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Powers of Impeachment

Powers of Impeachment

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Published by: Alexiele on Sep 14, 2010
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. Y 
Petitioners, representing more than 1/5 of the Batasan, filed Resolution 644 calling for theimpeachment of Pres. Marcos together with a verified complaint for impeachment. The resolutionand complaint were referred by the Speaker to the Com. On Justice, HR and Good Governmentwhich found the complaint not sufficient in form and substance. It dismissed all the charges andsent to the archives.
Ramon Mitra moved to recall Res. 644, but Batasan disapproved it.
Petitioners filed a petition for prohibition to restrain from enforcing Secs. 4-6 and 8 of the BatasanRules of Procedure in Impeachment and mandamus to compel the Committee to recall from thearchives and report out the resolution together with the verified complaint.
They allege that the provisions of the Rules of Procedure are unconstitutional because theyamend the Constitution by empowering a smaller body to supplant and overrule the complaintto impeach endorsed by the requisite 1/5 of all the members of the BP and that saidquestioned provisions derail the impeachment proceedings by vesting the Committee thepower to impeach or not to impeach when such prerogative belongs to the BP as a collegiatebody.
Sec. 8: it imposes unconstitutional and illegal condition precedent in order that the complaintcan proceed to trial before the Batasan by requiring a majority vote of all the members as itimposes a condition not required by the Constitution.
This is a suit against the Batasan itself over which this Court has no jurisdiction
Political questions
Impeachment Rules are strictly in consonance with the Constitution and even supposingwithout admitting that the Rules are invalid, their invalidity would not nullify the dismissal of the complaint for impeachment for the Batasan as a body sovereign within its own spherehas the power to dismiss the impeachment complaint even without the benefit of said Rules
SC cannot compel the Batasan to give due course to the impeachment complaint.
Can the SC compel the Committee to recall from the archives and order the conduct of trial? NO
When the Batasan denied the motion for recall, it had in effect confirmed the action of the Committee. Since theConstitution expressly provides that "no official shall be convicted without the concurrence of at least 2/3 of all itsmembers," a majority vote of all the members of the Batasan confirming the action of the Committee disapproving theresolution calling for the impeachment of the President and dismissing all the charges contained in the complaint makesmathematically impossible the required at least 2/3 vote of all members of the Batasan to support a judgment of conviction. Dismissal of the impeachment proceedings would then be in order. A dismissal by the Batasan itself as a bodyof the resolution and complaint for impeachment (which is what the denial by the Batasan of MP Mitra's motion to recallfrom the Archives said resolution and complaint for impeachment is tantamount to) makes irrelevant under what authoritythe Committee had acted. The dismissal by the majority of the members of the Batasan of the impeachment proceedingsis an act of the Batasan as a body in the exercise of powers that have been vested upon it by the Constitution beyond thepower of this Court to review. This Court cannot compel the Batasan to conduct the impeachment trial prayed for bypetitioners. An order addressed to the Committee would actually be a direct order to the Batasan itself. An interference bythe judicial department of the government with the workings and operations of the committee of the legislative departmentwould be tantamount to an interference with the workings and operations of the legislative department itself. And, again,we are called upon to say, that one branch of the government cannot encroach upon the domain of another withoutdanger.
Whether the Batasan’s Rules of Procedure is constitutional? YES
The Batasan pursuant to its power to adopt rules of its proceedings may adopt, as it did adopt, necessary rules of procedure to govern impeachment proceedings. The rules it adopted providing for dismissal of a complaint for impeachment which is not sufficient in form or substance, or when sufficient grounds for impeachment do not exist, or probable cause has not been established, or requiring a majority vote of all members of the Batasan for the approval of the resolution setting forth the Articles of Impeachment, are not inconsistent with the provision of Sec. 3 of Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution. More specifically, the provision requiring concurrence of at least 2/3 votes of all members of theBatasan for conviction is not violated by any provision of the Rules which authorizes dismissal of a petition by a majorityvote of the Batasan since with such number of votes it is obvious that the two-thirds vote of all members necessary for conviction can no longer be obtained. Such being the case, the Batasan can specify in its rules how and when theimpeachment proceedings can be terminated or dismissed for Sec. 3, Article XIII merely provides for how a judgment of conviction can be sustained but is silent on how a complaint for impeachment can be dismissed when it becomesapparent that a judgment of conviction by the required number of votes is not possible. Neither is the Constitutionalprovision to the effect that impeachment may be initiated by a vote of at least one-fifth of the members violated by theprovision of the Rules authorizing the Committee to dismiss the complaint for impeachment which it finds not sufficient inform and substance (Sec. 4), does not have sufficient grounds for impeachment (Sec. 5), or where probable cause hasnot been established (Sec. 6). All of said actions of the Committee refer to the disposition of a complaint for impeachmentinitiated by at least one-fifth of all the members of the Batasan. Their purpose is to determine whether or not a complaintfor impeachment initiated by the required number of members of the Batasan warrants being referred to the Batasan for trial. They are not properly part of the "initiation phase" of the impeachment proceeding but of the "trial phase", or moreaccurately the "preparatory to trial" phase. Such actions are liken to actions taken by this Court in determining whether apetition duly filed should be given due course or should be dismissed outright. That the Rules on Impeachment of theInterim Batasan in the judgment of petitioners is better is no argument against the validity or constitutionality of the Ruleson Impeachment approved by the Batasan
. Said Rules are always within the power of the Batasan to modify,change or replace any time.
They do not have the force of law but are merely in the nature of by-laws prescribed for theorderly and convenient conduct of proceedings before the Batasan.
They are merely procedural and not substantive.They may be waived or disregarded by the Batasan and with their observance the Courts have no concern.
Therules of public deliberative bodies, whether codified in the form of a 'manual and formally adopted by the body, or whether consisting of a body of unwritten customs or usages, preserved in memory and by tradition are matters of which the judicial courts, as a general rule, take no cognizance. Rules of parliamentary practice are merely procedural and notsubstantive. The rules of procedure adopted by deliberative bodies have not the force of a public law, but they are merelyin the nature of by-laws, prescribed for the orderly and convenient conduct of their own proceedings. The rules adoptedby deliberative bodies are subject to revocation, modification, or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them. Therules of procedure passed by one legislative body are not binding on a subsequent legislative body operating within thesame jurisdiction, and, where a body resolves that the rules of a prior body be adopted until a committee reports rules, theprior rules cease to be in force on the report of the committee.
Unauthorized distribution & non-submission shall merit expulsion.
2DISMISSED complaints.
Lecaroz, mayor of Sta. Cruz, Marinduque was charged before the SB with grave coercion for taking over the operation and control of the gasoline station owned by Pedro Par, selling gasolinetherein to the public, issuing invoices and some pieces of yellow pad paper and padlocked thedispensing pump without authority of law. The information was amended that Lecaroz ordered hispolicemen to sell gasoline.
Lecaroz MTQ:
Lack of jurisdiction
The offense for which he was charged is not related to his office as a mayor.
Grave coercion is not among those mentioned in Sec. 4, PD 1486
Ordinary courts should have jurisdiction because it would be too costly to transport witnesses
PD 1486 is violative of the Constitution as it enlarges the what the Constitution limited.
Whether SB has jurisdiction? YES
Sec. 5, Art. 13 provides for the creation of a special court known as the SB. The court has jurisdictional competence notonly over criminal and civil cases involving graft and corrupt practices by public officers and employees but also over other crimes committed by them in relation to their office, though not involving graft and corrupt practices, as may bedetermined by law. The constitutional provision delegates to the lawmaking body the determination of such other offensescommitted by public officers over which the SB shall have jurisdiction. Pursuant to the lawmaking authority andprerogative vested in the President, he issued PD 1486 which mandates the SB to have jurisdiction over crimes or offenses committed by public officers including those employed in GOCC, in relation to their office. When the law makingauthority chose to include all public office-related offenses over which the SB shall have jurisdiction, the courts will notreview questions of legislative policy. It is enough that the act is within the constitutional power of the lawmaking body or authority and if it is, the courts are bound to follow and apply.
SB has jurisdictional competence not only over criminaland civil cases involving graft and corrupt practices committed by public officers and employees but also over other crimes committed by them in relation to their office, though not involving graft and corrupt practices, asmay be determined by law.
The information clearly alleges that Lecaroz took advantage of his position, if he were not the mayor he would not haveallegedly directed the policemen and the latter would not have followed his orders and instructions to sell Par’s gasolineand padlock the station. SB has concurrent jurisdiction with the regular courts and in case of concurrent jurisdiction, it isaxiomatic that the court first acquiring jurisdiction excludes the other courts.PD 1861 amended PD 1606 and it provides that where the penalty for offenses or felonies committed by public officers inrelation to their office does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for 6 years or fine of 6k, they are no longer within the concurrent jurisdiction of SB and the regular courts are now vested with jurisdiction—the information was filed in1980 beofre the amendment which was on march 23, 1983 therefore the SB retains jurisdiction over the case.Exceptions to the jurisdiction of the SB are like those constitutional officers, particularly those declared to be removed byimpeachment. Sec. 2, Art. 13 of the 1973 Constitution provides:The President, the Justices of the SC, and the Members of the Constitutional Commissions shall be removedfrom office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, other high crimes, or graft and corruption.The above provision proscribes removal from office of the aforementioned constitutional officers by any other method;otherwise to allow a public officer who may be removed solely by impeachment to be charged criminally while holding hisoffice with an offense that carries the penalty of removal from office, would be violative of the clear mandate of thefundamental law.Judgment in cases of impeachment shall be limited to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor,trust, or profit under the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject toprosecution, trial, and punishment, in accordance with law. The effect of impeachment is limited to the loss of position anddisqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit under the Republic. The party thus convicted may be proceededagainst, tried and thereafter punished in accordance with law. The party convicted in the impeachment proceeding shallnevertheless be subject to prosecution, trial and punishment according to law; and if the same does not result in aconviction and the official is not thereby removed, the filing of a criminal action “in accordance with law” may not prosper.Petition DISMISSED.
. 2, A
. 12 
All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. Withthe exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State maydirectly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by suchcitizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.The State shall protect the nation's marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.
Unauthorized distribution & non-submission shall merit expulsion.
3The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fish- workers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oilsaccording to the general terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall promote the development and use of localscientific and technical resources.The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its execution.
. 1, A
. 17 
Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:(1)The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or (2)A constitutional convention.
. 2, A
. 17 
Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must berepresented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. No amendment under this Sec. shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five yearsthereafter.The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.
. 26(1), A
. 6 
Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.
Petitioners – operators, hostesses, hospitality girls and dancers of night clubs, cabarets anddance halls
Respondents – Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Municipal Council of Bocaue
Ordinance 84 of Bocaue, Bulacan:
Prohibits the issuance and renewal of permits of operators of night clubs, cabaretsor dance halls nor to professional hostess, hospitality girls and professional dancer for employment in any of the aforementioned establishments within the municipality.
Revokes the licenses of these establishments and those of the professionalhostesses, hospitality girls and professional dancers upon expiration of the 30 dayperiod
Penalizes such violations by 3 mos. imprisonment or a P 200 fine.
2 cases for prohibition with preliminary injunction were filed in the CFI Bulacan based on theff. grounds:
No authority to prohibit a lawful business, occupation or calling
Violative of the right to due process and the equal protection of the law, as thelicense previously given to petitioners was in effect withdrawn without judicial hearing
PD 189 has transferred to the Department of Tourism the power to license andregulate tourist-oriented businesses including night club
Respondent’s Answer:
The Municipal Council is authorized not only to regulate but to prohibit theestablishment, maintenance and operation of night clubs under Sec. 2243 of the RAC,CA 601, RAs 938, 978 and 1224.
Ordinance No. 84 is not violative of the right to due process and the equal protection of the law, since property rights are subordinate to public interests
PD 189 did not deprive Municipal Councils of their jurisdiction to regulate or prohibitnight clubs
Petitioners’ Reply:
The hospitality girls are not allowed to engage in immoral acts and to go out withcustomers
These hospitality girls are made to go through periodic medical check-ups and not oneof them is suffering from any venereal disease
The crime rate there is better than in other parts of Bocaue or in other towns of Bulacan
 – Declared Ordinance 84 as CONSTITUTIONAL in the name of police power under the GeneralWelfare Clause of the LGC.
The municipal council hinges its power to prohibit under RA 938. Sec. 1 thereof gives the municipal or city board or council of each chartered city the power to regulate by ordinance the establishment, maintenance and operation of nightclubs, cabarets, dancing schools, pavilions, cockpits, bars, saloons, bowling alleys, billiard pools, and other similar placesof amusement within its territorial jurisdiction. Subsequently, it was amended to include the power to prohibit, but the titleremained the same. Since the Constitution mandates every bill to embrace only one subject which shall be expressed inthe title. Since there is no dispute as the title limits the power to regulating, not prohibiting, it would result in the statutebeing invalid if, as was done by the Municipality of Bocaue, the operation of a night club was prohibited. Since theamendment wasn’t expressed in the title thereof, it cannot be given effect. Also, in relation to the other pertinent laws, theallowed LGUs to merely regulate the mode in which it may conduct business in order precisely to put an end to practiceswhich could encourage vice and immorality. What was involved is a measure not embraced within the regulatory power but an exercise of an assumed power to prohibit.
1.One branch attaches itself to the main trunk of municipal authority, and relates to such ordinances andregulations as may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred upon themunicipal council by law. With this class we are not here directly concerned.2.The second branch of the clause is much more independent of the specific functions of the council which areenumerated by law. It authorizes such ordinances as shall seem necessary and proper to provide for the healthand safety, promote the prosperity, improve the morals, peace, good order, comfort, and convenience of themunicipality and the inhabitants thereof, and for the protection of property therein.It is a general rule that ordinances passed by virtue of the implied power found in the general welfare clause must bereasonable, consonant with the general powers and purposes of the corporation, and not inconsistent with the lawsor policy of the State.
If night clubs were merely then regulated and not prohibited, certainly the assailed ordinance would pass the test of validity. The following are the proper tests for validity: reasonableness, consonant with the general powers and purposesof municipal corporations, as well as consistency with the laws or policy of the State. The objective of fostering publicmorals, a worthy and desirable end can be attained by a measure that does not encompass too wide a field. Certainly theordinance on its face is characterized by overbreadth. The purpose sought to be achieved could have been attained byreasonable restrictions rather than by an absolute prohibition.
Unauthorized distribution & non-submission shall merit expulsion.

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