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Socorro Ramirez vs. CA and Garcia [G.R. No. 93833. September 28, 1995]

15 Aug

Ponente: KAPUNAN, J.

FACTS:

Petitioner made a secret recording of the conversation that was part of a civil case filed in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City alleging that the private respondent, Ester S. Garcia, vexed, insulted and humiliated her in a “hostile and furious mood” and in a manner offensive to petitioner’s dignity and personality,” contrary to morals, good customs and public policy.”. Private respondent filed a criminal case before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City for violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled “An Act to prohibit and penalize wire tapping and other related violations of private communication, and other purposes.” Petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the Information. The trial court granted the said motion. The private respondent filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari with the Supreme Court, which referred the case to the Court of Appeals in a Resolution. Respondent Court of Appeals promulgated its decision declaring the trial court’s order as null and void, after subsequently denied the motion for reconsideration by the petitioner.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the applicable provision of Republic Act 4200 does not apply to the taping of a private conversation by one of the parties to the conversation.

HELD:

NO. Petition denied. Costs against petitioner.

RATIO:

Legislative intent is determined principally from the language of the statute.

The unambiguity of the express words of the provision, taken together with the above-quoted deliberations from the Congressional Record, therefore plainly supports the view held by the respondent court that the provision seeks to penalize even those privy to the private communications. Where the law makes no distinctions, one does not distinguish.

[P]etitioner’s contention that the phrase “private communication” in Section 1 of R.A. 4200 does not include “private conversations” narrows the ordinary meaning of the word “communication” to a point of absurdity.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Case Digests, Statutory Construction

 

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