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96 Banco Filipino vs.

Monetary Board  On the other hand, respondents cite Section 21, Rule 130, Rules of Court
GR No. L-70054; July 8, 1986 which states:
o Section 21. Privileged Communications. The following persons
FACTS: cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases:
 Subject of this "Petition to Set Aside Order to Produce Documents dated 17 o (e) A public officer cannot be examined during his term of office or
February 1986" is the Order of Branch 136, Regional Trial Court, Makati, granting afterwards, as to communications made to him in official confidence,
the motion of the petitioner herein, based on Section 1, Rule 27, of the Rules of when the court finds that the public interest would suffer by disclosure.
Court, for the production, inspection, and copying of certain papers and records o
which are claimed as needed by the Petitioner Bank for the preparation of its  But this privilege, as this Court notes, is intended not for the protection of public
comments, objections, and exceptions to the Conservator's report dated January officers but for the protection of public interest (Vogel vs. Gruaz 110 U.S. 311
8, 1985, and Receiver's Report dated March 19, 1985. The documents now cited in Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, 1980 Ed. Vol. 5, p. 211). Where
asked to be produced, inspected, and copied are the following: there is no public interest that would be prejudiced, this invoked rule will not be
applicable.
(1) Copies of tapes and transcripts of the Monetary Board (MB) deliberations on o The rule that a public officer cannot be examined as to communications
the closure of Banco Filipino (BF) and its meeting on July 27, 1984, and made to him in official confidence does not apply when there is nothing
March 22, 1985; to show that the public interest would suffer by the disclosure question.
(2) Copies of the letter and reports of first conservator, Mr. Basilio Estanislao, to ... ,( Agnew vs. Agnew,'52 SD 472, cited in Martin Rules of Court of the
the MB and to Central Bank Governor Jose Fernandez; Philippines, Third Edition, Vol. 5, p. 199).
(3) Papers showing computations of all the interests and penalties charged by o
the CB against BF;  In the case at bar, the respondents have not established that public interest
(4) Schedule of recommended valuation of reserves per Mr. Tiaoqui's report would suffer by the disclosure of the papers and documents sought by petitioner.
dated March 19, 1985; Considering that petitioner bank was already closed as of January 25, 1985, any
(5) Adjustment per Annex "C" of Mr. Tiaoqui's report; disclosure of the aforementioned letters, reports, and transcripts at this time pose
(6) Annexes"A","B",and"C"of the joint report of Mr. Tiaoqui, Mr. Aurellano, and no danger or peril to our economy. Neither will it trigger any bank run nor
Mrs. Valenzuela; compromise state secrets. Respondent's reason for their resistance to the order
(7) Schedule of devaluation of CB premises of Paseo de Roxas of same report; of production are tenuous and specious. If the respondents public officials acted
(8) Schedule of BF's realizable assets from P5,159.44 B to P3,909.23 B as of rightfully and prudently in the performance of their duties, there should be nothing
January 25, 1985; at all that would provoke fear of disclosure
(9) Documents listed in BF's letter to Mrs. Carlota Valenzuela dated October 25, 
1985.  On the contrary, public interests will be best served by the disclosure of the
documents. Not only the banks and its employees but also its numerous
 Respondent oppose such as it contends that the same is privileged. depositors and creditors are entitled to be informed as to whether or not there
was a valid and legal justification for the petitioner's bank closure. It will be well to
ISSUE:Whether or not deliberations of public officers and the productions of the consider that—
aforesaid documents are covered by the rule on privileged communication. o Public interest means more than a mere curiosity; it means something in
which the public, the community at large, has some pecuniary interest
RULING: by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected (State vs. Crocket,
206, p. 816 cited in Words and Phrases, Vol. 35, p. 229).
 The deliberations may be confidential but not necessarily absolute and
privileged. There is no specific provision in the Central Bank Act, even in
Sections 13 and 15 thereof, which prohibits absolutely the courts from conducting
an inquiry on said deliberations when these are relevant or material to a matter
subject of a suit pending before it. The disclosure is here not intended to obtain
information for personal gain. There is no indication that such disclosure would
cause detriment to the government, to the bank or to third parties. Significantly, it
is the bank itself here that is interested in obtaining what it considers as
information useful and indispensably needed by it to support its position in the
matter being inquired to by the court below.