MANILA, Philippines — The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has clarified that no one must use the Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 as an excuse to withhold information in legal proceedings.
The NPC made the clarification amid the ongoing Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the alleged anomalous government transaction with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.
In a statement, NPC Commissioner Raymond Liboro said that the law does not prohibit anyone to release personal information in compliance with a subpoena issued by any government investigating body.
“We would like to reiterate that the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (DPA) does not prohibit the disclosure of personal or sensitive personal information (collectively, personal data) when necessary for purposes of complying with validly issued subpoenas by government investigating bodies,” Liboro said.
The statement added that while the NPC aims to protect a person’s data privacy rights, there are provisions in the law that recognizes the processing of personal information when used in legal proceedings.
“While we advocate for the protection of the right to data privacy of data subjects, there are provisions in the law that recognizes the processing of personal information when necessary for compliance with a legal obligation or to fulfill functions of public authorities,” he said.
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon noted the NPC’s clarification on the matter.
“Liboro’s initiative and insights are greatly appreciated by the Blue Ribbon Committee and, if I may speak for the whole, by the Senate,” Gordons said.
It can be recalled that the Blue Ribbon cited Pharmally executives Mohit and Twinkle Dargani for contempt for not allowing the release of sourced documents to the committee. The Senate panel subsequently ordered the detention of the two.
The Dargani siblings had invoked the Data Privacy Law, as well as the Bank Secrecy Code and the Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines on why they cannot provide the Senate committee with the company’s financial documents. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)