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Griswold vs Connecticut

Brief Fact Summary. Appellants were charged with violating a statute preventing
the distribution of advice to married couples regarding the prevention of conception.
Appellants claimed that the statute violated the 14th Amendment to the United
States Constitution.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The right of a married couple to privacy is protected by

the Constitution.

Appellant Griswold, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of

Connecticut and Appellant Buxton, a licensed physician who served as
Medical Director for the League at its Center in New Haven, were arrested
and charged with giving information, instruction, and medical advice to
married persons on means of preventing conception.
Appellants were found guilty as accessories and fined $100 each. Appellants
appealed on the theory that the accessory statute as applied violated the
14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Appellants claimed
standing based on their professional relationship with the married people
they advised.
Issue: Does the Constitution provide for a privacy right for married couples?
Held. YES

The First Amendment has a penumbra where privacy is protected from

governmental intrusion, which although not expressly included in the
Amendment, is necessary to make the express guarantees meaningful.
The association of marriage is a privacy right older than the Bill of Rights,
and the States effort to control marital activities in this case is unnecessarily
broad and therefore impinges on protected Constitutional freedoms.
Though the Constitution does not explicitly protect a general right to privacy,
the various guarantees within the Bill of Rights create penumbras, or zones,
that establish a right to privacy.
Together, the First, Third, Fourth, and Ninth Amendments, create a new
constitutional right, the right to privacy in marital relations.
Under the rulings of Meyer and Pierce, and other 1st Amendment cases, the
implicit right to do things associated with those Amendments has been
The same rule should apply here: the 3rd Amendment stops soldiers (from
quartering soldiers in ones home, the 5th Amendment enables persons to a
zone of privacy which the govt may not force someone to surrender to their
detriment, and the 9th Amendment explicitly says The enumeration in the
Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage
others retained by the people.
o read: the explicit and heretofore decided implicit guarantees in the Bill
of Rights cannot be used against people)
Morfe vs Mutuc
The Law: Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act of 1960 (RA No. 3019)

Every public officer within 30 days after its approval or after his
assumption of office and within the month of January of every year
thereafter, as well as upon termination of his position, shall prepare
and file with the head of the office to which he belongs, a true
detailed and sworn statement of assets and liabilities, including a
statement of the amounts and sources of his income, the amounts of
his personal and family expenses and the amount of income taxes paid
for the next preceding calendar year.
Plaintiff Morfe, a judge of a CFI, contends that the periodical submission
within the month of January of every other year thereafter of their sworn
statement of assets and liabilities (SAL) is violative of due process as an
oppressive exercise of police power and as an unlawful invasion of the
constitutional right to privacy implicit on the ban against unreasonable search
and seizure construed together with the prohibition against self-incrimination.
Executive Secretary and DOJ Sec:

Acceptance of public position = voluntary assumption of obligation

Merely seeks to adopt a reasonable measure of insuring the interest of

general welfare in honest and clean public service and is therefore a
legitimate exercise of police power.
CFI of Pangasinan held that the requirement exceeds the permissible limit of
the police power and is thus offensive to the due process clause
Whether the periodical submission of SAL for public officers is:
1. An oppressive exercise of police power;
2. Violative of due process and an unlawful invasion of the right to privacy
implicit in the ban against unreasonable search and seizure construed together with
the prohibition against self-incrimination;
3. An insult to the personal integrity and official dignity of public officials.
Ruling: Decision reversed.
1. Presumption of validity
Plaintiff asserted that the submission of SAL was a reasonable requirement
for employment so a public officer can make of record his assets and
liabilities upon assumption of office. Plaintiff did not present evidence to rebut
the presumption of validity.
If the liberty involved were freedom of the mind or the person, the standard
for the validity of governmental acts is much more rigorous and exacting, but
where the liberty curtailed affects the most rights of property, the permissible
scope of regulatory measure is wider. (Ermita-Malate Hotel v. Mayor of
1. Exercise of Police power and the defense provided by the Due Process Clause
inherent and plenary power in the state which enables it to prohibit all
things hurtful to the comfort, safety and welfare of society (Justice Malcolm)
The power of sovereignty, the power to govern men and things within the
limits of its domain (Justice Taney, going beyond curtailment of rights)
Anyone with an alleged grievance regarding the extension of police power to
regulatory action affecting persons in public or private life can invoke the
protection of due process.
It has been held that due process may be relied upon by public official to
protect the security of tenure which in a limited sense is analogous to
property. Therefore he could also use due process to strike down what he
considers as an infringement of his liberty.
Under the Constitution, the challenged provision is allowable as long as due
process is observed.
The standard for due process is REASONABLENESS. Test: Official
action must not outrun the bounds of reason and result in sheer
It would be to dwell in the realm of abstractions and to ignore the harsh and
compelling realities of public service with its ever-present temptation to heed
the call of greed and avarice to condemn as arbitrary and oppressive a
requirement as that imposed upon public officials and employees to file such
sworn statement of assets and liabilities every two years after having done
so upon assuming officeThere was therefore no unconstitutional exercise of
police power.
1. Right to privacy
Right to be let alone

It cannot be said that the challenged statutory provision calls for

disclosure of information which infringes on the right of a person to
privacy. It cannot be denied that the rational relationship such a requirement
possesses with the objective of a valid statute goes very far in precluding
assent to an objection of such character. This is not to say that a public
officer, by virtue of position he holds, is bereft of constitutional protection; it
is only to emphasize that in subjecting him to such a further compulsory
revelation of his assets and liabilities, including the statement of the amounts
of personal and family expenses, and the amount of income taxes paid for
the next preceding calendar year, there is no unconstitutional
intrusion into what otherwise would be a private sphere.
1. Unreasonable Search and Seizure
The constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure does
not give freedom from testimonial compulsion.
1. Right against self-incrimination
We are not aware of any constitutional provision designed to protect a mans
conduct from judicial inquiry, or aid him in fleeing from justice.
1. Insult to personal integrity and official dignity
Only congressional power or competence, not the wisdom of the action taken,
mey be the basis for declaring a statute invalid.
In Re wenceslao Laureta

Atty. Wenceslao Laureta's Motion for Reconsideration of the Per Curiam

Resolution of this Court promulgated on March 12, 1987, finding him guilty of
grave professional misconduct and suspending him indefinitely from the
practice of law
Atty. Laureta maintains that the Order of suspension without hearing violated
his right to life and due process of law and by reason thereof the Order is null
and void
o acts of misconduct imputed to him are without basis; that the charge
against him that it was he who had circulated to the press copies of the
Complaint filed before the Tanodbayan is unfounded
o he was not responsible for such "misleading headline;
o he takes exception to the accusation that he has manifested lack of
respect for and exposed to public ridicule the two highest Courts of the
land, all he did having been to call attention to errors or injustice
committed in the promulgation of judgments or orders;
Eva Maravilla-Ilustre also raises as her main ground the alleged deprivation
of her constitutional right to due process.
o she should be given every opportunity to present her side
o learned that the Resolution of the First Division was arrived at without
any deliberation by its members;
Issue: Whether or not the motion for reconsiderations will be reversed
Held: NO.

.What due process abhors is absolute lack of opportunity to be heard

Atty. Laureta was given sufficient opportunity to inform this Court of the
reasons why he should not be subjected to dispose action
Eva Maravilla-Ilustre was also given a like opportunity to explain her
statements, conduct, acts and charges against the Court and/or the official
actions of the Justices concerned.
Both were afforded ample latitude to explain matters fully.
Atty. Laureta reiterates his allegations in his Answer to the show-cause
Resolution that his professional services were terminated by Ilustre after the
dismissal of the main petition by this Court; that he had nothing to do with
the contemptuous letters to the individual Justices; and that he is not Ilustre's
counsel before the Tanodbayan.
o Significantly enough, however, copy of the Tanodbayan Resolution
dismissing Ilustre's Complaint was furnished Atty. Laureta as "counsel
for the complainant" at his address of record
o Bardel, a processor of the Court proceeded to the residence of Atty.
Laureta where the latter's wife "voluntarily received the two copies of
Noteworthy, as well, is that by Atty. Laureta's own admission, he was the one
called by a "reporter" of DZRH to comment on the Ilustre charges before the
If, in fact, he had nothing to do with the complaint, he would not have been
pinpointed at all.
And if his disclaimer were the truth, the logical step for him to have taken
was to refer the caller to the lawyer/s allegedly assisting Ilustre, at the very
least, out of elementary courtesy and propriety. But he did nothing of the
sort. "
o He gave his comment with alacrity.
Ayer vs Capulong

Petitioner McElroy an Australian film maker, and his movie production

company, Ayer Productions, envisioned, sometime in 1987, for commercial
viewing and for Philippine and international release, the historic peaceful
struggle of the Filipinos at EDSA. The proposed motion picture entitled "The
Four Day Revolution" was endorsed by the MTRCB as and other government
agencies consulted.
Ramos also signified his approval of the intended film production. It is
designed to be viewed in a six-hour mini-series television play, presented in a
"docu-drama" style, creating four fictional characters interwoven with real
events, and utilizing actual documentary footage as background. David
Williamson is Australia's leading playwright and Professor McCoy (University
of New South Wales) is an American historian have developed a script.
Enrile declared that he will not approve the use, appropriation, reproduction
and/or exhibition of his name, or picture, or that of any member of his family
in any cinema or television production, film or other medium for advertising
or commercial exploitation. petitioners acceded to this demand and the name
of Enrile was deleted from the movie script, and petitioners proceeded to film
the projected motion picture.
However, a complaint was filed by Enrile invoking his right to privacy. RTC
ordered for the desistance of the movie production and making of any
reference to plaintiff or his family and from creating any fictitious character in
lieu of plaintiff which nevertheless is based on, or bears substantial or marked
resemblance to Enrile. Hence the appeal.

Issue: Whether or Not freedom of expression was violated

The Court would once more stress that this freedom includes the freedom to
film and produce motion pictures and to exhibit such motion pictures in
theaters or to diffuse them through television The respondent Judge should
have stayed his hand, instead of issuing an ex-parte Temporary Restraining
Order one day after filing of a complaint by the private respondent and
issuing a Preliminary Injunction twenty (20) days later; for the projected
motion picture was as yet uncompleted and hence not exhibited to any
Neither private respondent nor the respondent trial Judge knew what the
completed film would precisely look like. There was, in other words, no "clear
and present danger" of any violation of any right to privacy that private
respondent could lawfully assert.
The subject matter, as set out in the synopsis provided by the petitioners and
quoted above, does not relate to the individual life and certainly not to the
private life of private respondent Ponce Enrile The extent of that intrusion, as
this Court understands the synopsis of the proposed film, may be generally
described as such intrusion as is reasonably necessary to keep that film a
truthful historical account.
Private respondent does not claim that petitioners threatened to depict in
"The Four Day Revolution" any part of the private life of private respondent or
that of any member of his family.
His participation therein was major in character, a film reenactment of the
peaceful revolution that fails to make reference to the role played by private
respondent would be grossly unhistorical.
The right of privacy of a "public figure" is necessarily narrower than that of an
ordinary citizen.
Private respondent has not retired into the seclusion of simple private
citizenship. he continues to be a "public figure."
After a successful political campaign during which his participation in the
EDSA Revolution was directly or indirectly referred to in the press, radio and
television, he sits in a very public place, the Senate of the Philippines.
The line of equilibrium in the specific context of the instant case between the
constitutional freedom of speech and of expression and the right of privacy,
may be marked out in terms of a requirement that the proposed motion
picture must be fairly truthful and historical in its presentation of events.
Lagunzad vs Vda De Gonzales
Petitioner Manuel Lagunzad, a newspaperman, began the production of a movie
entitled "The Moises Padilla Story" portraying the life of Moises Padilla, a mayoralty
candidate of the Nacionalista Party for the Municipality of Magallon, Negros
Occidental and for whose murder, Governor Rafael Lacson, a member of the Liberal
Party then in power and his men were tried and convicted. The emphasis of the
movie was on the public life of Moises Padilla, there were portions which dealt with
his private and family life including the portrayal in some scenes, of his mother,
Maria Soto, private respondent herein, and of one "Auring" as his girl friend.
Padillas half sister, for and in behalf of her mother, Vda.de Gonzales, objected to
the "exploitation" of his life and demanded in writing for certain changes,
corrections and deletions in the movie. After some bargaining as to the amount to
be paid Lagunzad and Vda. de Gonzales, executed a "Licensing Agreement"
whereby the latter as LICENSOR granted Lagunzad authority and permission to
exploit, use, and develop the life story of Moises Padilla for purposes of producing
the picture for consideration of P20,000.00.Lagunzad paid Vda. de Gonzales the
amount of P5,000.00. Subsequently, the movie was shown indifferent theaters all
over the country. Because petitioner refused to pay any additional amounts
pursuant to the Agreement, Vda. de Gonzales instituted the present suit against him
praying for judgment in her favor ordering petitioner 1) to pay her the balance of
P15,000.00, with legal interest from of the Complaint; and 2) to render an
accounting of the proceeds from the picture and to pay the corresponding 2-1/2%
royalty there from, among others. Petitioner contended in his Answer that the
episodes in life of Moises Padilla depicted in the movie were matters of public
knowledge and occurred at or about the same time that the deceased became and
was a public figure; that private respondent has no property right over those
incidents; that the Licensing Agreement was without valid cause or consideration
and constitutes an infringement on the constitutional right of freedom of speech
and of the press; and that he paid private respondent the amount of P5,000.00 only
because of the coercion and threat employed upon him. As a counterclaim,
petitioner sought for the nullification of the Licensing Agreement, Both the trial
court and the CA ruled in favor of Vda. deGonzales.

Whether or not the fictionalized representation of Moises Padilla is an intrusion
upon his right to privacy notwithstanding that he was a public figure.
Whether or not Vda. de Gonzales., the mother, has any property right over the life
of Moises Padilla considering that the latter was a public figure.
Whether or not the Licensing Agreement constitutes an infringement on the
constitutional right of freedom of speech and of the press.

YES, being a public figure ipso facto does not automatically destroy in toto a
person's right to privacy. The right to invade as person's privacy to disseminate
public information does not extend to a fictional or novelized representation of a
person, no matter how public a figure he or she may be. In the case at bar, while it
is true that petitioner exerted efforts to present a true-to-life story of Moises Padilla,
petitioner admits that he included a little romance in the film because without it, it
would be a drab story of torture and brutality.
YES, Lagunzad cannot dispense with the need for prior consent and authority from
the deceased heirs to portray publicly episodes in said deceased's life and in that
of his mother and the members of his family. As held in Schuyler v. Curtis" a
privilege may be given the surviving relatives of a deceased person to protect his
memory, but the privilege exists for the benefit of the living, to protect their feelings
and to prevent a violation of their own rights in the character and memory of the
NO, Lagunzad claims that as a citizen and as a newspaperman, he had the right to
express his thoughts in film on the public life of Moises Padilla without
prior restraint. The right of freedom of expression, indeed, occupies a preferred
position in the "hierarchy of civil liberties." It is not, however, without limitations.
One criterion for permissible limitation on freedom of speech and of the press is the
"balancing-of-interests test." The principle requires a court to take conscious and
detailed consideration of the interplay of interests observable in a given situation or
type of situation."
In the case at bar, the interests observable are the right to privacy asserted by
respondent and the right of -freedom of expression invoked by petitioner. Taking
into account the interplay of those interests, and considering the obligations
assumed in the Licensing Agreement entered into by petitioner, the validity of such
agreement will have to be upheld particularly because the limits of freedom of
expression are reached when expression touches upon matters of essentially
private concern

People vs Morti
August 14, 1957, the appellant and his common-law wife, Sherly Reyes, went to the
booth of the Manila Packing and Export Forwarders carrying Four (4) wrapped
packages. The appellant informed Anita Reyes that he was sending the packages to
a friend in Zurich, Switzerland. Anita Reyes asked if she could examine and inspect
the packages. She refused and assures her that the packages simply contained
books, cigars, and gloves.
Before the delivery of appellants box to the Bureau of Customs and Bureau of
Posts, Mr. Job Reyes (Proprietor), following the standard operating procedure,
opened the boxes for final inspection. A peculiar odor emitted from the box and that
the gloves contain dried leaves. He prepared a letter and reported to the NBI and
requesting a laboratory examinations. The dried marijuana leaves were found to
have contained inside the cellophane wrappers.
The accused appellant assigns the following errors: The lower court erred in
admitting in evidence the illegality of search and seized objects contained in the
four (4) parcels.
Whether or not the seizing of illegal objects is legal?
Yes, appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Article III, Sections 2 and 3, 1987 Constitution
Mapp vs Ohio, exclusionary rule
Stonehill vs Diokno, declared as inadmissible any evidence obtained by virtue of
a defective search warrant, abandoning in the process the ruling earlier adopted in
Mercado vs Peoples Court.
The case at the bar assumes a peculiar character since the evidence sought to be
excluded was primarily discovered and obtained by a private person, acting in a
private capacity and without the intervention and participation of state authorities.
Under the circumstances, can accused / appellant validly claim that his
constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.
The contraband in this case at bar having come into possession of the government
without the latter transgressing appellants rights against unreasonable search and
seizure, the Court sees no cogent reason whty the same should not be admitted.

Ople vs Torres
Facts: Petitioner Ople prays that we 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. We grant the petition for the rights sought to be vindicated by the
petitioner need stronger barriers against further erosion.

A.O. No. 308 was published in four newspapers of general circulation on January
22, 1997 and January 23, 1997. On January 24, 1997, petitioner filed the instant
petition against respondents, then Executive Secretary Ruben Torres and the heads
of the government agencies, who as members of the Inter-Agency Coordinating
Committee, are charged with the implementation of A.O. No. 308. On April 8, 1997,
we issued a temporary restraining order enjoining its implementation.

Issue: Petitioner contends:


Held: IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is granted and Administrative Order No. 308
entitled "Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System"
declared null and void for being unconstitutional. SO ORDERED.

Ratio: It cannot be simplistically argued that A.O. No. 308 merely implements
the Administrative Code of 1987. It establishes for the first time a National
Computerized Identification Reference System. Such a System requires a delicate
adjustment of various contending state policies the primacy of national security,
the extent of privacy interest against dossier-gathering by government, the choice
of policies, etc. Indeed, the dissent of Mr. Justice Mendoza states that the A.O. No.
308 involves the all-important freedom of thought.

Nor is it correct to argue as the dissenters do that A.O. No. 308 is not a law
because it confers no right, imposes no duty, affords no protection, and creates no
office. Under A.O. No. 308, a citizen cannot transact business with government
agencies delivering basic services to the people without the contemplated
identification card. No citizen will refuse to get this identification card for no one can
avoid dealing with government. It is thus clear as daylight that without the ID, a
citizen will have difficulty exercising his rights and enjoying his privileges. Given this
reality, the contention that A.O. No. 308 gives no right and imposes no duty cannot

In view of right to privacy

Unlike the dissenters, we prescind from the premise that the right to privacy is a
fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, hence, it is the burden of
government to show that A.O. No. 308 is justified by some compelling state interest
and that it is narrowly drawn. A.O. No. 308 is predicated on two considerations: (1)
the need to provide our citizens and foreigners with the facility to conveniently
transact business with basic service and social security providers and other
government instrumentalities and (2) the need to reduce, if not totally eradicate,
fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations by persons seeking basic services. It
is debatable whether these interests are compelling enough to warrant the issuance
of A.O. No. 308. But what is not arguable is the broadness, the vagueness, the
overbreadth of A.O. No. 308 which if implemented will put our people's right to
privacy in clear and present danger.

The heart of A.O. No. 308 lies in its Section 4 which provides for a Population
Reference Number (PRN) as a "common reference number to establish a linkage
among concerned agencies" through the use of "Biometrics Technology" and
"computer application designs." A.O. No. 308 should also raise our antennas for a
further look will show that it does not state whether encoding of data is limited to
biological information alone for identification purposes. In fact, the Solicitor General
claims that the adoption of the Identification Reference System will contribute to the
"generation of population data for development planning." This is an admission that
the PRN will not be used solely for identification but for the generation of other data
with remote relation to the avowed purposes of A.O. No. 308. Clearly, the
indefiniteness of A.O. No. 308 can give the government the roving authority to store
and retrieve information for a purpose other than the identification of the individual
through his PRN .

His transactions with the government agency will necessarily be recorded

whether it be in the computer or in the documentary file of the agency. The
individual's file may include his transactions for loan availments, income tax
returns, statement of assets and liabilities, reimbursements for medication,
hospitalization, etc. The more frequent the use of the PRN, the better the chance of
building a huge and formidable information base through the electronic linkage of
the files. The data may be gathered for gainful and useful government purposes;
but the existence of this vast reservoir of personal information constitutes a covert
invitation to misuse, a temptation that may be too great for some of our authorities
to resist.

Well to note, the computer linkage gives other government agencies access to
the information. Yet, there are no controls to guard against leakage of information.
When the access code of the control programs of the particular computer system is
broken, an intruder, without fear of sanction or penalty, can make use of the data
for whatever purpose, or worse, manipulate the data stored within the system. It is
plain and we hold that A.O. No. 308 falls short of assuring that personal information
which will be gathered about our people will only be processed for unequivocally
specified purposes. 60 The lack of proper safeguards in this regard of A.O. No. 308
may interfere with the individual's liberty of abode and travel by enabling
authorities to track down his movement; it may also enable unscrupulous persons
to access confidential information and circumvent the right against self-
incrimination; it may pave the way for "fishing expeditions" by government
authorities and evade the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The
possibilities of abuse and misuse of the PRN, biometrics and computer technology
are accentuated when we consider that the individual lacks control over what can
be read or placed on his ID, much less verify the correctness of the data encoded.
They threaten the very abuses that the Bill of Rights seeks to prevent.

In Morfe v. Mutuc, we upheld the constitutionality of R.A. 3019, the Anti-Graft

and Corrupt Practices Act, as a valid police power measure. We declared that the
law, in compelling a public officer to make an annual report disclosing his assets
and liabilities, his sources of income and expenses, did not infringe on the
individual's right to privacy. The law was enacted to promote morality in public
administration by curtailing and minimizing the opportunities for official corruption
and maintaining a standard of honesty in the public service.

In no uncertain terms, we also underscore that the right to privacy does not bar
all incursions into individual privacy. The right is not intended to stifle scientific and
technological advancements that enhance public service and the common good. It
merely requires that the law be narrowly focused and a compelling interest justify
such intrusions. Intrusions into the right must be accompanied by proper safeguards
and well-defined standards to prevent unconstitutional invasions.