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Valmonte vs Belmonte

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Valmonte vs Belmonte
« on: October 06, 2020, 11:25:49 PM »
...Valmonte vs. Belmonte, Jr. G.R. No. 74930, February 13, 1989 [RIGHT TO INFORMATION]  Facts: Petitioner, Valmonte, who is a lawyer, a member of the media⁶ and a plain citizen of the Philippines filed a special civil action for mandamus invoking the right to information and praying that respondent, Belmonte (the GSIS Manager) 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.  The information is sought by petitioner in this case, to find truth of reports that certain Members of the Batasang Pambansa belonging to the opposition were able to secure "clean" loans from the GSIS immediately before the February 7, 1986 election through the intercession of the former First Lady, Mrs. Imelda Marcos, in relation to the pertinent provision of the 1987 Constitution which states: 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. 

Issue/s: a. Whether or not the respondent can be compelled to perform the acts sought by petitioner in pursuance to the right to information.  b. Whether the petitioner is entitled to access to the documents evidencing loans granted by the GSIS.
 
Ruling: The petitioner is entitled to access to the documents evidencing loans granted by the GSIS, subject to reasonable regulations that the latter may promulgate relating to the manner and hours of examination, to the end that damage to or loss of the records may be avoided, that undue interference with the duties of the custodian of the records may be prevented and that the right of other persons entitled to inspect the records may be insured.  However, the same cannot be said with regard to the first act sought by petitioners, i.e., "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."  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. ...

Case-Digest-of-Human-Rights


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