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EOPLE V JALOSJOS

Feb. 3, 2000
Facts: The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress who is confined
at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness is
pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the
duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings
despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense on the basis of
popular sovereignty and the need for his constituents to be represented
Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as member of
House of Representatives
Held: Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, inspite of its
importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted
by law.
The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives
arises from a provision of the Constitution. The privilege has always been granted in a restrictive
sense. The provision granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the
ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment, implication or equitable
considerations.
The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of
Sec. 11, Art. VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to
attend sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman
charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than six years is not merely authorized by
law, it has constitutional foundations. To allow accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions
and committee meetings for 5 days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all the
privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accusedappellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the
correction system.

People vs jalosjos
Facts:
The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress
who is confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape
and acts of lasciviousness is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed a motion
asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a congressman, including
attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been
convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense on the basis of popular
sovereignty and the need for his constituents to be represented.
Issue:
Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as
member of House of Representatives
Held:
Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, in spite
of its importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may
be enlarged or restricted by law. The immunity from arrest or detention of
Senators and members of the House of Representatives arises from a provision of
the Constitution. The privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The
provision granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond
the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment,
implication or equitable considerations. The accused-appellant has not given any
reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Sec.11, Art. VI of the
Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend
sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a
Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than
six years is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. To
allow accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings
for 5 days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all the
privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates
accused- appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of
the purposes of the correction system

FACTS: While his appeal from a conviction of rape is pending, the accused, a Congressman was confined at the
national penitentiary. Since he was reelected to his position, he argued that he should be allowed to attend the
legislative sessions and committee hearings, because his confinement was depriving his constituents of their voice in
Congress.
HELD: Election to high government office does free accused from the common restraints of general law. Under
Section II, Article VI of the Constitution, a member of the House of Rep is privileged from arrest only if offense is
punishable by not more than 6 years imprisonment. Confinement of a congressman charged with a crime punishable
by more than 6 years has constitutional foundations. If allowed to attend the congressional sessions, the accused
would be virtually made a free man. When he was elected into office, the voters were aware of his limitations on his
freedom of action. Congress can continue to function even without all its members being present. Election to the
position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement.

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2001/nov2001/132875_76.htm