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G.R. No. L-56429 May 28, 1988 BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BAN , petitioner, vs.!ON.

FIDEL P"RISIMA, #$%., a&' !ON. VICENTE ERICTA a&' (OSE DEL FIERO, #$%., respondents.

FACTS: 1. The Customs special agent involved is Manuel Caturla, and the accusation against him was filed b the !ureau of "nternal #evenue. $. the Tanodbayan issued a subpoena duces tecum to the !anco Filipino Savings % Mortgage !an&, commanding its representative to appear at a specified time at the 'ffice of the Tanodbayan and furnish the latter with dul certified copies of the records in all its branches and e(tension offices, of the loans, savings and time deposits and other ban&ing transactions, dating bac& to 1)*), appearing in the names of Caturla, his wife, +urita Caturla, their children ,. Caturla moved to -uash the subpoena duces tecum arguing that compliance would result in a violation of Sections $ and , of the .aw on Secrec of !an& /eposits. Then Tanodbayan 0icente 1ricta not onl denied the motion for lac& of merit, and directed compliance with the subpoena, but also e(panded its scope through a second subpoena duces tecum, this time re-uiring production b !anco Filipino of the ban& records in all its branches and e(tension offices of several other persons &nown b the accused. 2. Two other subpoena of substantiall the same tenor as the second were released b the Tanodbayan's 'ffice. The last re-uired obedience under sanction of contempt. 3. The !anco Filipino Savings % Mortgage !an& filed a complaint for declarator relief with the CF" of Manila pra ed for a 4udicial declaration as to whether its compliance with the subpoenae duces tecum would constitute an infringement of the provisions of Sections $ and , of #.A. 5o. 1263 in relation to Section 7 of #.A. 5o. ,61). "t also as&ed that pending final resolution of the -uestion, the Tanodbayan be provisionall restrained from e(acting compliance with the subpoenae. *. #espondent 8udge +urisima issued an 'rder den ing for lac& of merit the application b !F !an& for a preliminar in4unction and9or restraining order. :. "t is the ban&;s theor that the order declining to grant that remed operated as a premature ad4udication of the ver issue raised in the declarator suit, and as 4udicial sufferance of a transgression of the ban& deposits statute, and so constituted grievous error correctible b certiorari. "t further argues that subpoenae in -uestion are in the nature of <fishing e(peditions< or <general warrants< since the authori=e indiscriminate in-uir into ban& records> that, assuming that such an in-uir is allowed as regards public officials under investigation for a violation of the Anti?@raft % Corrupt +ractices Act, it is constitutionall impermissible with respect to private individuals or public officials not under investigation on a charge of violating said Act> "SSA1: whether or not the <.aw on Secrec of !an& /eposits< precludes production b subpoena duces tecum of ban& records of transactions b or in the names of the wife, children and friends of a special agent of the !ureau of Customs, accused before the Tanodbayan of having allegedl ac-uired propert manifestl out of proportion to his salar and other lawful income, in violation of the <Anti?@raft and Corrupt +ractices Act.< B1./: 5'. while #epublic Act 5o. 1263 provides that ban& deposits are <absolutel confidential .. and CthereforeD ma not be e(amined, in-uired or loo&ed into,< e(cept in those cases enumerated therein, the Anti?@raft .aw directs in mandator terms that ban& deposits <shall be ta&en into consideration in the enforcement of this section, notwithstanding an provision of law to the contrar .< The onl conclusion possible is that section 7 of the Anti? @raft .aw is intended to amend section $ of #epublic Act 5o. 1263 b providing an additional e(ception to the rule against the disclosure of ban& desposits. ((( ((( ((( ... Cases of une(plained wealth 14 are similar to cases of briber or dereliction of dut 15 and

no reason is seen wh these two classes of cases cannot be e(cepted from the rule ma&ing ban& deposits confidential. The polic as to one cannot be different from the polic as to the other. This polic e(presses the notion that a public office is a public trust and an person who enters upon its discharge does so with the full &nowledge that his life, so far as relevant to his dut , is open to public scrutin . The in-uir into illegall ac-uired propert E or propert 5'T <legitimatel ac-uired< E e(tends to cases where such propert is concealed b being held b or recorded in the name of other persons. This proposition is made clear b #.A. 5o. ,61) which -uite categoricall states that the term, <legitimatel ac-uired propert of a public officer or emplo ee shall not include .. propert unlawfull ac-uired b the respondent, but its ownership is concealed b its being recorded in the name of, or held b , respondent;s spouse, ascendants, descendants, relatives or any other persons.< 16 To sustain the petitioner;s theor , and restrict the in-uir onl to propert held b or in the name of the government official or emplo ee, or his spouse and unmarried children is unwarranted in the light of the provisions of the statutes in -uestion, and would ma&e available to persons in government who illegall ac-uire propert an eas and fool?proof means of evading investigation and prosecution> all the would have to do would be to simpl place the propert in the possession or name of persons other than their spouse and unmarried children. This is an absurdit that we will not ascribe to the lawma&ers.