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TITLE IX: CHAPTER 3

Discovery and
Revelation of
Secrets
3 Kinds of Discovery and Revelation of
Secrets
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◈ Discovering secrets through seizure of


correspondence (Art. 290)
◈ Revealing secrets with abuse of office (Art. 291)
◈ Revealing of industrial secrets (Art. 292)

Art. 290. Discovering secrets through seizure of
correspondence. — The penalty of prision correccional in
its minimum and medium periods and a fine not exceeding
500 pesos shall be imposed upon any private individual
who in order to discover the secrets of another, shall seize
his papers or letters and reveal the contents thereof.
If the offender shall not reveal such secrets, the penalty
shall be arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos.
The provision shall not be applicable to parents, guardians,
or persons entrusted with the custody of minors with
respect to the papers or letters of the children or minors
placed under their care or study, nor to spouses with
respect to the papers or letters of either of them.

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Art. 290: Discovering secrets through seizure
4 of correspondence
Elements:
1) The offender is a private individual or even a public officer
not in the exercise of his official function;
2) He seizes the papers or letters of another;
3) The purpose is to discover the secrets of such another
person; and
4) The offender is informed of the contents or the papers or
letters seized.

The gist of the crime is the
act of seizing the papers or
letters of a private
individual in order to
discover the contents
thereof.

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Exemptions:
This article is not applicable:

1) To parents or guardians with respect to the papers or letters


of minor children under their custody; or

2) To spouses with respect to the papers or letters of either of


them.

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Important Notes:
1) The purpose must be to discover secrets.

2) It is not required that the offended party be prejudiced.

3) Revealing the secrets qualifies the offense.

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Discovering Secrets through
Public Officer Revealing Secrets Seizure of Correspondence (Art.
of Private Individual (Art. 230) 290)
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◈ The public officer comes to ◈ The offender who is a
know the secrets of any private individual seizes the
private individual by reason papers or letters of another
of his office. to discover the latter's
◈ It is not necessary that the secrets.
secrets are contained in ◈ It is not necessary that there
papers or letters. be a secret.
◈ The public officer reveals ◈ If there is a secret
such secrets without discovered, it not necessary
justifiable reason. that it be revealed.
Illustration
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An action against a live-in partner who seized private


letters and papers with the intent to discover secrets,
can prosper because what the law exempts are spouses.

If X mistakenly reads a private letter, he cannot be


charged with Art. 290 for the element requires the
intent to discover secrets.

Art. 291. Revealing secrets with abuse
of office. — The penalty of arresto
mayor and a fine not exceeding 500
pesos shall be imposed upon any
manager, employee, or servant who, in
such capacity, shall learn the secrets of
his principal or master and shall reveal
such secrets.

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Art. 291: Revealing secrets with abuse of
12 office
Elements:
1) The offender is a manager, employee or servant;
2) He learns the secrets of his principal or master in such
capacity; and
3) He reveals such secrets.

The essence of this crime is
that the offender learned of
the secret in the course of
his employment and
revealed the same.

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Important Notes:
1) Damage is not necessary in this article. As long as the
secret is revealed, the crime is committed.
2) It does not matter whether the secret was obtained with or
without the knowledge of the master or employer.
3) If the secrets pertain to illicit matters, such as the
principal being a jueteng lord, there is no liability if the
revelation is made to the proper authorities.

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Art. 292. Revelation of industrial secrets. —
The penalty of prision correccional in its
minimum and medium periods and a fine not
exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed upon
the person in charge, employee or workman
of any manufacturing or industrial
establishment who, to the prejudice of the
owner thereof, shall reveal the secrets of the
industry of the latter.

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Art. 292: Revelation of industrial secrets
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Elements:
1) The offender is a person in charge, employee or workman of
a manufacturing or industrial establishment;
2) The manufacturing or industrial establishment has a secret of
the industry which the offender has learned;
3) The offender reveals such secrets; and
4) The revelation caused prejudice to the owner of such
establishment.
Important Notes:
1) The secrets must relate to manufacturing processes.
2) If the offender used the secret of the industry for his own
benefit, without revealing it to others, he is not liable under this
article.
3) The revelation of the secret might be made after the employee
had ceased to be connected with the establishment since Art.
292 does not state the time of the revelation of the industrial
secrets.

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REPUBLIC ACT NO. 4200
The Anti-Wire
Tapping Act
Punishable Acts
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1) Tapping any wire or cable
2) By using any other device or arrangement, to secretly
overhear, intercept, or
3) To record private communication or spoken word by using a
device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or
dictaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder
4) To knowingly possess any tape record, wire record, disc
record, or any other such record, or copies thereof, of any
communication or spoken word secured in the manner
prohibited by this law
Punishable Acts
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5) To replay the same for any other person or persons
6) To communicate the contents thereof, either verbally or in
writing.
7) To furnish transcriptions thereof, whether complete or
partial, to any other person
Penalty
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⬩ Imprisonment for not less than six months or more than
six years,
⬩ with the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute
disqualification from public office if the offender be a
public official at the time of the commission of the
offense
⬩ and, if the offender is an alien he shall be subject to
deportation proceedings
When are these acts allowed?
When there is a written court order authorizing a peace officer to
execute such acts in cases involving the crimes of:
• treason
• espionage
• provoking war and disloyalty in case of war
• piracy
• mutiny in the high seas
• rebellion
• conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion
• inciting to rebellion
• sedition
• conspiracy to commit sedition
• inciting to sedition 22
CASES
Gaanan vs. Intermediate
Appellate Court
G.R. No. L-69809 October 16, 1986

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FACTS
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Laconico requested Gaanan, his lawyer, to secretly listen to the
telephone conversation between Laconico and Pintor through a
telephone extension so as to hear personally the proposed conditions for
the settlement for a case of direct assault filed against Laconico.
Gaanan executed on the following day an affidavit stating that he heard
complainant demand P8,000.00 for the withdrawal of the case for direct
assault.
Laconico attached the affidavit of Gaanan to the complaint for
robbery/extortion which he filed against Pintor. The complainant then
charged Gaanan and Laconico with violation of the Anti-Wiretapping
Act.
HELD
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The Court ruled that the accused is not guilty for an telephone
extension cannot be considered to fall under the “any other device or
arrangement” definition of RA 4200.
The law refers to a "tap" of a wire or cable or the use of a "device or
arrangement" for the purpose of secretly overhearing, intercepting, or
recording the communication. There must be either a physical
interruption through a wiretap or the deliberate installation of a device
or arrangement in order to overhear, intercept, or record the spoken
words.
The telephone extension in this case was not installed for that
purpose. It just happened to be there for ordinary office use.
Ramirez vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 93833 September 28, 1995

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FACTS
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A civil case was filed by petitioner Ramirez alleging that the private
respondent, Garcia, insulted and humiliated her during a confrontation
in the office, in an offensive manner contrary to morals, good customs
and public policy.
To support her claim, petitioner produced a verbatim transcript of
the event and sought moral damages.
In response, private respondent filed a criminal case alleging
violation of ANTI-WIRE TAPPING LAW for secretly taping the
confrontation.
HELD
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The Court ruled that the language of the law is unambiguous and the
provision clearly makes it illegal for any person, not authorized by all
parties to any private communication to secretly record such
communication by means of a tape recorder.
The use of tape recorder falls under the devices enumerated in the
law. Therefore, the act of recording through the tape constitutes an
offense.
The nature of the conversations is immaterial to a violation of the
statute. The mere allegation that an individual made a secret recording
of a private communication by means of a tape recorder would suffice
to constitute an offense under Section 1 of R.A. 4200.
Thank you!

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