Lacson: Possession of foreign-sourced wiretapped info is illegal | Inquirer News

Lacson: Possession of foreign-sourced wiretapped info is illegal

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 09:22 AM March 08, 2019

MANILA, Philippines —  Possession of wiretapped information from foreign sources linking FIlipinos to criminal activities is already a violation of Philippine law, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Friday.

The senator compared the situation to that of a person buying marijuana in a country where the use of it is legal, but will be arrested for violation of the Philippine Dangerous Drugs Act once he brings the marijuana to the Philippines.

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“What if someone brings into the country marijuana which he/she got or bought from a foreign country where possession and use of the same is legal? Will the person who brought in the marijuana not be violating the Dangerous Drugs Act?” Lacson said in a statement.

Lacson issued the remark in reaction to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra who said that if the wiretapped conversation came from a country where wiretapping is legal, it “may be passed on to the Philippine government and considered admissible in Philippine courts.”

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READ: NBI to conduct parallel probe on politicians in ‘narco list’

“Mr. Secretary, possession of wiretapped material is also an offense,” Lacson earlier said in a Twitter post.

Lacson reminded that under the Anti-Wiretapping Law or Republic Act No. 4200, it is unlawful for any person not authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word to secretly record such communication.

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Section 2 of the law adds it is also unlawful “to knowingly possess” records or copies of any communication or spoken word secured through wiretapping.

The issue of wiretapping arose when Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said that some of the evidence against politicians in the “narco list” came from wiretapped communications provided by foreign countries.

READ: Duterte OKs release of ‘narco list’

However, after receiving flak, Panelo recanted his statement and clarified that his pronouncement was just an “educated guess.”

READ: Panelo recants: No foreign wiretaps used in ‘narcolist’ data

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the lead agency in the government’s war on drugs, also denied receiving wiretapped information from other countries regarding narco-politicians.

READ: PDEA chief denies receiving wiretapped info from foreign gov’t on ‘narcopols’

Lacson also reminded that under the Constitution, the privacy of communication and correspondence “shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.”

“If we allow such wiretaps from foreign governments, is it now a government policy to condone invasion of privacy of its own nationals by other countries?” he said. /muf

RELATED STORY:  Lacson questions, slams wiretapped narco list data

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