From a authorized viewpoint, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday mentioned Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II does not have a case towards Sen. Risa Hontiveros.
Drilon, former DOJ chief and Executive secretary, mentioned Hontiveros can’t be prosecuted for violating the Anti-Wiretapping Law when she did not commit any violation and even infringed on the correct to privateness of Aguirre.
If there isn’t any cheap expectation of privateness, there could be violation of privateness, he mentioned in addressing Hontiveros’ claims on Aguirre being inadvertently photographed sending a textual content message indicating that he’s a supposed co-conspirator within the submitting of instances towards the woman senator.
“When there is no clear effort to limit visibility of the messages in a public space, then there is no reasonable expectation of privacy,” Drilon mentioned, declaring that it was within the Senate session corridor, which is a public area and of which photographers are a daily fixture, the place Aguirre’s picture was taken.
In the primary place, Drilon mentioned Hontiveros’ situation towards Aguirre is roofed by parliamentary immunity.
Under Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution, it states partly that “no member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee level thereof.”
“Supreme Court cases and deliberations of the Constitutional Commission are unequivocal on this point. The framers wanted to make sure that members of Congress can express their opinions, cast their votes without fear of previous restraint or subsequent punishment,” Drilon mentioned.
Legislators, in debating upon the Anti-Wiretapping Law, meant to punish the interference of recording of personal conversations which are typically “dragnet” in character as to quantity to surveillance.
“Since the photo was inadvertently taken, it cannot be considered as surveillance,” he mentioned.
“It also bears saying that during the interpellations of the bill filed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson expanding the Anti-Wiretapping Law, the author clarified that his bill intends to expand the law to prohibit taking screen shots or still pictures of communications which only means that currently, the act of taking screen shots or still pictures is not considered wiretapping,” Drilon burdened.