national security, public safety, or public health as may be provided by law.x x x x x x x x xSec. 8. The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.Sec. 17. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.Zones of privacy are likewise recognized and protected in our laws. The Civil Code provides that "every person shall respect the dignity, personality,privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons" and punishes as actionable torts several acts by a person of meddling and prying into the privacy of another. It also holds a public officer or employee or any private individual liable for damages for any violation of the rights and liberties of another person, and recognizes the privacy of letters and other private communications. The Revised Penal Code makes a crime the violation of secrets by an officer, the revelation of trade and industrial secrets, and trespass to dwelling. Invasion of privacy is an offense in special laws like the Anti-Wiretapping Law, the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act and the Intellectual Property Code. The Rules of Court on privileged communication likewise recognize the privacy of certain information.Unlike the dissenters, we prescind from the premise that the right to privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, hence, it is the burden of government to show that A.O. No. 308 is justified by some compelling state interest and that it is narrowly drawn. x x x.46(Emphases supplied)Clearly, the right to privacy is considered a fundamental right that must be protected from intrusion or constraint. However, in Standard Chartered Bank v. Senate Committee on Banks,47this Court underscored that the rightto privacy is not absolute, viz:
With respect to the right of privacy which petitioners claim respondent has violated, suffice it to state that privacy is not an absolute right. While it is true that Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution, guarantees respect for the rights of persons affected by the legislative investigation, not every invocation of the right to privacy should be allowed to thwart a legitimate congressional inquiry. In Sabio v. Gordon, we have held that the right of the people to access information on matters of public concern generally prevails over the right to privacy of ordinary financial transactions. In that case, we declared that the right to privacy is not absolute where there is anoverriding compelling state interest. Employing the rational basis relationship test, as laid down in Morfe v. Mutuc, there is no infringement ofthe individual’s right to privacy as the requirement to disclosure information is for a valid purpose, in this case, to ensure that the government agencies involved in regulating banking transactions adequately protect the public who invest in foreign securities. Suffice it to state that this purpose constitutes a reason compelling enough to proceed with the assailed legislative investigation.