Dec 032014
Taking videos of traffic offenders may not constitute violation of a person’s right to privacy, a lawyer said Wednesday .

In an interview on GMA News’ “Unang Hirit,” lawyer Gabby Concepcion said in the interest of public safety and public order, a person’s right to privacy may have limitations.

“Sa aking opinyon, although mayroong right to privacy na ginagarantiyahan ng ating Constitution — tulad ng ibang karapatan — ito naman ay hindi absolute,” she said.

Concepcion added that equipment such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and the like may be used to capture traffic offenders.

“‘Yung mga CCTV, ‘yung mga nagbe-beat ng red light, mga bus na hindi nagbababa ng mga pasahero sa mga tamang babaan, mga jaywalker, sa palagay ko, hindi naman ito labag sa karapatan ng tao,” she said.


However, Concepcion warned that this must not be used to abuse a citizen.

“While it may be valid sa umpisa, kung isasawalat mo ‘yung mga video na ito — halimbawa, ‘yung subject na ito ay naging katawa-tawa sa ibang mga tao, nailagay sa pahamak — of course, ibang usapan naman po iyan,” she said.

She noted that a person committing such an act may face libel, defamation, or civil cases.

“Hindi naman po maaaring free for all, na pwede nating i-expose ang lahat ng tao sa publiko, for example, by posting things online,” she said.

MMDA’s policy

Earlier this month, traffic enforcer Jorbe Adriatico was allegedly beaten up by a Maserati-driving motorist, identified as Joseph Russel Ingco, after he reportedly pointed his mobile phone camera at the person during a traffic altercation.

The MMDA has said it was part of the agency’s policy to take videos of motorists and their supposed violations on the road.

Lawyer Crisanto Saruca, the MMDA’s traffic discipline officer, pointed out some rules regarding the taking of videos. He said the video-taking shouldn’t be intrusive and should show the cause and effect of the motorist’s actions.

The video should also be made available to the motorist if the he or she would request a copy.

However, the Commission on Human Rights expressed reservations over the policy.

“Tingin namin sa CHR, kelangan bawiin muna itong policy na ito. Ihinto muna at pag aralan ng mabuti. Ano yung kanyang legal basis? Ano yung kanyang mechanism for implementation?” said lawyer Mark Cebreros, the CHR’s chief information and communications officer. Amanda Fernandez/KBK, GMA News

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