In Re Parazo

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In re Parazo case digest ethics Pale Philippine Law
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  In re Investigation of ANGEL J. PARAZO for alleged leakage of questions in some sube!ts in t e #$%& 'ar E(aminations. Facts:The present case had its srcin in a story or news item prepared and written by the defendant, Angel J. Parazo, a duly accredited reporter of the Star Reporter  , a local daily of general circulation, that appeared on the front page of the issue of September !,  !#. The story was preceded by the headline in large letters $ %&'A() *'+A* (- 'AST A/ T+STS,% followed by another in slightly smaller letters $ %Applicants (n 0proar, 1ant Anomaly Probed2 3ne School Fa4ored,% under the name $ %y Angel J. Parazo of the Star /eporter Staff.% These e5aminees claim to ha4e seen mimeograph copies of the 6uestions in one sub7ect, days before the tests were gi4en, in the Philippine -ormal School. 3nly studentsof one pri4ate uni4ersity in Sampaloc had those mimeographed 6uestions on said sub7ect fully one wee8  before the tests.To the publication, e4idently, the attention of the Supreme &ourt must ha4e been called, and )r. Justice Padilla, who had pre4iously been designated &hairman of the &ommittee of ar +5aminers for this year,  by authority of the &ourt, instructed )r. Jose de la &ruz as &ommissioner with the assistance of )r. +. Soriano, &ler8 of &ourt to cite )r. Parazo for 6uestioning and in4estigation. The in4estigation of )r. Parazo was conducted on September #,  !#, on which occasion he testified under oath and, answering 6uestions directed to him by )essrs. &ruz and Soriano and that he 8new the persons who ga4e him the information which formed the basis of his publication but that he declined to re4eal their names because the information was gi4en to him in confidence and his informants did not wish to ha4e their identities re4ealed.)r. Justice )ontemayor cite )r. Parazo before him, e5plain to him that the interests of the State demand and so this &ourt re6uires that he re4eal the source or sources of his information and of his news item, andto warn him that his refusal to ma8e the re4elation demanded will be regarded as contempt of court and  penalized accordingly. )r. Justice )ontemayor will ad4ise the &ourt of the result. )r. Parazo, in4o8ehe  benefits of  /epublic Act -o. 9, the first section of which reads as follows: S+&T(3- . The publisher, editor or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation cannot  be compelled to re4eal the source of any news$report or information appearing in said publication which was related in confidence to such publisher, editor or reporter, unless the court or a ;ouse or committee of &ongress finds that such re4elation is demanded by the interest of the state.(ssue:1hether or not the phrase %interest of the state% found at the end of section  of /epublic Act -o. 9 means and refers only to the security of the state, that is to say $ that only when -ational Security or   public safety is in4ol4ed, may this &ourt compel the defendant to re4eal the source or sources of his newsreport or information.;eld: -o. (n an effort to determine the intent of the 'egislature that passed /epublic Act -o. 9   , particularly theSenate were it srcinated, we e5amined the record of the proceedings in said legislati4e body when this Act, then Senate ill -o. < was being discussed. 1e gathered from the said record that the srcinal bill  prepared by Senator Sotto pro4ided that the immunity to be accorded a publisher, editor, or reporter of any newspaper was absolute and that under no circumstance could he be compelled to re4eal the source of his information or news report. The committee, howe4er, under the chairmanship of Senator &uenco inserted an amendment or change, by adding to the end of section  of the clause %unless the court finds that such re4elation is demanded by the public interest.%1hen the bill as amended was recommended for appro4al on second reading, Senator Sotto, the author of the srcinal bill proposed an amendment by eliminating the clause added by the committee $ %unless the court finds that such re4elation is demanded by the public interest,% claiming that said clause would 8ill the purposed of the bill. This amendment of Senator Sotto was discussed. =arious Senators ob7ected to theelimination of the clause already referred to on the ground that without such e5ception and by gi4ing complete immunity to editors, reporters, etc., many abuses may be committed. Senator &uenco, &ommittee chairman, in ad4ocating the disappro4al of the Sotto amendment, and in defending the e5ception embodied in the amendment introduced by the &ommittee, consisting in the clause: %unless the court finds that such re4elation is demanded by the public interest,% said that the &ommittee could not accept the Sotto amendment because there may be cases, perhaps few, in which the interest of the public or the interest of the state re6uired that the names of the informants be published or 8nown.(n conclusion, we find that the interest of the state in the present case demands that the respondent Angel J. Parazo re4eal the source or sources of his information which formed the basis of his news items or story in the September !,  !# issue of the Star /eporter, 6uoted at the beginning of his decision, and that, in refusing to ma8e the re4elation which this &ourt re6uired of him, he committed contempt of &ourt. The respondent repeatedly stated during the in4estigation that he 8new the names and identities of the persons who furnished him the information. (n other words, he omitted and still refuses to do an act commanded by this &ourt which is yet in his power to perform. >/ule <!, section ?, /ules of &ourt.@ 3rdinarily, in such cases, he can and should be imprisoned indefinitely until he complied with the demand. ;owe4er, considering that case li8e the present are not common or fre6uent, in this 7urisdiction, and that there is no reason and immediate necessity for imposing a hea4y penalty, as may be done in other cases where it is ad4isable or necessary to mete out se4ere penalties to meet a situation of an alarming number of cases of a certain offense or a crime wa4e, and, considering further the youthful age of the respondent, the ma7ority of the members of this &ourt ha4e decided to order, as it hereby orders, his immediate arrest and confinement in 7ail for a period of one >@ month, unless, before the e5piration of that period he ma8es to this &ourt the re4elation demanded of him. So ordered. Perfecto, J., concurring and dissenting:PARAS, J., dissenting:Briones, M., dissenting:
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