Article 3, SECTION 7- Philippines Constitution
The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
Legaspi v. CSC
– eligibility of sanitary people -
1. The right to information enshrined in the Bill of Rights is self executing. They supply the rules by means of which the right to information may be enjoyed by guaranteeing the right and mandating the duty to afford access to sources of information. Hence, the fundamental right therein recognized may be asserted by the people upon the ratification of the constitution without need for any ancillary act of the legislature. What may be provided by the legislature are reasonable conditions and limitations upon the access to be afforded which must, of
necessity be consistent with the declared state policy of full disclosure of all transactions involving public interest.
2. Government agencies are without discretion in refusing disclosure of, or access to, information of public concern. This is not to lose sight of the reasonable regulations which may be imposed by said
agencies in custody of public records on the manner in which the right to information may be exercised by the public.
3. In determining whether or not a particular information is of public concern, there is no rigid test which can be applied. It a term that eludes exact definition.
Valmonte v. Belmonte
– loans from GSIS; Imelda Marcos as guarantor - The right to information goes hand-in-hand with the
constitutional policies of full public disclosure and honesty in the public service. It is meant to enhance the widening role of the citizenry in the governmental decisionmaking
as well as in checking abuse in the
2. Right to information is not absolute, it is limited to matters of public concern and interest, and is further subject to limitations as may be imposed by law.
3. Public nature of the loanable funds of the GSIS and the public office held by the alleged borrowers make the information sought clearly a manner of public interest and concern.
4. The right to privacy belongs to the individual in his private capacity and cannot be invoked by juridical entities like the GSIS.
Gonzales v. Narvasa
- Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform - The information to which the public is entitled to are those concerning “matters of public concern”, a term which “embrace[s] a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know, either because these directly affect their lives, or simply
because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. It is for the courts to determine in a case by case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance, as it relates to or affects the public.
BA-RA 7941 v. COMELEC
– names of partylist representatives are a matter of public concern
Akbayan v. Aquino – JPEPA
– diplomatic communication; negotiation is privileged information