
documents subject of this petition. His position is apparently based merely on considerations of policy. The judiciary
does not settle policy issues. The Court can only declare what the law is, and not what the law should be. Under our
system of government, policy issues are within the domain of the political branches of the government, and of the

people themselves as the repository of all State power. The concerned borrowers themselves may not succeed if they
choose to invoke their right to privacy, considering the public offices they were holding at the time the loans were
alleged to have been granted. It cannot be denied that because of the interest they generate and their newsworthiness,
public figures, most especially those holding responsible positions in government, enjoy a more limited right to
privacy as compared to ordinary individuals, their actions being subject to closer public scrutiny The "transactions"
used here I suppose is generic and, therefore, it can cover both steps leading to a contract, and already a
consummated contract, Considering the intent of the framers of the Constitution which, though not binding upon the
Court, are nevertheless persuasive, and considering further that government-owned and controlled corporations,
whether performing proprietary or governmental functions are accountable to the people, the Court is convinced that
transactions entered into by the GSIS, a government-controlled corporation created by special legislation are within
the ambit of the people's right to be informed pursuant to the constitutional policy of transparency in government
dealings. Although citizens are afforded the right to information and, pursuant thereto, are entitled to "access to
official records," the Constitution does not accord them a right to compel custodians of official records to prepare
lists, abstracts, summaries and the like in their desire to acquire information on matters of public concern.
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G.R. No. L-72119 May 29, 1987 VALENTIN L. LEGASPI, petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION,
respondent.
Legaspi Vs Civil Serv. Comm.
FACTS : The fundamental right of the people to information on matters of public concern is invoked in this special
civil action for mandamus instituted by petitioner Valentin L. Legaspi against the Civil Service Commission. The
respondent had earlier denied Legaspi's request for information on the civil service eligibilities of certain persons
employed as sanitarians in the Health Department of Cebu City. These government employees, Julian Sibonghanoy
and Mariano Agas, had allegedly represented themselves as civil service eligibles who passed the civil service
examinations for sanitarians.
ISSUE : WON the petitioner has legal to access government records to validate the civil service eligibilities of the
Health Department employees
HELD : The constitutional guarantee to information on matters of public concern is not absolute. It does not open
every door to any and all information. Under the Constitution, access to official records, papers, etc., are "subject to
limitations as may be provided by law" The law may therefore exempt certain types of information from public
scrutiny, such as those affecting national security It follows that, in every case, the availability of access to a
particular public record must be circumscribed by the nature of the information sought, i.e., (a) being of public
concern or one that involves public interest, and, (b) not being exempted by law from the operation of the
constitutional guarantee. The threshold question is, therefore, whether or not the information sought is of public
interest or public concern. This question is first addressed to the government agency having custody of the desired
information. However, as already discussed, this does not give the agency concerned any discretion to grant or deny
access. In case of denial of access, the government agency has the burden of showing that the information requested
is not of public concern, or, if it is of public concern, that the same has been exempted by law from the operation of
the guarantee. To hold otherwise will serve to dilute the constitutional right. As aptly observed, ". . . the government
is in an advantageous position to marshall and interpret arguments against release . . ." (87 Harvard Law Review
1511 [1974]). To safeguard the constitutional right, every denial of access by the government agency concerned is
subject to review by the courts, and in the proper case, access may be compelled by a writ of Mandamus Public
office being a public trust it is the legitimate concern of citizens to ensure that government positions requiring civil
service eligibility are occupied only by persons who are eligibles. Public officers are at all times accountable to the
people even as to their eligibilities for their respective positions. In the instant, case while refusing to confirm or
deny the claims of eligibility, the respondent has failed to cite any provision in the Civil Service Law which would
limit the petitioner's right to know who are, and who are not, civil service eligibles. We take judicial notice of the
fact that the names of those who pass the civil service examinations, as in bar examinations and licensure
examinations for various professions, are released to the public. Hence, there is nothing secret about one's civil
service eligibility, if actually possessed. Petitioner's request is, therefore, neither unusual nor unreasonable. And
when, as in this case, the government employees concerned claim to be civil service eligibles, the public, through
any citizen, has a right to verify their professed eligibilities from the Civil Service Commission. The civil service
eligibility of a sanitarian being of public concern, and in the absence of express limitations under the law upon

access to the register of civil service eligibles for said position, the duty of the respondent Commission to confirm or
deny the civil service eligibility of any person occupying the position becomes imperative. Mandamus, therefore lies
SSS Employee Asso. v CA 175 SCRA 686 (July 28, 1989)
Facts: The petitioners went on strike after the SSS failed to act upon the unions demands concerning the
implementation of their CBA. SSS filed before the court action for damages with prayer for writ of preliminary
injunction against petitioners for staging an illegal strike. The court issued a temporary restraining order pending the
resolution of the application for preliminary injunction while petitioners filed a motion to dismiss alleging the
courts lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. Petitioners contend that the court made reversible error in taking
cognizance on the subject matter since the jurisdiction lies on the DOLE or the National Labor Relations
Commission as the case involves a labor dispute. The SSS contends on one hand that the petitioners are covered by
the Civil Service laws, rules and regulation thus have no right to strike. They are not covered by the NLRC or DOLE
therefore the court may enjoin the petitioners from striking.
Issue: Whether or not SSS employers have the right to strike
Whether or not the CA erred in taking jurisdiction over the subject matter.
Held: The Constitutional provisions enshrined on Human Rights and Social Justice provides guarantee among
workers with the right to organize and conduct peaceful concerted activities such as strikes. On one hand, Section 14
of E.O No. 180 provides that the Civil Service law and rules governing concerted activities and strikes in the
government service shall be observed,
subject to any legislation that may be enacted by Congress referring to Memorandum Circular No. 6, s. 1987 of the
Civil Service Commission which states that prior to the enactment by Congress of applicable laws concerning
strike by government employees enjoins under pain of administrative sanctions, all government officers and
employees from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves, walk-outs and other forms of mass action which will
result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public service. Therefore in the absence of any legislation allowing
govt. employees to strike they are prohibited from doing so.
In Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 180 the employees in the civil service are denominated as government
employees and that the SSS is one such government-controlled corporation with an original charter, having been
created under R.A. No. 1161, its employees are part of the civil service and are covered by the Civil Service
Commissions memorandum prohibiting strikes.
Neither the DOLE nor the NLRC has jurisdiction over the subject matter but instead it is the Public Sector LaborManagement Council which is not granted by law authority to issue writ of injunction in labor disputes within its
jurisdiction thus the resort of SSS before the general court for the issuance of a writ of injunction to enjoin the strike
is appropriate
MPSTA vs. Laguio
Facts:
The series of events that touched off these cases started with the so-called "mass action" undertaken by some 800
public school teachers, among them members of the petitioning associations in both cases, on September 17, 1990 to
"dramatize and highlight" 1 the teachers' plight resulting from the alleged failure of the public authorities to act upon
grievances that had time and again been brought to the latter's attention.
Issue: Are employees in the public service prohibited from forming unions and holding strikes?

Held:
these mass actions were to all intents and purposes a strike; they constituted a concerted and unauthorized
stoppage of, or absence from, work which it was the teachers duty to perform, undertaken for essentially economic
reasons, should not principally resolve the present case, as the underlying facts are allegedly not identical.

City of Manila vs Chinese Community of Manila


City of Manila vs Chinese Community of Manila , GR 14355 (1D), 31 October 1919
FACTS: Petitioner (City of Manila) filed a petition praying that certain lands be expropriated for the purpose of
constructing a public improvement namely, the extension of Rizal Avenue, Manila and claiming that such
expropriation was necessary.
Herein defendants, on the other hand, alleged (a) that no necessity existed for said expropriation and (b) that the land
in question was a cemetery, which had been used as such for many years, and was covered with sepulchres and
monuments, and that the same should not be converted into a street for public purposes.
The lower court ruled that there was no necessity for the expropriation of the particular strip of land in question.
Petitioner therefore assails the decision of the lower court claiming that it (petitioner) has the authority to
expropriate any land it may desire; that the only function of the court in such proceedings is to ascertain the value of
the land in question; that neither the court nor the owners of the land can inquire into the advisable purpose of the
expropriation or ask any questions concerning the necessities therefor; that the courts are mere appraisers of the land
involved in expropriation proceedings, and, when the value of the land is fixed by the method adopted by the law, to
render a judgment in favor of the defendant for its value.
ISSUE: W/N the courts may inquire into and hear proof upon the necessity of the expropriation?
HELD: Yes. The courts have the power to restrict the exercise of eminent domain to the actual reasonable
necessities of the case and for the purposes designated by the law. When the municipal corporation or entity attempts
to exercise the authority conferred, it must comply with the conditions accompanying such authority. The necessity
for conferring the authority upon a municipal corporation to exercise the right of eminent domain is, without
question, within the power of the legislature. But whether or not the municipal corporation or entity is exercising the
right in a particular case under the conditions imposed by the general authority, is a question that the courts have the
right to inquire into.