This is a very good topic during our group study today.
There was a Client who has been accused of Oral Defamation, and the Plaintiff alleged that the Oral Defamation took place during their Brgy. Hall Lupon Conference.
It turned out that the Plaintiff is accusing the Respondent of an Exact Statement he allegedly uttered during their Brgy. Lupon Conference.
Now, it just so happened that the Respondent was able to Video Record the Entire Duration of the Conference when the Plaintiff alleged that the Respondent Orally Defamed him.
And to the advantage of the Respondent, there was no instance that he uttered those words he is being accused of.
Now, the Respondent being no other way to defend himself from the accusation, he declared that he has a Video of the Conference and wished to present it to the Court.
The Anti-Wiretapping Law was raised by the Plaintiff, but to his dismay, the evidence is still admissible being Admissible under Section 3 Rules of Court; Admissibility of evidence- Evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by law or these rules.
The Anti-Wiretapping Law covers only Private Communication and Discussion.
The Video Recording was taken during a Public Hearing at Lupon, as per THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES SECTION 414. Proceedings Open to the Public; Exception. - All proceedings for settlement shall be public and informal: Provided, however, That the lupon chairman or the pangkat chairman, as the case may be, may motu proprio or upon request of a party, exclude the public from the proceedings in the interest of privacy, decency, or public morals.
There were Public Participants during the Conference and therefore does not violate Republic Act No. 4200; and the nature of the Lupon or Brgy. Hearing is Public and Informal.
All the charges by the Plaintiff were dropped and he was penalized in favor of the Respondent.