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Unformatted text preview: to require the administratrix to serve him copies of all pleadings in the proceedings. The judge denied the motion because the law does not give a blanket authority to any person to have access to official records and documents and papers pertaining to official acts. The judge said that his interest is more of personal than of public concern. Is the judge correct? A: No. The right to information on matters of public concern is a constitutional right. However, such is not absolute. Under the Constitution, access is subject to limitations as may be provided by law. Therefore, a law may exempt certain types of information from public scrutiny such as national security. The privilege against disclosure is recognized with respect to state secrets bearing on the military, diplomatic and similar matter. Since intestate proceedings do not contain any military or diplomatic secrets which will be disclosed by its production, it is an error on the part of the judge to deny Ramon’s motion. (Hidalgo v. Reyes, AM No. RTJ‐05‐1910, Apr. 15, 2005) 4. Government Contract Negotiations Q: May the government, through the PCGG, be required to reveal the proposed terms of a compromise agreement with the Marcos heirs as regards their alleged ill‐gotten wealth? A: It is incumbent upon the PCGG, and its officers, as well as other government representatives, to disclose sufficient public information on any proposed settlement they have decided to take up with the ostensible owners and holders of ill‐
gotten wealth. Such information must pertain to definite propositions of the government. (Chavez v.PCGG, G.R. No. 130716, December 9, 1998) 5. Diplomatic Negotiations Q: Petitioners request that they be given a copy of the text of the JPEPA and the offers and negotiations between the Philippines and Japan. Are these matters of public concern? Can they be disclosed? A: There is a distinction between the text of the treaty and the offers and negotiations. They may compel the government to disclose the text of the treaty but not the offers between RP and Japan, because these are negotiations of executive departments. Diplomatic Communication negotiation is privileged informati...
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