THE Supreme Court has rejected the petition for a Writ of Habeas Data against Agrarian Reform Assistant Secretary Alex Almario for snooping on pork scam witness Sandra Cam.
In a ruling dated October 14 but released to the media just recently, the tribunal dismissed the petition of Cam against Almario, a respondent identified only as“Sir Noy” and several others.
Cam told the Court that from April 30 to May 13, a white Toyota Innova and black pick-up without license plates had been cruising around the Nazareth Institute of Alfonso, a school managed by Cam and where she resides temporarily.
She said Almario himself went to the school, left his calling card, claimed to be an “unofficial representative” and asked to discuss with her an alleged “list” of Cabinet officials and legislators involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Cam said she reported the suspicious vehicles to Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Melchor Magdamo and many others, and reported the matter to the police on May 3.
The incident prompted her to petition the Supreme Court for a writ to stop Almario from conducting reconnaissance or surveillance activities in or around her residence.
She also asked that Almario be ordered to explain why he made numerous attempts to personally talk with her.
Aside from Almario, Cam named “Sir Noy”(believed to President Benigno Aquino 3rd), driver Marlon Adigue Mahilum, John Doe and Richard Doe in her petition.
Almario, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), explained that Cam’s petition has no basis at all and that the President is immune from suit.
The OSG said Cam failed to prove how her right to privacy was violated and threatened.
The Court noted that Section 6(d) on the Writ of Habeas Data requires the petition to establish “the location of the files, registers or database, the government office, and the person in charge, in possession or in control of the data or information, if known.”
Cam “did not sufficiently establish that respondent Almario was behind the alleged surveillance over her person conducted through the subject vehicles,” the Court said.
It added that there were no allegations of overt or covert acts to suggest that the vehicles escorted Almario or that they were part of one group when the Agrarian Reform official dropped by Cam’s school.