Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998.Most disingenuously and dishonestly neither of the two Lady Lawyers bothered to mention this entirely fair and reasonable parity of rights to privacy of BOTH the "offended party" and of the "accused."
Section 5. Protective Measures. - At any stage of the investigation, prosecution and trial of a complaint for rape, the police officer, the prosecutor, the court and its officers, as well as the parties to the complaint shall recognize the right to privacy of the offended party and the accused. Towards this end, the police officer, prosecutor, or the court to whom the complaint has been referred may, whenever necessary to ensure fair and impartial proceedings, and after considering all circumstances for the best interest of the parties, order a closed-door investigation, prosecution or trial and that the name and personal circumstances of the offended party and/or the accused, or any other information tending to establish their identities, and such circumstances or information on the complaint shall not be disclosed to the public.
Imagine indeed that Party A is accused of raping Party B. Until trial and appeals processes are exhausted we, the public, cannot really presume to know whether the accused is guilty or not, nor whether the accuser is telling the truth or not. Therefore it only stands to reason and the essential sense of fairness that the privacy of BOTH parties out to be kept out of the public domain.
RA 8505 explicitly demands it as the solemn duty and responsibility of "the police officer, the prosecutor, the court and its officers, as well as the parties to the complaints".
The outrageous thing about Ursua's and Legarda's statements that were broadcast tonight was their accusation against the Philippine Daily Inquirer (and "anyone else who published the full real name and pictures of Nicole") -- that they had criminally violated this law, RA 8505 and three other similar laws, in their March 18 report on the recantation affidavit of Nicole. Yet is it not crystal clear that the principal obligation to maintain privacy of BOTH parties actually rests on the Courts and on the lawyers??
Is it not also crystal clear that the first persons to violate this law included Judge Benjamin Pozon of the Makati Regional Trial Court when the name of Nicole was broadcast on radio? Finally, is not the SCoRP itself guilty of violating such privacy in their recent 9-6 decision ruling on the challenge to the VFA's constitutionality in GR 175888?
I think Evalyn Ursua and Katrina Legarda should be disbarred for intellectual dishonesty and lying on television.