MANILA, Philippines – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) on Thursday reiterated that a person’s right to data privacy should not be used as an excuse to evade legal investigations.
“We would like to reiterate that the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (DPA) does not prohibit the disclosure of personal or sensitive personal information (collectively, personal data) when necessary for purposes of complying with validly issued subpoenas by government investigating bodies,” NPC Commissioner Raymund Liboro said in a statement.
“Data privacy rights should not be cited as an excuse to evade legal proceedings,” he added.
Liboro issued the statement after the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee cited in contempt and ordered the detention of Pharmally’s president Twinkle Dargani, and corporate secretary Mohit Dargani when they refused to submit documents subpoenaed by the panel.
The Dargani siblings have been resisting Senate orders to submit several source documents related to the contracts it made with the government on pandemic supplies, citing advice from legal counsel.
“While we advocate for the protection of the right to data privacy of data subjects, there are provisions in the law that recognizes the processing of personal information when necessary for compliance with a legal obligation or to fulfill functions of public authorities,” Liboro said.
“On the other hand, sensitive personal information may also be processed when provided for by existing laws and regulations, or necessary for establishment, exercise, or defense of legal claims, among others,” he added.
The Pharmally Pharmaceutical company has been under scrutiny for its allegedly questionable deals with the government for the purchase of face masks and face shields.