Right to information, Bill of Rights

1. Concept

a. Scope

Right to information. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. (Section 7, Article III, 1987 Constitution)

Legaspi v. CSC, En Banc, (May 1987)

• These constitutional provisions are self-executing. They supply the rules by means of which the right to information may be enjoyed (Cooley, A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations 167 [1927]) by guaranteeing the right and mandating the duty to afford access to sources of information. Hence, the fundamental right therein recognized may be asserted by the people upon the ratification of the constitution without need for any ancillary act of the Legislature. (Id. at, p. 165) What may be provided for by the Legislature are reasonable conditions and limitations upon the access to be afforded which must, of necessity, be consistent with the declared State policy of full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest (Constitution, Art. 11, Sec. 28). However, it cannot be overemphasized that whatever limitation may be prescribed by the Legislature, the right and the duty under Art. III Sec. 7 have become operative and enforceable by virtue of the adoption of the New ...


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