Press Release
January 7, 2020

Lacson bill allows one-party consent to help authorities fight terrorism, heinous crimes

A bill by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson will provide law enforcers the needed additional tools to fight terrorism and other heinous crimes.

Senate Bill 1187 allows "One Party Consent" in wiretapping calls of those involved in such acts, but also contains sufficient safeguards to prevent abuse.

"To further aid our law enforcement authorities in their obligation to protect the Filipino people, there is a need to provide an alternative option to the rigorous and time-consuming process of securing a court order that will still respect and comply with the right to privacy," Lacson said.

Lacson said such a setup - also known as consensual monitoring - allows the recording of a private conversation with the consent of at least one of the participants in the call.

Other crimes covered by the bill include treason, rebellion, coup d'etat, sedition, kidnapping, robbery in band, drug-related offenses, money laundering, plunder, bribery and corruption of public officials, and espionage.

Under the bill, a law enforcement officer may record or intercept a wire, oral or electronic conversation to gather evidence and strengthen a case buildup, after securing the requisite written order.

The bill allows a written authorization by the head of the law enforcement agency involved for the wiretap, after sufficient proof has been presented showing reasonable grounds to believe the evidence is essential to the conviction, and that there are no other effective means to obtain such evidence.

Law enforcers must fill up an application to conduct a one-party consent recording or intercepting and provide information such as the nature of any danger to the consenting party, type of recording or intercepting device to be used, location and length of time of the recording, as well as the names of person/s, if known, whose conversation will be recorded.

They should also indicate if the facts of the recording had been discussed with the legal officer of the investigating unit involved, and that the legal officer advised that the consensual recording is appropriate.

Evidence secured in violation of the bill shall be inadmissible in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation.

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