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D2019. LAW 124: Criminal Procedure. Prof. Bautista.

Ganaan vs IAC
October 16, 1986,Justice Gutierrez Jr.

Surveillance, Recording of Communications

COMPLAINANTS: Edgardo A. Ganaan (Petitioner)


ACCUSED/DEFENDANTS: Intermediate Appellate Court and People of the Philippines (Respondent)

OFFENSES:
Wiretapping as defined in RA 4200 or the anti wiretapping act.

MOTIONS FILED:
 Case of direct assault between Complainant (Atty Pintor) and appellant (Laconico). Fiscal made
Appellant listen into a phone calle between fiscal and complainant to hear settlement terms),
Complainant then called appellant to discuss terms and agreement of terms. Complainant was then
asked by appellent to receive money at the Igloo restaurant. Appellant tipped his friend at the Philippine
Constabulary so Complainant was arrested.
 The next day Appellant filed an affidavit stating he heard complainant through extension line
demanding 8000 pesos for withdrawal of direct assault case
 Fiscal attached affidavit of appellant to robbery/extortion case against complainant
 Complainant then filed a charge against appellant of violation of anti wiretapping act
 Trial Court found the appellant and fiscal guitly of violating anti wiretapping act (both sentenced to 1
year in prison)
 Appeal to IAC. Affirmed TC decision
 Petition for Certiorari of IAC decision at the SC

Petitioner appealed to Intermediate Appellate Court which affirmed the Trial court decision.

ISSUES & ARGUMENTS:


Whether extension on a telephone line is considered a part of Section 1 of the anti Wiretapping Act (RA 4200).
Meaning to overhear a private conversation on an extension line would constitute unlawful interception of
communications between two parties.
Petitioners/Appellants:
 Republic Act 4200 is ambiguous and should therefore be construed in favor of the
accused/petitioner. Telephone extension lines are not normally included in "commonly known"
listening or recording devices, nor do they belong in the same class of enumerated electronic
devices contemplated by law.
Respondent/Appellees:
 The communication was private in nature and was therefore subject to the protections of the
anti wiretapping act. Appellant listened in conversation without consent. Extension line was
covered by the term "device". Appellant then filed a petition for certiorari.

DOCTRINE:
 penal statutes must be construed strictly in favor of the accused.
 in order to determine the true intent of the legislature, the particular clauses and phrases of the statute
should not be taken as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part thereof must
be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts.

CASE RESOLUTION:
 SC ruled in favor of the petitioners. Respondent's application of extension line as a "device" is not what
was intended by the drafters of the law. The law was created to prevent primarily the recording of
conversations through telephone lines via devices like a "dictaphone". So listening in through an
extension line cannot be considered "tapping". Extension line's purpose was for ordinary office use. It
2 TYPE THE DOCUMENT TITLE

wasn't designed to tap and record convserations. "Device or arrangement" in Section 1 of RA No. 4200,
although not exclusive to that enumerated therein, should be construed to comprehend instruments of
the same or similar nature, that is, instruments the use of which would be tantamount to tapping the
main line of a telephone.

DISPOSITION: Petition Granted. Decision of IAC annulled and set aside. Petitioner is acquitted of violating the
anti wiretapping act

SEPARATE OPINIONS:
 [Name of justice. Dissenting/Concurring/Concur in the result. Reasons.]
Kako Cojuangco