TERESITA SALCEDO-ORTANEZ, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ROMEO F. ZAMORA, Presiding Judge, Br. 94, Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and RAFAEL S. ORTANEZ, respondents. G.R. No. 110662 August 4, 1994.
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In the present case, the trial court issued the assailed order admitting all of the evidence offered by private respondent, including tape recordings of telephone conversations of petitioner with unidentified persons. These tape recordings were made and obtained when private respondent allowed his friends from the military to wire tap his home telephone.
Rep. Act No. 4200 entitled "An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of the Privacy of Communication, and for other purposes" expressly makes such tape recordings inadmissible in evidence. The relevant provisions of Rep. Act No. 4200 are as follows:
Sec. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape-recorder, or however otherwise described. . . .
Sec. 4. Any communication or spoken word, or the existence, contents, substance, purport, or meaning of the same or any part thereof, or any information therein contained, obtained or secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation.
Clearly, respondents trial court and Court of Appeals failed to consider the afore-quoted provisions of the law in admitting in evidence the cassette tapes in question. Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording of the same, the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. Act No. 4200.
Additionally, it should be mentioned that the above-mentioned Republic Act in Section 2 thereof imposes a penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) months and up to six (6) years for violation of said Act.
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