EN BANC

MA. MERCEDITAS N. GUTIERREZ Petitioner, - versus THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE, RISA HONTIVEROSBARAQUEL, DANILO D. LIM, FELIPE PESTAÑO, EVELYN PESTAÑO, RENATO M. REYES, JR., SECRETARY GENERAL OF BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (BAYAN); MOTHER MARY JOHN MANANZAN, COCHAIRPERSON OF PAGBABAGO; DANILO RAMOS, SECRETARYGENERAL OF KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP); ATTY. EDRE OLALIA, ACTING SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLE¶S LAWYERS (NUPL); FERDINAND R. GAITE, CHAIRPERSON, CONFEDERATION FOR UNITY, RECOGNITION AND ADVANCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (COURAGE); and JAMES TERRY RIDON OF THE LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS (LFS), Respondents. FELICIANO BELMONTE, JR., Respondent-Intervenor. CORONA, C.J., CARPIO, CARPIO MORALES, VELASCO, JR.,* NACHURA, LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, BRION, PERALTA, BERSAMIN, DEL CASTILLO, ABAD, VILLARAMA, JR., PEREZ, MENDOZA, and SERENO, JJ. G.R. No. 193459 Present:

Promulgated: March 8, 2011

x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x

RESOLUTION
CARPIO MORALES, J.: For resolution is petitioner¶s ³Motion for Reconsideration (of the Decision dated 15 February 2011)´ dated February 25, 2011 (Motion). Upon examination of the averments in the Motion, the Court finds neither substantial nor cogent reason to reconsider its Decision. A plain reading of the Decision could very well dispose of petitioner¶s previous contentions, raised anew in the Motion, but the Court finds it proper, in writingfinis to the issue, to draw petitioner¶s attention to certain markers in the Decision.

I Contrary to petitioner¶s assertion that the Court sharply deviated from the ruling in Francisco, Jr. v. The House of Representatives,[1] the Decision of February 15, 2011 reaffirmed and illuminated the Francisco doctrine in light of the particular facts of the present case. To argue, as petitioner does, that there never was a simultaneous referral of two impeachment complaints as they were actually referred to the committee ³separately, one after the other´ is to dismantle her own interpretation of Francisco that the one-year bar is to be reckoned from the filing of the impeachment complaint. Petitioner¶s Motion concedes[3] that the Francisco doctrine on the initiation of an impeachment proceeding includes the House¶s initial action on the complaint. By recognizing the legal import of a referral, petitioner abandons her earlier claim that per Francisco an impeachment proceeding is initiated by the mere filing of an impeachment complaint. Having uprooted her reliance on the Francisco case in propping her position that the initiation of an impeachment proceeding must be reckoned from the filing of the complaint, petitioner insists on actual initiation and not ³constructive

initiation by legal fiction´ as averred by Justice Adolfo Azcuna in his separate opinion in Francisco. In Justice Azcuna¶s opinion which concurred with the majority, what he similarly found untenable was the stretching of the reckoning point of initiation to the time that the Committee on Justice (the Committee) report reaches the floor of the House.[4] Notably, the provisions of the Impeachment Rules of the 12th Congress that were successfully challenged in Francisco provided that an impeachment proceeding was to be ³deemed initiated´ upon the Committee¶s finding of sufficiency of substance or upon the House¶s affirmance or overturning of the Committee¶s finding,[5] which was clearly referred to as the instances ³presumably for internal purposes of the House, as to the timing of some of its internal action on certain relevant matters.´[6] Definitely, ³constructive initiation by legal fiction´ did not refer to the aspects of filing and referral in the regular course of impeachment, for this was precisely the gist of Francisco in pronouncing what initiation means. The Court adhered to the Francisco-ordained balance in the tug-of-war between those who want to stretch and those who want to shrink the term ³initiate,´ either of which could disrupt the provision¶s congruency to the rationale of the constitutional provision. Petitioner¶s imputation that the Court¶s Decision presents a sharp deviation from Francisco as it defers the operability of the oneyear bar rule rings hollow. Petitioner urges that the word ³initiate´ must be read in its plain, ordinary and technical meaning, for it is contrary to reason, logic and common sense to reckon the beginning or start of the initiation process from its end or conclusion. Petitioner would have been correct had the subject constitutional provision been worded as ³no initiation process of the impeachment proceedingshall be commenced against the same official more than once within a period of one year,´ in which case the reckoning would literally point to the ³start of the beginning.´ To immediately reckon the initiation to what petitioner herself concedes as the start of the initiation process is to countenance a raw or half-baked initiation.

Petitioner¶s discussion on the singular tense of the word ³complaint´ is too tenuous to require consideration.´[8] Moreover. if any. Petitioner further avers that the demonstrated concerns against reckoning the period from the filing of the complaint are mere possibilities based on a general mistrust of the Filipino people and their Representatives. Since the issue precisely involves upholding an express limitation of a power. the Court closely applied Francisco on what comprises or completes the initiation phase. Nothing can be more unequivocal or well-defined than the elucidation of filing-and-referral in Francisco. mere possibility of abuse is not a conclusive argument against the existence of power nor a reason to invalidate a law. Petitioner posits that referral is not an integral or indispensable part of the initiation of impeachment proceedings. it is highly impossible in such situation to coincidentally initiate a second impeachment proceeding in the interregnum. The Court¶s duty entails an examination of the same possible . The phraseology of the one-year bar rule does not concern itself with a numerical limitation of impeachment complaints. Suffice it to restate a footnote in the Court¶s Decision that in such case of ³an abbreviated mode of initiation[. given the period between filing and referral.In re-affirming what the phrase ³no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated´ means. If it were the intention of the framers of the Constitution to limit the number of complaints. To her. The present case does not involve an invalidation of a legal provision on a grant of power. Petitioner must come to terms with her denial of the exact terms of Francisco. it behooves the Court to look into the rationale behind the constitutional proscription which guards against an explicit instance of abuse of power. they would have easily so stated in clear and unequivocal language. in case of a direct filing of a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. x x x] the filing of the complaint and the taking of initial action [House directive to automatically transmit] are merged into a single act.[7] The facts of the case do not call for the resolution of this issue however.

To refer an impeachment complaint within an existing one-year bar. Petitioner goes on to argue that the House has no discretion on the matter of referral of an impeachment complaint and that once filed. an impeachment complaint should. the Court merely underscored the House¶s conscious role in the initiation of an impeachment proceeding. Ironically. . The House cannot indeed refuse to refer an impeachment complaint that is filed without a subsisting bar. And her own mistrust leads her to find inadequate the existence of the pertinent constitutional provisions.. Contrary to petitioner¶s position that the Court left in the hands of the House the question as to when an impeachment proceeding is initiated. which may be struck down under Rule 65 for grave abuse of discretion. which are basically the same grounds being invoked by petitioner to arrive at her desired conclusion. however. she downplays these layers of protection as illusory or inutile without implementation and enforcement. as a matter of course. The Court added nothing new in pinpointing the obvious reckoning point of initiation in light of the Francisco doctrine. petitioner also offers the Court with various possibilities and vivid scenarios to grimly illustrate her perceived oppression. is to commit the apparently unconstitutional act of initiating a second impeachment proceeding. referral of an impeachment complaint to the appropriate committee is already a power or function granted by the Constitution to the House. incidents that may prove to disrupt the law-making function of Congress and unduly or too frequently harass the impeachable officer). Moreover. and to entertain doubt on ³the respect for and adherence of the House and the respondent committee to the same.´[9] While petitioner concedes that there is a framework of safeguards for impeachable officers laid down in Article XI of the Constitution. as if these can be disregarded at will. be referred to the Committee.e.scenarios considered by the framers of the Constitution (i. It bears recalling that the one-year bar rule itself is a constitutional limitation on the House¶s power or function to refer a complaint.

Promulgation. however. She particularly cites Constitutional Commissioner Ricardo Romulo¶s concerns on the amount of time spent if ³multiple impeachment charges´[10] are allowed. She again cites her thesis that Commonwealth Act No. as used in Section 3(8). when the Constitution uses the word ³promulgate. and the two Tañada v. IN SUM. suitably takes the meaning of ³to make known´ as it should be generally understood. the Court did not deviate from.´ it does not necessarily mean to publish in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. with Francisco as the guiding light. To reiterate. 638. without any regard to the claims set forth in the complaint. II Petitioner. She fails. however. Petitioner raises nothing new to change the Court¶s stance on the matter. Tuvera[11] cases mandate that the Impeachment Rules be published for effectivity. Article XI of the Constitution.Tackling on the House floor in its order of business a clearly constitutionally-prohibited second impeachment complaint on the matter of whether to make the appropriate referral goes precisely into the propriety of the referral and not on the merits of the complaint. The House needs only to ascertain the existence or expiry of the constitutional ban of one year. Petitioner refuses to see the other half of that light. To petitioner. the intervening days from the filing of the complaint to whatever completes the initiation of an impeachment proceeding is immaterial in mitigating the influx of successive complaints since allowing multiple impeachment charges would result to the same harassment and oppression. reiterates her argument that promulgation means publication. meanwhile. Article 2 of the Civil Code. to establish whether Commissioner Romulo limited or quantified his reference to not more than one complaint or charge. as it did apply the twin rule of filing and referral in the present case. .

Niel Tupas. petitioner argues that the Court erred when it ruled that ³to require publication of the House Impeachment Rules would only delay the impeachment proceedings and cause the House of Representatives to violate constitutionally mandated periods«´ She insists that the Committee. Petitioner rehashes her allegations of bias and vindictiveness on the part of the Committee Chairperson. the promulgation of the Impeachment Rules notwithstanding. Article XI of the Constitution contains relevant self-executing provisions which must be observed at the start of the impeachment process.Petitioner continues to misapply Neri v. Yet again. If the Constitution warranted the publication of Impeachment Rules. It is not for this Court to tell a coequal branch of government on how to do so when such prerogative is lodged exclusively with it. Still. The Committee members even took to voting among themselves to validate what actions to take on the motions presented to the Committee. Note that the Court discussed the above-mentioned scenario only ³in cases where impeachment complaints are filed at the start of each Congress. the actions taken by the Committee were never its Chairperson¶s sole act but rather the collective undertaking of its whole 55-person membership. The Constitution clearly gives the House a wide discretion on how to effectively promulgate its Impeachment Rules. Petitioner is mistaken in her assertion. after publishing the Impeachment Rules. then it could have expediently indicated such requirement as it did in the case of legislative inquiries. Tupas partake of a keen performance of his avowed duties and responsibilities as the designated manager of that phase in the impeachment proceeding. Rep. .´ Section 3. would still have a remainder of 45 days out of the 60-day period within which to finish its business. Jr. Besides. the supposed actuations of Rep. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations[12] where the Court noted that the Constitution unmistakably requires the publication of rules of procedure pertaining to inquiries in aid of legislation.

the pacing or alleged precipitate haste with which the impeachment proceeding against petitioner is conducted is beyond the Court¶s control. Again. Incidentally. respondents¶ moves to reconsider or recall it notwithstanding. the Impeachment Rules do not provide for any provision regarding the inhibition of the Committee chairperson or any member from participating in an impeachment proceeding. was ³effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court.´[15] Such ³further order´ points to that part of the disposition in the February 15. The Committee may thus direct any question of partiality towards the concerned member only. as it did proceed with the impeachment proceeding after the Court released its February 15. WHEREFORE. impeachment is a highly politicized intramural that gives the House ample leg room to operate. subject only to the constitutionally imposed limits. The lifting of the Status Quo Ante Order is effective immediately. an impeachment is not a judicial proceeding. the Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED for lack of merit. in the same way that the Status Quo Ante Order was made effective immediately. Except for the constitutionally mandated periods. . 2011 Decision. already lifted its September 14. 2011 Decision that directs the lifting of the Status Quo Ante Order. 2011 Decision. and it is not for this Court to interfere with that decision. Petitioner thus cannot demand that the Court apply the stringent standards it asks of justices and judges when it comes to inhibition from hearing cases.[13] And beyond these. And any decision on the matter of inhibition must be respected.Indubitably. the Court has. FINALLY. the filing of petitioner¶s motion for reconsideration notwithstanding. as said Order clearly stated. There is thus no faulting the Committee if it decides to. 2010 Status Quo Ante Order[14] which. but rather a political exercise. in its February 15. the Court is dutybound to respect the discretion of a co-equal branch of government on matters which would effectively carry out its constitutional mandate.

CORONA Chief Justice ANTONIO T. CARPIO Associate Justice (NO PART) PRESBITERO J. Associate Justice . Brion RENATO C.SO ORDERED. VELASCO. CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice WE CONCUR: I maintain my dissenting vote with J. JR.

On sabbatical leave (no vote) ANTONIO EDUARDO B. Brion DIOSDADO M. JR. VILLARAMA. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate Justice I certify that J. BERSAMIN Associate Justice I maintain my vote in my concurring and dissenting opinion MARIANO C. ABAD Associate Justice MARTIN S. Brion maintains his dissent ARTURO D. PERALTA Associate Justice I maintain my vote with the dissent of J. Associate Justice .A. Brion LUCAS P. NACHURA Associate Justice I maintain my vote to join the dissent of Justice Brion TERESITA J. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice ROBERTO A.A. BRION Associate Justice I maintain my vote with the dissent of J.

Following Francisco.´ (underscoring supplied) . an impeachment proceeding against petitioner Ombudsman has already been initiated. Motion for Reconsideration. RENATO C. p. 830 (2003). 9: ³From these entries. 8. 460 Phil. it is clear that each impeachment complaint was the subject of separate and distinct referrals. I hereby certify that the conclusions in the above Resolution had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court. Article VIII of the Constitution. upon the referral of the First Impeachment Complaint to the respondent Committee. p. SERENO Associate Justice CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. A. Motion for Reconsideration. CORONA Chief Justice * [1] [2] [3] No part.I maintain my position in my separate opinion in the main case JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice MARIA LOURDES P.

[4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

Vide Francisco, Jr. v. The House of Representatives, 460 Phil. 830, 1054-1055. Id. at 865. Id. at 1055. CONSTITUTION, Art. XI, Sec. 3, par. (4). Decision of February 15, 2011, footnote 61. Motion for Reconsideration, p. 36. Vide II RECORD OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION, p. 282 (July 26, 1986). 220 Phil. 422 (1985); 230 Phil. 528 (1986). G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008, 549 SCRA 77; and September 4, 2008, 564 SCRA 152. Francisco, Jr. v. The House of Representatives, supra. Rollo, pp. 264-267. Id. at 266, emphasis and underscoring supplied.

EN BANC Agenda of February 15, 2011 Item No. 23 G.R. No. 193459 ± MA. MERCEDITAS N. GUTIERREZ, petitioner versus - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE JUSTICE, ET AL., respondents. Promulgated: February 15, 2011 x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DISSENTING OPINION BRION, J.: I dissent from the ponencia¶s conclusion that the proceedings before the House of Representatives Committee on Justice (Justice Committee) are constitutional. These proceedings were undertaken without the benefit of duly published and fully effective rules of impeachment and are, thus, fatally infirm for violation of the petitioner¶s right to due process. I believe, too, that we should revisit our ruling in Francisco v. House of Representatives[1] as we did not apply the proper consideration when we determined the back-end of the initiation phase of the impeachment proceedings. The initiation phase should start at the filing of the impeachment ON

complaint and end when the Justice Committee determines that the impeachment is sufficient in form and substance. Thus, I vote to grant the petition.

I. Publication and Due Process a. The Due Process Objection In the course of assailing the actions of the House of Representatives

in its impeachment proceedings, the petitioner raised various due process grounds, both substantive and procedural. The threshold issue, however, that must be met before any substantive due process consideration can be made, is whether there were valid and effective rules of impeachment in place, as required by Section 3(8) of Article XI of the Constitution, when the House of Representatives embarked on the impeachment process. To the petitioner, the Justice Committee failed to properly determine the sufficiency in form of the two impeachment complaints against her since no valid and effective rules of impeachment were in place when the Justice Committee ruled on these matters; the impeachment rules of the 15thCongress were published a day after the Justice Committee ruled that the complaints were sufficient in form. While the impeachment rules were published on September 2, 2010, they were not yet effective when the Justice Committee ruled that the impeachment complaints were sufficient in substance on September 7, 2010. Because no valid rules were in place when the Justice Committee initially acted and ruled on the impeachment complaints, a fatal transgression of the petitioner¶s right to due process occurred. b. Justification for Judicial Intervention Impeachment proceedings are political processes that the Constitution places within the exclusive domain of the legislature. Section 3(1), Article XI of the Constitution plainly states that: ³The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.´ Section 3(6) of the same article grants to the Senate the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. Even the drafting of the impeachment rules is specifically entrusted to the House of Representatives. At the same time that it entrusts the impeachment process to the House of Representatives, the Constitution also provides clear standards and guidelines for the House of Representatives to follow to ensure that it does not act arbitrarily. Among these are: the specification of the grounds for impeachment,[2] the periods within which an impeachment complaint should be acted on,[3] the voting requirements,[4] the one year bar on initiating an impeachment process,[5] and the promulgation of the impeachment rules.[6] Unwritten in the article on impeachment but, nevertheless, fully applicable

To ³promulgate´ means to publish or to announce officially. in the exercise of judicial review. this is the guarantee of due process.[10] By law. et al. The Need for Prior Publication The Constitution specifically provides that the House of Representatives must promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of Section 3..e.[12] As a matter of basic fairness.[8] The House of Representatives must act within the limits the Constitution has defined. unless the law provides for another period. as well as local. Hon. etc. Like the Monetary Board circulars that do not only interpret but also ³fill in the details´ of the Central . together with Section 2. Tañada.[9] c. law or rule to become effective.[7] To the extent of these standards and guidelines. [14] The impeachment rules do not fall under the exceptions. In constitutional law terms. et al. Article XI that. Tuvera. can act and has the duty to strike down any action committed with grave abuse of discretion or in excess of jurisdiction. the Court ± otherwise excluded from the impeachment process ± plays a part in its traditional role as interpreter and protector of the Constitution. The term ³law´ covers laws of general. and administrative rules. Publication is required as a condition precedent to the effectivity of a law to inform the public of the contents of the law. that the failure to publish a law or rule offends due process. rules or regulations before these enactments take effect and affect the public¶s rights and interests. application. i.[13] We explained in Lorenzo M. presidential decrees. it denies the public knowledge of the laws that affect them and removes the basis for the presumption that every person knows the law. the Court. it embraces legislative enactments as well as executive orders. deals specifically with the House of Representatives¶ power of impeachment. ³notice´ is required before the public¶s rights and interests are placed at risk. otherwise.those regulating only the personnel of an administrative agency and not the public.are the guaranteed individual rights that the House of Representatives must absolutely respect.[11] Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that laws shall take effect after 15 days following their publication.. v. The only exceptions to the rule on publication are interpretative regulations and those that are merely internal in nature. Juan C. publication is necessary for a statute.

This justification. Article XI of the Constitution were intended ³to fill the gaps in the impeachment process. However. both parties admit that before September 17. It is a matter of record that the House of Representatives of the 15 Congress has seen it fit and proper to publish the rules of impeachment. The impeachment rules likewise affect a public right. implement and fill in the details of the constitutional impeachment provisions must also be [15] Significantly.[20] Compliance with the requirements of publication cannot be excused based on allegations that the party or parties involved had been notified of the existence of the rules.[21] In National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms v. The fact that the Constitution itself allows ³any citizen´ to file an impeachment complaint already draws the public as a party with an interest to protect in the impeachment process. Under Article 2 of the Civil Code. the ponencia asserts that the petitioner was fully apprised of the impeachment procedure and had even invoked the rules.´[16] These rules cannot be considered as internal rules that merely regulate the performance of subordinates and. and that it had subsequently conducted another hearing and voted that both complaints were sufficient in substance. are exempted from publication. the impeachment rules which interpret. it is a matter of public interest to uphold standards applicable to public officials in the highest positions in the performance of their duties. hence. an impeachment conviction results in the public official¶s removal from office and disqualification to hold any public office in the Philippines.although the publication came too late for the proceedings before the . mandated by Section 3(8).[19] th To rebut the petitioner¶s allegation of due process violation for nonpublication of the impeachment rules. 2010. They are rules that gravely affect the rights of impeachable officials. Records show that the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings of the Fifteenth Congress (Rules of Impeachment) was published on September 2. however. cannot fully suffice to do away with full publication.[18] that it had already held a hearing and voted that both complaints were sufficient in form. they are the balancing measures to ensure that our public officials are continually held accountable in the performance of their functions.[22] the participation of the parties . the two impeachment complaints had already been filed[17] and referred to the Justice Committee. 2010.Bank Act. 2010. even the ponencia states that the impeachment rules published. Energy Regulatory Commission. these Rules became valid and binding only on September 17.

is that the binding effect of laws. the term ³promulgation. the House of Representatives itself as the constitutional body charged with the initiation of the impeachment process. and the public at large who have a stake in the due performance of duties by their public officers. she alludes to certain legal provisions on the Judiciary¶s issuance of judgments where the ³promulgation´ of orders or decisions does not require publication. the public has no immediate interest that may be directly affected. The plain and obvious reason for this ruling. laws.´ as used by the courts with respect to its decisions and rulings. These provisions fully apply to impeachment rules as these rules affect everyone ± the impeachable officials. From these perspectives. by legal fiction. According to the ponencia. In contrast. of course. the Judiciary itself is not exempt from the obligation to publish rules that . Court rulings are pronouncements by the judicial branch of government on specific cases affecting specific parties on defined issues. rules and regulations. these rulings affect only the immediate parties to the case and their successors-ininterest. and need not be informed about the court rulings. Notably. As a rule. rules and regulations cannot be made to depend on the actual knowledge of their terms by the affected individuals and entities. that all affected parties have been notified and are aware of applicable laws. thereafter. the published enactments govern affected parties and their actions. as a rule. the citizenry who can bring impeachment complaints.involved in a previous public consultation and their submission of comments on the proposed rules did not do away with the requirement to publish these rules before they could take effect. The fact of publication assumes. This reason underlies the rule on publication under Article 2 of the Civil Code and the rule under the complementary Article 3 that ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance with its terms. rules and regulations. the members of the House of Representatives. cannot be directly compared and equated with ³promulgation. the latter require publication before they become fully effective. affect the public in general and for this reason. The comparison of impeachment rules with court rulings is far from apt.[24] hence. The ponenciafurther cites National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms[23] as justification. publication is not required since ³promulgation´ is not the same as ³publication´. they must be brought to the attention of the public.´ as used with respect to laws and other enactments passed by the legislature.

and determine may be used. In this case. must be published ± does not do away with the publication requirement. The ponencia also points out that even if Section 3 of Article VII of the Constitution requires the promulgation of rules for the canvassing of election certificates. Article XI in a sense different from its established legal meaning. In both rulings. cannot accept the implication from the ponencia that the Constitutional Commission may have used the word ³promulgate´ in Section 3(8). the focus of the case was on the need to publish rules before they become effective. Thus. At the time the 1987 Constitution was discussed and passed. I particularly reject the ponente¶s statement that there is no other single formal term in the English language to appropriately refer to an issuance without the need of it being published. the ponencia¶s cited National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms case[25] cannot be used to support the proposition that promulgation excludes the act of publication. adopt.. the general legal usage of the term ³promulgation´ with respect to laws.e. the Rules of Court requires the element of publication in ³in rem´ cases where court rulings are intended to bind the public in general. I cannot give any merit to theponencia¶s claim. The Supreme Court publishes its procedural rules because they affect the litigating public. the House of Representatives did not publish these rules. instead of using the word ³promulgate. set forth. likewise.bind the public in general before these rules acquire binding effect. Incidentally.[28] Several terms contradicting this statement immediately come to mind. The members of the Constitutional Commission are legal experts whose deliberative records this Court did not hesitate to cite as authorities in the earlier Francisco case[29] that first ruled on impeachment under the 1987 Constitution. the Court did not come up with a categorical statement that promulgation should be construed to exclude publication. by law. rules and regulations denotes ³publication.[27] This justification likewise carries very little supportive weight as the failure of the House of Representatives to publish rules ± that. I.´ the words issue. the members of the Constitutional Commission could have plainly so stated. i. depending on the context. Article 2 of the Civil Code and the Tañada ruling were already both in place. Even if the term ³promulgation´[26] had been loosely used.´ Had a meaning other than this usage been intended. establish. that .

Simple adoption of the rules. a succeeding House of Representatives cannot simply adopt the rules of the preceding House of Representatives without publication of the rules or the fact of their adoption. to sufficiently put the public on notice on the applicable rules. 2010. the 15th Congress cannot be said to have complied with Section 3(8). Under these circumstances. In the same manner. The reality is that the Constitutional Commission members did not see the need to so state because publication is a given.[33] As the Court explained then. Article XI of the Constitution in relation to Article 2 of the Civil Code and with existing jurisprudence on this point prior to September 17. even the members of the 15th Congress ± who themselves are experts in crafting legislations ± impliedly recognized the need for publication as they. et al. in fact.[32] we ruled that the Senate must publish the rules for its legislative inquiries in each Congress or otherwise make the published rules clearly state that the same shall be effective in subsequent Congresses or until they are amended or repealed. SEPARATE OPINION . Significantly. In Romulo L. leaves the House of Representatives with no effective rules binding on the public. With this omission. Even if I were to accept the ponencia¶s position that ³to promulgate´ simply means ³to make known´ and not necessarily ³to publish. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations.[30] although their publication was too late for the proceedings of the . the Senate is not bound by the rules adopted by the previous Senate.´ theponencia does not state how the 15th Congress made its impeachment rules known to the public other than through the publication it undertook[31](which rendered the rules of impeachment effective only on September 17.publication of the rules on impeachment is not necessary. without the required publication. did publish their rules on impeachment. it requires a considerable stretch of the imagination to claim that the term ³promulgate´ should be understood to be divorced from the requirement of publication. 2010 or after the Justice Committee had acted on the impeachment complaints). Neri v.

four (4) months after the filing of the first impeachment complaint. Jr. the House Committee on Justice recommended the dismissal of the complaint for being ³insufficient in substance. Unless the issues involved in the controversial cases are dealt with exceptional sensitivity and sobriety. sending them closer to the precipice of constitutional confrontation. described by Alexis Tocqueville as ³the most formidable weapon that has ever been placed in the grasp of the majority. . signed the resolution endorsing the second impeachment complaint. It will be an unfortunate throwback to the dark days of savagery and brutishness where the hungry mob screaming for blood and a pound of flesh must be fed to be pacified and satiated.: x x x x In times of social disquietude or political excitement.´ Subsequently however. Looming in its midst is the specter of conflict the thunderous echoes of which we listened to intently for the past few days. the House Committee on Justice included the impeachment complaint in its Order of Business and ruled that the complaint was ³sufficient in form. a second verified impeachment complaint was filed by Reps. During the hearings. Emerging from the shadows of unrest is the national inquest on the conduct of no less than the Chief Justice of this Court. Laurel A pall of gloom hovers ominously in the horizon. On 2 June 2003 former President Joseph Estrada through counsel filed a verified impeachment complaint before the House of Representatives charging Chief Justice Hilario G. . eight (8) amici curiae appeared to expound their views on the contentious issues relevant to the impeachment. Davide. The complaint accused the Chief Justice mainly of misusing the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). Davide. two great departments of government locked in a virtual impasse. betrayal of public trust and other high crimes. Jr. Rolex T. the great landmarks of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred. Oral arguments were set for hearing on 5 November 2003 which had to be extended to 6 November 2003 to accommodate the parties and their respective counsel.Justice Jose P. on 22 October 2003. Gilberto C. The complaint was endorsed by Reps. this time against Chief Justice Hilario G. Fuentebella of Camarines Sur. Impeachment. Dilangalen of Maguindanao andCotabato City.BELLOSILLO. On 13 October 2003. J.´ has taken center stage in the national consciousness in view of its far-reaching implications on the life of our nation. Zamora of San Juan and Didagen P. Ronaldo B. if not entirely obliterated. Several petitions for certiorari and prohibition questioning the constitutionality of the second impeachment complaint were filed before this Court. alone. Thereafter.´ On 23 October 2003. the tempest of anarchy may fulminate and tear apart the very foundations of our political existence. Suplico of Iloilo. more than eighty (80) members of the Lower House. Teodoro of Tarlac and William Felix D. constituting more than 1/3 of its total membership. and seven (7) Associate Justices of this Court with culpable violation of the Constitution.

For considerations of law and judicial comity. this power is not lightly assumed or readily exercised. this Court is vested with the power to annul the acts of the legislature when tainted with grave abuse of discretion. True. and. not within the hallowed domain of this Court. once wrote: ³The Senate is the most fit depositary of this important trust. As Alexander Hamilton. but to me. thus calling for judicial deference. the constitutional power of impeachment rightfully belongs to Congress in a two-fold character: (a) The power to initiate impeachment cases against impeachable officers is lodged in the House of Representatives. First. and. As enunciated in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. A controversy is non-justiciable where there is a ³textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of . the political question being the function of the separation of powers. we should refrain from adjudicating the issues one way or the other. but within the august confines of the Legislature. I find no urgency for judicial intervention at this time. The matter of impeachment is a political question that must rightfully be addressed to a political branch of government. which is the Congress of thePhilippines. not in the instant cases alone but on future ones as well. I believe.´ The reason is that political questions are concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. particularly the Senate. I am conscious of the transcendental implications and importance of the issues that confront us. not the legality. delegate to the 1787 American Constitutional Convention. (b) The power to try and decide impeachment cases belongs solely to the Senate. In Baker v. Clearly. in striking down the acts of the legislature as unconstitutional. Verily. Carr[4] repeatedly mentioned during the oral arguments. The doctrine of separation of powers imposes upon the courts proper restraint born of the nature of their functions and of their respect for the other departments. the Judiciary being a co-equal branch of government together with the Legislature and the Executive branch. the United States Supreme Court held that political questions chiefly relate to separation of powers issues. the courts will not normally interfere with the workings of another co-equal branch unless the case shows a clear need for the courts to step in to uphold the law and the Constitution.´[2] We must choose not to rule upon the merits of these petitions at this time simply because. this is not the proper hour nor the appropriate circumstance to perform our duty.This Court must hearken to the dictates of judicial restraint and reasoned hesitance. this is the prudent course of action to take under the circumstances. the policy is a harmonious blend of courtesy and caution. Even so. except to express our views as we see proper and appropriate. Moreover. of a particular act or measure being assailed. Zamora.[3] we do not automatically assume jurisdiction over actual constitutional cases brought before us even in instances that are ripe for resolution - One class of cases wherein the Court hesitates to rule on are ³political questions.[1] All avenues of redress in the instant cases must perforce be conscientiously explored and exhausted. it should certainly not to be equated with a total abdication of our bounden duty to uphold the Constitution.

lest I be misconstrued.S.´[5] But perhaps it is Nixon v.S. or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it. As a co-equal. the three (3) departments of government must accord mutual respect to each other under the principle of separation of powers. More significantly. The U. Supreme Court decision-making. VIII. it is not impervious to judicial interference in case of arbitrary or capricious exercise of the power to impeach by Congress. specifically under Art. this is not to say that this Court is absolutely precluded from inquiring into the constitutionality of the impeachment process. Supreme Court applied the Baker ruling to reinforce the ³political question´ doctrine in impeachment cases. Sandford[7] is a grim illustration of how catastrophic improvident judicial incursions into the legislative domain could be.S. Second. United States[6] which provides the authority on the ³political question´ doctrine as applied in impeachment cases. but merely to check against infringement of . not for the purpose of questioning the wisdom or motive behind the legislative exercise of impeachment powers. It is one of the most denounced cases in the history of U. It is incumbent upon the Court to exercise judicial restraint in rendering a ruling in this particular case to preserve the principle of separation of powers and restore faith and stability in our system of government. denied that a Negro was a citizen of the United States even though he happened to live in a ³free´ state. Third. High Court at a moment in history when it should have been a powerful stabilizing force. Penned by Chief Justice Taney. Dred Scott v. Unless it can therefore be shown that the exercise of such discretion was gravely abused. This we do not wish to happen in the Philippines! It must be clarified. the Congressional exercise of judgment must be recognized by this Court.S. Sec. While the impeachment mechanism is by constitutional design a sui generis political process. The burden to show that the House or the Senate gravely abused its discretion in impeaching a public officer belongs exclusively to the impeachable officer concerned. High Court likewise declared unconstitutional the law forbidding slavery in certain federal territories. it inflamed the passions of the Northern and Southern states over the slavery issue thus precipitating the American Civil War. introduced the expanded concept of the power of judicial review that now explicitly allows the determination of whether there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. the U. the Judiciary must defer to the wisdom of the Congress in the exercise of the latter¶s power under the Impeachment Clause of the Constitution as a measure of judicial comity on issues properly within the sphere of the Legislature. It becomes the duty of the Court to step in.the issue to a coordinate political department. Dred Scott undermined the integrity of the U. Supreme Court. coordinate and co-extensive branch. At all times.S. The present Constitution. This is evidently in response to the unedifying experience of the past in frequently resorting to the ³political question´ doctrine that in no mean measure has emasculated the Court¶s authority to strike down abuses of power by the government or any of its instrumentalities. In that case the U. by a vote of 7-2. 1.

since the House Committee on Justice found it to be insufficient in substance.constitutional standards. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments. It seems plain to me that the terminitiation must be understood in its ordinary legal acceptation. 3. par. which means inception or commencement. And what is actually done on the floor is that the committee resolution containing the Articles of Impeachment is the one approved by the body. Commissioner Maambong is recognized. an impeachment is initiated upon the filing of a verified complaint. and the consequent impact on the Republic so great.´[8] I must. Trenas). legislative actions ³might be so far beyond the scope of its constitutional authority. but I will just make of record my thinking that we do not really initiate the filing of the Articles of Impeachment on the floor. The procedure. of the 1987 Constitution explicitly ordains that ³no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. Who is to determine the nature. Presiding Officer. Electoral Commission[9] ± The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. By way of obiter dictum. This conclusion finds support in the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. (5). MR. hence. as I have pointed out earlier. was that the initiation starts with the filing of the complaint. as to merit a judicial response despite prudential concerns that would ordinarily counsel silence. scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. In such circumstance. I find the second impeachment complaint filed against the Chief Justice on 23 October 2003 to be constitutionally infirm. is specious. . 11. Precisely.´ The fundamental contention that the first impeachment complaint is not an ³initiated´ complaint. Art. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. Sec. hasten to add by way of a finale the nature of the power of judicial review as elucidated in Angara v. which was quoted extensively in the hearings of 5 and 6 November 2003 - THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Mr. to say the least. of course. similar to an ordinary action which is initiated by the filing of the complaint in the proper tribunal. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed ³judicial supremacy´ which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution (underscoring supplied). hence should not be counted. MAAMBONG. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. I am not moving for a reconsideration of the approval of the amendment submitted by Commissioner Regalado.

and public disenchantment continues to sap the vim and vitality of our institutions. and.´[11] To recapitulate: (a) Impeachment is a political question that is rightfully within the sphere of Congressional prerogatives. The middle consists of those deliberative moments leading to the formulation of the articles of impeachment. ³is to possess boundless power without abusing it. is judicial statesmanship of the . The beginning or the initiation is the filing of the complaint and its referral to the Committee on Justice. Joaquin C.´ intoned Lord Macaulay.J. ³an impeachment proceeding is not a single act. the resolution and the Articles of Impeachment to the body. obscene profligacy and venality in public office appear to be stalking the entire system of government. but the Committee has already decided. It is lamentable indeed that the life of our nation has been marked by turbulent periods of pain.As the phraseology now runs. a middle and an end.S. If we only have time. I have been bringing with me The Rules of the House of Representatives of the U. The instant cases come at a time when scandals of corruption. The Senate Rules are with me. I have submitted my proposal. (d) While impeachment is essentially a political exercise. It only approves or disapproves the resolution. Nevertheless. anxieties and doubt. as a matter of judicial courtesy. coordinate and co-extensive branches of the government. and unless the exercise of that authority is tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction we should refrain from interfering with the prerogatives of Congress. I could cite examples in the case of the impeachment proceedings of President Richard Nixon wherein the Committee on the Judiciary submitted the recommendation. So. It is a period of stress with visible signs of creeping hopelessness. I believe.. That. (c) Judicial restraint must be exercised by this Court in the instant cases. ³The highest proof of virtue. probably the Committee on Style could help in rearranging these words because we have to be very technical about this. (b) As co-equal.´ And so it must be that we yield to the authority of the House of Representatives and the Senate on the matter of the impeachment of one of our Brethren. The challenge at present is how to preserve the majesty of the Constitution and protect the ideals of our republican government by averting a complete meltdown of governmental civility and respect for the separation of powers. it appears that the initiation starts on the floor. The end is the transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate. and it was the body that approved the resolution. judicial interference is allowed in case of arbitrary or capricious exercise of that power as to amount to grave abuse of discretion. Congress. It is my abiding conviction that the Senate will wield its powers in a fair and objective fashion and in faithful obeisance to their sacred trust to achieve this end. it is a complexus of acts consisting of a beginning. which may be corrected by the Committee on Style. [10] As aptly observed by Fr. the Legislature and the Judiciary must respect the doctrine of separation of powers at all times. Bernas. The proceedings of the case of Richard Nixon are with me. S. I just want to indicate this on record x x x x (underscoring supplied for emphasis). It is not the body which initiates it. on that score.

G. United States. who can review its acts? Can the Supreme Court. 15 August 2000. ³Position Paper on the Impeachment of Chief Justice Davide. Joaquin C.highest order which will preserve the harmony among the three separate but co-equal branches of government under our constitutional democracy. and betrayal of public trust. review the acts of a co-equal body? These are the novel issues raised in these petitions. 374-376. 7 March 1788. 122 L. Records of the Constitutional Commission. 14 July 1989. 338 SCRA 81. 224 (1993). 28 July 1986. may be made to answer for certain offenses. Secretary of Agrarian Reform. pp.S. Bernas. These offenses are specifically enumerated as: culpable violation of the Constitution. Ed. Jr. Jr. 63 Phil. under its power of judicial review enshrined in the Constitution. 2d 1. Fr. Hence. 2d 1.. S. No. No. Inc. 506 U. 369 U.R.224 (1993).. 60 U.J. Davide. 186 (1962). 506 U. graft and corruption. being a second . treason. A. J. 158 (1936).. G.´ 5 November 2003. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. not removable by other means. Souter in Nixon v. 141284... In the exercise of this power. bribery. However.. 65. contending that.: The power of impeachment is essentially lodged by the Constitution in Congress. Ibid. 393 (1857). 78742.S. I maintain that in disposing of this case we should exercise judicial restraint and leave the matter to the Senate unless such exercise is fraught with grave abuse of discretion. [1] See Association of Small Landowners in the Phil. Friday.S. other high crimes. Ed. v.S.. Congress must observe the minimum requirements set by the Constitution. I find no legal obstacle to dismissing the instant petitions. The petitions before this Court assail the constitutionality of the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. et al. It is the process by which officials of the Government. 122 L. 139. Federalist No. in the event that Congress oversteps these limitations. Hamilton. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION YNARES-SANTIAGO. See Concurring Opinion of J.R. 175 SCRA 343.

Maambong. Florenz D. For its part. former Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.. and 8. Gutierrez. the Senate pointed out that the petition as against it was premature inasmuch as it has not received any articles of impeachment. 3. The Court set the petitions for oral arguments and invited the following as amici curiae: 1. Salonga. cannot encroach upon. the principal issue and sub-issues involved in the several petitions were defined by the Court as follows: Whether the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be invoked. which provides: No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. who can invoke it. and whether it should be exercised by this Court at this time. Jovito R. retired Justice of this Court. retired Justice of this Court. a) b) Locus standi of petitioners. the same is expressly prohibited under Article XI. Bernas. The House of Representatives invoked its territorial integrity which this Court.complaint. Ripeness (prematurity. Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law. Regalado E. Justice of the Court of Appeals. Section 3 (5) of the 1987 Constitution. 6. Raul C. Fr. 5. as a co-equal body. Regalado. 7. Jr. During the oral arguments. Estelito P. 2. Joaquin C. 4. Dean of the Ateneo School of Law. former Senate President. Pacifico A. Agabin. mootness) . Mendoza. Hugo E. Respondents House of Representative and the Senate filed separate Manifestations both stating that they are not submitting to the jurisdiction of the Court. on what issues and at what time. former Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law. Pangalangan.

I concur with the ponentethat the petitioners.e.. I also concur with the ponente that the Court has the power of judicial review.c) d) e) Political question/justiciability. that grave abuse of discretion ± the sole test of justiciability on purely political issues ± is shown to have attended the contested act. This power of the Court has been expanded by the Constitution not only to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable but also to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government.[2]Nevertheless. Vallejos. Senate¶s sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. a distinction has to be drawn between the power of the members of the House of Representatives to initiate . including the payment of salaries and other emoluments of the respondents. Dioscoro U. have satisfactorily established locus standi to file the instant petitions.[6] Indeed. They assert their right to be protected against all forms of needless spending of taxpayers¶ money including the commission of an unconstitutional act. In the appreciation of legal standing. i. it does not thereby assert its superiority over a co-equal branch of government. however.[3] In the case at bar. and to undertake judicial inquiry into. petitioners allege that they dutifully pay their taxes for the support of the government and to finance its operations.[4] The Court is under mandate to assume jurisdiction over. It is the final arbiter of the disputes involving the proper allocation and exercise of the different powers under the Constitution. what may even be deemed to be political questions provided. House¶s exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. the filing of two impeachment cases within a period of one year against the Chief Justice of this Court. Jr.[5] The Court checks the exercise of power of the other branches of government through judicial review. 160397. Considering these serious legal questions which affect public interest.[1] a developing trend appears to be towards a narrow and exacting approach. except Atty. No. one of the three independent branches of the government. it is still within the wide discretion of the Court to waive the requirement and remove the impediment to its addressing and resolving serious constitutional questions raised. It merely asserts its solemn and sacred obligation under the Constitution and affirms constitutional supremacy. in the resolution of the principal issue in these petitions. f) Constitutionality of the House Rules of Impeachment vis-à-vis Section 3 (5) of Article XI of the Constitution. When the Supreme Court reviews the constitutionality of the acts of Congress. requiring that a logical nexus be shown between the status asserted and the claim sought to be adjudicated in order to ensure that one is the proper and appropriate party to invoke judicial power.R. in G. and g) Judicial restraint.

1988. This is the plain sense in which the word ³initiate´ must be understood. 2001. The rest of the members of the House whose names appear on the attachments thereto merely signed endorsements to the Complaint. (Emphasis provided. Section 3 (3) of the Constitution is explicit: In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least onethird of all the Members of the House. In order that the verified complaint may be said to have . and the manner in which they have exercised that power. to begin or commence the action. namely Representatives Gilberto G. or when a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House. This provision was later amended on November 28. The confusion as to the meaning of this term was aggravated by the amendment of the House of Representatives¶ Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings. Jr. Article XI. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. Rule V. i. As stated above. and Felix William B. unduly expanded the power of the House by restricting the constitutional time-bar only to complaints that have been ³approved´ by the House Committee on Justice. Moreover. specifically Rule V. The meaning of the word ³initiate´ in relation to impeachment is at the center of much debate. While it is clear that the House has the exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases. Section 3 (5).impeachment proceedings. The adoption of the 2001 Rules. at least insofar as initiation of impeachment proceedings is concerned. the one-year bar is a limitation set by the Constitution which Congress cannot overstep. The first set of Rules adopted on May 31. the Court.) The mere endorsement of the members of the House. the Records of the Constitutional Commission clearly show that.e. impeachment proceedings begin not on the floor of the House but with the filing of the complaint by any member of the House of any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. may invoke its corrective power of judicial review. Indeed. did not suffice for it did not constitute filing of the impeachment complaint.. Teodoro. provides that impeachment shall be initiated when a verified complaint for impeachment is filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. upon a proper finding that either chamber committed grave abuse of discretion or violated any constitutional provision. albeit embodied in a verified resolution. Section 2 thereof. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. as defined in Article XI. as this term is plainly understood. and the Senate has the sole power to try and decide these cases. Section 16 of the amendatory Rules states that impeachment proceedings under any of the three methods above-stated are deemed initiated on the day that the Committee on Justice finds that the verified complaint and/or resolution against such official is sufficient in substance or on the date the House votes to overturn or affirm the finding of the said Committee that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance. on the one hand. the second impeachment complaint was filed by only two complainants. Fuentebella. Section 14 and Rule II.

and the Senate may deny the motion or dismiss the complaint depending on the merits of the grounds raised. under the due process clause of the constitution. All of them must sign the main complaint. the question is already before this Court and may therefore be resolved. The complaint was not filed by at least one-third of the Members of the House.[7] In the case at bar.[9] it means that every person shall be afforded the essential element of notice in any proceeding. . against whom the complaint was brought. whether the Senate should entertain it. preparatory to its possible transmittal to the Senate.[8] Indeed. After the Senate shall have acted in due course. its formal requisites must be strictly construed.been filed by at least 1/3 of the Members. The Constitution is clear that the complaint for impeachment shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. On the contrary. or property without due process of law. The Chief Justice. is of no moment. The Court is empowered to decide issues even though they are not raised in the pleadings. all of them must be named as complainants therein. than that which requires notice and opportunity to be heard before any person can be lawfully deprived of his rights. Thereafter. I dissent from the majority when it decided to resolve the issues at this premature stage. when the Constitution says that no person shall be deprived of life. was not served notice of the proceedings against him. its disposition of the case may be elevated to this Court pursuant to its judicial power of review. As one of the amici curiae. No rule is better established. This was not done in the case of the assailed second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice. No. and therefore did not constitute the Article of Impeachment. without need of referral to the Committee on Justice.R. the foregoing defect in the complaint is a vital issue in the determination of whether or not the House should transmit the complaint to the Senate. Being the exception to the general procedure outlined in the Constitution. the mere fact that this issue was raised by intervenors Romulo Macalintal and Pete Quirino-Quadra. and not by the petitioners in G. The complaint should be referred back to the House Committee on Justice. when the complaint is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House.[10] However. Any act committed in violation of due process may be declared null and void. liberty. and if it does. the signing of the impeachment complaint by the purported 1/3 of the Congressmen was done without due process. I am constrained to disagree with the majority decision to discard the above issue for being unnecessary for the determination of the instant cases. former Senate President Jovito Salonga. 160262. notwithstanding the constitutional and procedural defects in the impeachment complaint. if the Committee so decides. I submit that the process of impeachment should first be allowed to run its course. The power of this Court as the final arbiter of all justiciable questions should come into play only when the procedure as outlined in the Constitution has been exhausted. The questions on the sufficiency of the complaint in form may again be brought to the Senate by way of proper motion. where its constitutionality may be threshed out. Furthermore. the complaint will have to be deliberated by the House on plenary session. The impeachment complaint suffers from yet another serious flaw. pointed out.

Chief Justice Davide could conceivably raise the same Constitutional issues by way of a motion to dismiss or motion to quash.[17] Hence. Then it may pass on the validity of what has been done but. He goes on to say that only when this case is ripe for judicial determination can this Court speak with great moral authority and command the respect and loyalty of our people. should be the final arbiter. then again. where the Constitution has placed it. as required by Section 15. any resolution . stressed that among the internal measures that the members of Congress could make to address the situation are: (1) attempts to encourage the signatories of the impeachment complaint to withdraw their signatures. the Court should recognize the extent and practical limitations of its judicial prerogatives. as well as the simmering forces outside of the halls of government could all preempt any decision of this Court at the present time. judicial inquiry has to be postponed in the meantime. Being one such branch. and identify those areas where it should carefully tread instead of rush in and act accordingly. but all remedies in the House of Representatives and in the Senate should be exhausted first. paragraph 2 of the House Rules. exercising our power of judicial review over impeachment would place the final reviewing authority with respect to impeachments in the hands of the same body that the impeachment process is meant to regulate. effectively avert this controversy. thus. The commonlaw principle of judicial restraint serves the public interest by allowing the political processes to operate without undue interference. (2) the raising by the members of Congress themselves of the Constitutional questions when the Articles of Impeachment are presented in plenary session on a motion to transmit them to the Senate. a prerequisite is that something has been accomplished or performed by either branch.[15] The doctrine of separation of powers calls for each branch of government to be left alone to discharge its duties as it sees fit. Before a court may enter the picture. that the impeachment power should remain at all times and under all circumstances with the legislature.[13] In fact. and (3) assuming the Articles of Impeachment are transmitted to the Senate.[11] Clearly. even if only for purposes of judicial review is counterintuitive because it eviscerates the important constitutional check on the judiciary. judicial involvement in impeachment proceedings.[12] With these considerations in mind.[14] A becoming sense of propriety and justice dictates that judicial self-restraint should be exercised. there are several other remedies that may be availed of or events that may occur that may render the present petitions moot and. it should be the authoritative court of last resort in our system of democratic governance. Dean Raul Pangalangan of the University of the Philippines College of Law. Senate President Salonga said it best when he commented that the Supreme Court.In addition. only when properly challenged in an appropriate legal proceeding. one of the amici curiae. Considering that power of impeachment was intended to be the legislature¶s lone check on the judiciary. the unfinished business and loose ends at the House of Representatives and in the Senate. the judiciary will neither direct nor restrain executive or legislative action. which has final jurisdiction on questions of constitutionality. in the process.[16] The legislative and the executive branches are not allowed to seek its advice on what to do or not to do.

Dioscoro U. 63 Phil 139. have legal standing to institute these petitions. 83 Phil 17 (1949). Davide. Sec. 16 October 1996. Filoteo.R. Cebu Stevedoring Co. May 14. I vote that this Court must observe judicial self-restraint at this time and DISMISS the instant petitions. 168 SCRA 315. 127255. Presidential Commission on Good Government. No.. No. 8 December 1988. v. COMELEC. Inc. Araneta v.. 2 March 2001. May 5. 263 SCRA 222. 155661. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] . Id.Basco v. 299 SCRA 744 (1998). No. 268. Constitution. Position Paper as Amicus Curiae of Former Senate President Jovito R. June 30.[18] IN VIEW WHEREOF. Pangalangan. Co. Sandiganbayan. G. 1991. G.R. Arroyo. Tatad v. Chavez v. 133250. p.R. 19. 197 SCRA 52.R. G. I CONCUR with the majority decision insofar as it held that ± (a) Petitioners in all the above-captioned cases. Teodoro. Jr. However. vs. Secretary of Agrarian Reform. p. Fuentebella against Chief Justice Hilario G. at 321.R. 84 Phil. Concurring opinion of Justice Vitug in the case of Arroyo v. Ed. G. see also Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. 2d 1 (1993). Inc. Philippine International Air Terminals. Tan. 2000.. Estrada v. is a justiciable issue which this Court may take cognizance of. No. 79543. 9 July 2002. G.R. 281 SCRA 330. PAGCOR. 13. Secretary of the Department of Energy. L-54285. and Felix William B. Chavez v. Art. Jr. and (b) The constitutionality of the second impeachment complaint filed by Representatives Gilberto C. 141284. No. 146738. 14 August 1997 Angara v. Kapatiran ng Mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas.S. 78742. 364-365 [1989]. 1. Inc.. No. v. Chavez v. Inc. 2003 citing Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines. 134732. 199 SCRA 750 (1991). v.R. Zamora. Salonga. R.. 1988. Jr. v. 349 (1997) citing Garcia v. No. Executive Secretary. 1989. Vallejos. December 9.S. G. G. 122 l. No. G. et al. et al. Electoral Commission. No. et al.that this Court might make in this case may amount to nothing more than an attempt at abstraction that can only lead to barren legal dialectics and sterile conclusions. 29 May 2002. Dinglasan. 1998. 158 (1936). G. III. Lopez. Cuenco. Osmeña v. 160397. 130716. G. [1] Avelino v. Jr. depending on what transpires next at the House of Representatives and the Senate.R. Verra. Regional Director / Minster of Labor. 175 SCRA 343. 211 SCRA 219 (1992). U. Presidential Commission on Good Government. De Venecia. Memorandum as Amicus Curiae of Dean Raul C. Nixon v. People v. in G.. 163 SCRA 371. 368 (1949). July 14. No. 224 [1993].. No.R. PEA-Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation.R. August 15. 506 U. except Atty.

No. shall that man be above it who can commit the most extensive injustice. Angara v. Secretary General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN).. Shall any man be above justice? Above all.R. Secretary General of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE). Court of Appeals. Renato M. Delegate from Virginia[1] I concur with the ponencia of Justice Conchita Carpio Morales particularly with respect to the following rulings: 1. Merceditas N. 62. Gil.[15] Sinaca v. The power to arrive at a determination of whether or not there has . and James Terry Ridon of the League of Filipino Students (LFS). The expanded certiorari jurisdiction of the Court allows it to review the acts of Congress and measure them against standards expressed in the Constitution. Edre Olalia. Danilo D. Co-Chairperson of Pagbabago. supra. ³No point is of more importance than that right of impeachment should be continued. Electoral Commission. Gaite. Atty.Ma. Confederation for Unity. Ferdinand R. 315 SCRA 266. cited in Guingona v. 2011 x--------------------------------------------------x CONCURRING OPINION SERENO. 292 SCRA 402. J. The House of Representatives Committee on Justice. 193459 . 280. supra. Reyes. 125532.´ ± George Mason. 27 September 1999. Felipe Pestaño. Gutierrez v. G. Feliciano Belmonte. [16] [17] [18] G. Chairperson. Lim. Planas v. 10 July 1998. Mula. cited in Guingona v. Jr. 135691. Id.R. No. 73 (1939). Jr. 67 Phil. Acting Secretary General of the National Union of People¶s Lawyers (NUPL). Danilo Ramos.R. Committee on Justice Risa Hontiveros Baraquel. Mother Mary John Mananzan. ± Respondent-Intervenor Promulgated: February 15. Court of Appeals. Evelyn Pestaño. G.

The ³one offense. I refer to the deliberations during which Commissioner Maambong attempted to define the ³initiation of impeachment proceedings. 3. I believe this Court. The Court is presented with ³constitutional vagaries´ that must be resolved forthwith ± with respect to the legal meaning of the simultaneous referral of two impeachment complaints by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to its Committee on Justice (public respondent Committee). The instant Petition is not premature. I diverge however. from the ponencia of the highly-respected Justice Conchita Carpio Morales. 5. and the extent of the legal need to publish the House Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings. public respondent Committee has yet to rule on the consolidation.´ The Commissioners were unable to recognize during the deliberations that the entirety of steps involved in the process of impeachment is a mix of clerical/ministerial and discretionary acts. 2. when the records demonstrate that the Commissioners were so inordinately pressed to declare a starting point for ³initiation of impeachment proceedings´ during the deliberations to the unfortunate extent that they appear to have forgotten the nature of the power of impeachment. There was no violation of petitioner Merciditas Gutierrez¶s right to due process of law. even while the power of impeachment itself is wholly . has not paid sufficient attention to the full implication of the inherently discretionary character of the power of impeachment. The determination of the permissibility of the consolidation of impeachment complaints is at the moment premature.been a grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Legislature in the exercise of its functions and prerogatives under the Constitution is vested in the Court. as the Constitution allows indictment for multiple impeachment offenses. one complaint´ rule in ordinary rules of criminal procedure cannot work to bar multiple complaints in impeachment proceedings. 4. conjectural or anticipatory. on the reckoning point of the one-year time bar on subsequent impeachment proceedings under the Constitution. it raises issues that are ripe for adjudication. The Court has straitjacketed its interpretation of the one-year bar by failing to go beyond the records of the deliberations of the Commissioners of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. despite its several decisions on impeachment. It has a duty to look beyond.

Committee Report.´[2] The impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives[3] are constitutionally defined to consist of the following steps: A. however. should not be followed by this Court¶s own failure to look at the right place for an answer ± at the essential character of the power of impeachment. including that of constitutional interpretation. Referral to the Committee. such that he reckons the ³initiation´ to start with the filing of an impeachment complaint. after hearing. And the most powerful tool of reason is reflecting on the essence of things.[6] D.[7] The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. and by a majority vote of all its Members shall submit its report to the House within sixty (60) session days from the referral. but on examination. the complaint shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days.discretionary. After filing.[5] C. or (b) any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. This is most especially needed when the Commissioners of the Constitutional Commission failed at an important time to articulate an interpretation of the constitution that is founded on reason. Inclusion in the Order of Business. During the House Session when the complaint is calendared to be taken up. rather. The apparent failure of one of the Commissioners to remember the inherently discretionary nature of the power of impeachment while being interpellated.[4] B. together with the corresponding resolution. A verified complaint for impeachment is filed by either: (a) a Member of the House of Representatives. The Constitution provides: ³No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. Reason is the foundation of all legal interpretation.[8] . the Speaker of the House shall refer the complaint for impeachment to the proper committee within three session days. they chose an interpretation that on the surface seemed reasonable. The Committee. Filing of the Verified Complaint. turns out to have been arbitrary and highly problematic.

E. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. where? Note that none of these steps is constitutionally described as the ³initiation of the impeachment proceedings. theorizes that the better interpretation of the constitutional time bar should . the one-year period should commence from the transmittal by the House of Representatives of the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. public respondent Committee. argues that the ³impeachment is a process beginning with the filing of a complaint and terminating in its disposition by the vote of at least one-third of all the members of the House´. Ferdinand Gaite and James Terry Ridon (private respondents Reyes) claim that the ³term µinitiated¶ therein takes place by the act of the House of Representatives of transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for the conduct of the impeachment trial proceedings´.. through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. private respondents Renato Reyes. Transmittal of Articles of Impeachment. Jr. Belmonte. respondent-intervenor Feliciano R. House Plenary Vote. thus. Danilo Ramos.[9] F. or override its contrary resolution.[12] On the other hand. Edre Olalia. the starting point for the one-year bar must be among these steps.´ The parties to the case have advocated their positions on this issue in their respective Memoranda. the question is.[13] Meanwhile. Atty. In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House.[11] Petitioner Gutierrez espouses the view that the very ³act of filing the complaint is the actual initiation ± beginning or commencement ± of impeachment proceedings´ that would commence the one-year time-bar. and that the one-year period should be counted from the plenary action of the House on the Committee¶s report. and. as Speaker of the House.[14] Finally. Mother Mary John Mananzan.[10] Since these are the only constitutionally described steps in the process of impeachment in the House of Representatives. A vote of a least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee.

be reckoned from the recommendation of the Committee to the House of Representatives. Inc. until Articles of Impeachment are transmitted by the House to the Senate. In embracing the provisions of the 1987 Constitution. Petitioner Gutierrez¶s argument that the one-year time bar on a second impeachment complaint should be counted from the mechanical act offiling the complaint alone[18] is pregnant with a multitude of problems. the Court is faced with a good opportunity to reexamine its earlier disposition. substantial or supported by evidence. proper. Enterprising yet unscrupulous individuals have filed patently sham.[16] That ruling was categorical in stating that the impeachment proceeding is ³initiated or begins. frivolous or defective complaints in the House in order to commence the one-year period and thus bar the subsequent filing of ³legitimate´ complaints against the same impeachable officer. and the Court. and the experiences of the country with impeachment proceedings in the House since the Francisco ruling. This country¶s experience with impeachment in the past decade has shown that pegging the time bar to the mechanical act of filing has transformed impeachment into a race on who gets to file a complaint the fastest ± regardless of whether such a first complaint is valid. Following their proposition. Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. if there is no transmittal of the Articles of Impeachment. are keenly aware of the latter¶s ruling in Francisco v. As a result. The opposite extreme propounded by private respondents Reyes that the period of the time bar starts from the filing of the Articles of Impeachment in the Senate is likewise untenable. the one-year period will only commence when the report of the Committee favoring impeachment is approved by the required vote of the House. when a verified complaint is filed and referred to the Committee on Justice for action.[15] All the parties to the case.´[17] Considering the factual circumstances of the instant case. . the Filipino people certainly did not countenance a technical loophole that would be misused to negate the only available and effective mechanism against abuse of power by impeachable officers. and the Articles of Impeachment are transmitted to the Senate. Congress¶ exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases would be effectively rendered inutile. multiple parties may continue to file numerous complaints. then there is no one-year time bar. Consequently.

The machine-gun approach to the filing of an impeachment complaint until there is a successful transmittal to the Senate will greatly impede the discharge of functions of impeachable officers. On the other hand. the Members of the Supreme Court. the time bar is counted from the acts of filing the impeachment complaint and its referral to a Committee. these impeachable officers enjoy security of . regardless of the result ± the time bar. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. Finally.[19] where the latter is a purely ministerial act of the Speaker of the House. the Vice-President. and the Ombudsman. the Executive. In establishing the structures of government. In Francisco. I uphold the position of the public respondent Committee. The doctrine of separation of powers in our theory of government pertains to the apportionment of state powers among coequal branches. must equally apply to unsuccessful impeachment attempts voted down by the House. and from the onethird House plenary action on the report according to the public respondent Committee.[21] The power of impeachment is the Legislature¶s check against the abuses of the President. the Court is confronted with the positions of public respondent Committee and respondent-intervenor Belmonte as opposed to the Court¶s ruling in Francisco.[22] Having been elected or appointed for fixed terms. the ideal that the Constitution seeks to achieve is one of balance among the three great departments of government ²with each department undertaking its constitutionally assigned task as a check against the exercise of power by the others. the Legislature and the Judiciary. therefore. from the submission of the Committee report on the complaint according to the Speaker.This scenario of persistent filing until there is a transmittal of the Articles of Impeachment is equally abhorrent to the constitutional prohibition on multiple. The time consumed by impeachable officers fending off impeachment proceedings is the same. Justice and the efficient administration of government would be defeated. while all three departments move forward in working for the progress of the nation. successive and never-ending impeachment proceedings (not complaints). who are not given any refuge from such repetitive proceedings. namely. both public respondent Committee and respondent-intervenor Belmonte propose that the period of one year begin from discretionary acts. namely. if the impeachment time bar is made to commence solely from the favorable transmittal of the Articles of Impeachment.[20] The system of checks and balances has been carefully calibrated by the Constitution to temper the official acts of each of these three branches. With all due respect to the Court¶s ruling in Francisco.

the Legislature would have been . and all other impeachable officers. otherwise. Within the limitations set forth in the Constitution. and the objects of it may be such as cannot easily be reached by an ordinary tribunal. the people have not been made so powerless by the Constitution as to suffer until the impeachable officer¶s term or appointment expires. in the interim. In the face of gross governmental abuse. owing to its political character. Even if the expanded certiorari jurisdiction allows the Court to review legislative acts that contravene the express provisions of the Constitution.[26] thus allowing Congress sufficient leeway to describe the acts as impeachable or not. She is continually required by the Constitution to be of recognized probity and independence. act. then the time bar limitation imposed by the Constitution on this legislative discretion must likewise be counted from a discretionary. arising from either direct election by the people or indirect appointment by the people¶s representatives. the Court cannot supplant with its own determination. both the House and the Senate. subject only to constitutionally provided limits.tenure. to determine whether or not an officer should be impeached. However. is not carte blancheauthority for them to abuse their powers. because the occasion for its exercise will arise from acts of great injury to the community. Avoidance of the prospect of impeachment is the negative incentive for the Ombudsman. [24] and must maintain this public trust during her term of office. that of Congress in finding whether a public officer has performed acts that are grounds for impeachment. and not a ministerial. which is intended to enhance their capability to perform their governmental functions efficiently and independently.[27] Since the power of impeachment is inherently discretionary. The political character of the process is underscored by a degree of imprecision in the offenses subject of impeachment. The Ombudsman is the public official constitutionally tasked to investigate and prosecute complaints against other public officials[23] except for impeachable officers and members of the national legislature. impeachment is inarguably a political act exercised by the Legislature. The Legislature¶s impeachment power is the very solution provided by the fundamental law to remove. This power ³is lodged in those who represent the great body of the people. public officers who have failed to uphold the public¶s trust. The one-year period was meant to be a restraint on the discretionary power of impeachment. to keep that public trust. their tenure. a political body elected by and directly accountable to the people.´[25] Full discretion is vested in Congress.

have primarily been imposed for the purpose of avoiding delays or filibusters. counsel for petitioner Gutierrez. however. Whether the step is discretionary or ministerial.[28] These specific time conditions in the form of session days.[29] Further. the constitutional deadlines for the execution of impeachment steps regulate only the speed at which the proceeding is to take place. but by a mere ministerial. I cannot reconcile the incongruity between the constitutional largeness of the power of impeachment ± an inherently discretionary power lodged in the entire Congress ± and the controlling effect that a small act of the Speaker in referring a complaint to the Committee has. It is counterintuitive and illogical to place a limitation on discretionary powers. over this large power of impeachment.[30] I respectfully differ from my colleagues when in effect they rule that the one-year limitation on a discretionary power is to begin from the ministerial act of the Speaker in referring the impeachment complaint to the appropriate committee of the House of Representatives. Retired Justice Serafin Cuevas. .allowed to exercise that discretion at will repeatedly and continuously. While each chamber of Congress is constitutionally empowered to determine its rules of proceedings. which members of the House may resort to in order to prolong or even defeat the impeachment process. there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule and the result that is sought to be attained. We observe that the Constitution has placed time conditions on the performance of acts (both discretionary and ministerial in nature) in pursuit of the House¶s exclusive power to initiate impeachment proceedings. ceremonial act perfunctorily performed preparatory to such exercise. which is triggered not by the exercise of the discretion sought to be limited. to the detriment of the discharge of functions of impeachable officers. In contrast. the rule against the initiation of more than one impeachment proceeding against the same impeachable officer in a span of one year is a time constraint on the frequency with which the discretionary act of impeachment is to be exercised. The rationale is that the extreme measure of removal of an impeachable officer cannot be used as Congress¶ perennial bargaining chip to intimidate and undermine the impeachable officer¶s independence. it may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights. The time bar regulates how often this power can be exercised by the House of Representatives.

Moreover. as in fact the only objection that can be entertained is the propriety of the committee to which the complaint is referred.[33] The Speaker cannot evaluate the complaint as to its sufficiency in form and substance. as pointed out by Justice Carpio Morales. Why did it take him twenty two (22) days?[31] (Emphasis supplied) Even on the part of the Speaker of the House. we subscribed to the view or we uphold the view that upon the filing thereof. There is a dissonance on how the House Speaker¶s clerical/ministerial act of referring the complaint can commence the time bar on the discretionary power of the entire House to initiate an impeachment proceeding. The Secretary of Justice cannot do anything with it except to refer or not. sir. the . And even if there is a technical defect in the impeachment complaint. The stark incompatibility between a small ministerial act controlling the substantive right of the House to initiate impeachment proceedings is viewed with concern by no less than retired Justice Cuevas. there is no exercise of discretion over the referral of the complaint to the Committee on Justice.goes so far as to characterize the Speaker¶s ministerial referral of the complaint as merely ³ceremonial in character´: JUSTICE SERENO: And you are basically « your contention if [I] understand it is that this is the initiation? This is the act of initiating an impeachment complaint? RET. who agrees with me in this wise: ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SERENO: I am sure. Which is superior and which should be given more weight. But let us now go to the real question of the constitutional right of the House on impeachment and the clerical act of receiving impeachment complaints.[32] The Speaker simply performs a ministerial function under the Constitution. JUSTICE CUEVAS: Yes. the Speaker is duty-bound to refer the matter to the committee within three session days from its inclusion in the Order of Business. it was already initiated because the referral to the Committee on Justice is only ceremonial in character. counsel for petitioner Gutierrez. members of the House cannot even raise issues against the propriety or substance of the impeachment complaint during the referral.

JUSTICE CUEVAS: But that acceptance does not automatically « ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SERENO: Correct. It is the House. that is exactly what I wanted to hear viz-a-viz the substantive right of the House to initiate impeachment proceedings. RET. Your Honor. include ³any and all of the steps or measures adopted or taken. that authorizes a mere clerk to do what you are trying to tell us. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SERENO: Correct. initiate the impeachment proceedings. JUSTICE CUEVAS: I agree. the first the earliest of stamp? RET. RET. RET. Your Honor. JUSTICE CUEVAS: If they were designated by the Secretary General.. (Emphasis supplied)[34] Proceedings. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SERENO: Yes.substantive right of the House to exercise its right to initiate impeachment complaints or is it the mere clerical act of finding out which complaint on its face bears the stamp. RET.. Your Honor. thank you. as understood in law. that is the responsibility of the House. or required to be taken in the prosecution or defense of . the physical acceptance of the complaint lies there. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SERENO: Thank you very much. JUSTICE CUEVAS: I am not aware of any law. JUSTICE CUEVAS: . this cannot be defeated by the clerical act of accepting an impeachment complaint.

procedure.´ The Court defined the word ³process´ in this wise: As a legal term. up to the very vote of the House in plenary on the same report.[38] (Emphasis supplied. by a vote of one third of all the members. When the Court pegged.´[35] ³Proceedings. that the initiation of the impeachment proceedings in the House is completed and the one-year bar rule commences. it must be advancing. the term ³impeachment proceedings´ should include the entire gamut of the impeachment process in the House ± from the filing of the verified complaint. which make a mockery of the power of impeachment. instead of the exercise of the discretionary power of impeachment. in Francisco. imply action. These unintended consequences. and cannot be satisfied by remaining at rest. such as to the execution of the judgment.. If it is a progressive course. to its referral to the appropriate committee. since the plaintiff¶s recovery of the costs includes any lawful fees paid by him or her for the ³service of the summons and other process in the action. This is because the plenary House vote is the first discretionary act exercised by the House in whom the power of initiating impeachment proceedings repose. the time bar on the initiation of impeachment proceedings to the filing of the complaint and its referral to the appropriate committee. or synonymous with.. tends to . In its broadest sense process.) Therefore.an action.[37] the Court ordered the payment of fees by the custodian of the attached properties. it may have failed to anticipate the actions of parties who would subvert the impeachment process by racing to be the first to file sham and frivolous impeachment complaints. Reckoning the beginning of the time bar from a ministerial and preparatory act. process is a generic word of very comprehensive signification and many meanings. Sometimes the term is also broadly defined as the means whereby a court compels a compliance with its demands.´[36] In Macondray & Co. to the committee¶s deliberations and report. prosecution. both in common parlance and in legal acception. It is only at the time that the House of Representatives as a whole either affirms or overrides the Report. from the commencement of the action to its termination. v. justify a second look at the premises considered in Francisco. it is equivalent to. µproceedings¶ or procedure and embraces all steps and proceedings in a cause from its commencement to its conclusion. Bernabe. Inc.

Aside from the fact that the plenary vote pertains to the very discretionary act of impeachment. if not absurd. Thus. in one impeachment proceeding. since the ban regulates not the speed of filing.[39] these technical loopholes can be cured by rendering the plenary vote of the entire House on the report of the committee as the starting point of the one-year ban. the difficulties inherent in pegging the period to ministerial acts are lessened. which requires the vote of one-third of its members.focus attention on the procedural loopholes. Finally. the House in plenary will only vote once. which embraces a deliberate. discretionary and exclusive power granted to the House as a whole body to initiate all impeachment cases. Let us look at some problems that this approach eliminates. abuse these technical gaps in the legal framework of impeachment. as was being deliberated upon in the public respondent Committee. Their purpose is to escape removal or perpetual disqualification despite the serious and grave charges leveled against them. the proposal also removes the undesired proclivity of parties to be the first to file or the first to be referred. impeachable officers subject of the proceedings. but the frequency of the exercise by the House plenary of voting on the impeachment complaint/s. if not eliminated. First.[40] The excessive emphasis on the physical time and date of filing or referral becomes inconsequential. as well as their counsel. the date or even the time of filing. on whether to approve or disapprove the committee¶s resolution. and not from the ministerial act of a single public officer. Second. it makes no difference whether the complaint is filed and/or referred successively or simultaneously. Third. and whether the complaints have been consolidated or even simultaneously referred become monkey wrenches that impede the entire process and frustrate the mechanism of impeachment to the point of infeasibility. the time limitation is reckoned from a discretionary act. informed and debated process. The one-year period from the plenary vote of the . The intensity of legal wrangling over the definition of the words ³proceedings´ and ³initiate´ diminishes in significance if the Court is to focus its attention on the sole. Questions on the number of complaints filed. whether there is a single complaint or multiple complaints filed before the House or taken up by the committee. As argued by public respondent Committee through retired Justice Vicente Mendoza during oral argument.

I agree with you that the impeachment proceeding is really a process. Action by the House to initiate the proceedings is the action on the Committee report. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE NACHURA: Irrespective of the action taken by plenary do we have to await the action of the plenary on the report of the Committee on Justice before we say that these (sic) have been initiation on the impeachment? RET. (Emphasis supplied)[41] . The plenary vote by the House on the committee report is definite. This would mean of course that the Committee would have prepared its report and submitted the report to the House of representatives in plenary. determinable. the exclusive power to initiate impeachment proceedings has not been discharged. it is precisely the discretionary exercise of the power to initiate impeachments. Up to the submission of the report there is only action by the Committee. So what is given to the Committee is the task of investigating and recommending action on the complaints. Justice is this. So unless action is taken therefore finally by the House. however remote. is really a process. and not ministerial. As elucidated by retired Justice Mendoza during the oral argument: ASSOCIATE JUSTICE NACHURA: Justice Mendoza. that the Speaker of the House and/or the Majority Floor Leader would include a sham impeachment complaint in the Order of Business and refer the complaint to the Committee on Justice in just a single session day. to your suggestion that the initiation should be the entire proceedings in the House of Representatives.House on the committee report eliminates even the possibility. Sir. That would end the initiation. in order to bar any other subsequent impeachment complaint/s. just two things. is that your position? RET. the House delegates the task of screening good from bad complaints so that its time will not be wasted to a Committee also and to protect the public officials from unnecessarily being made to face impeachment proceedings. JUSTICE MENDOZA: It is actually the action on the House because the power to initiate is vested in the House not to the Committee of the House. The point Mr. my mind is at least open. And I am open. JUSTICE MENDOZA: Yes.

which counts two hundred eighty-three (283) members. it is natural that all complaints with valid grounds and sufficient evidence will be collectively or separately raised at the first opportunity. Any pending impeachment complaint will be immediately barred once the House votes on the committee report. at the soonest possible time. in order that the committee and eventually the House will be able to perform its deliberative function and exercise discretion within the specified number of session days. while the committee exercises a degree of discretion in deciding upon and coming up with the report. Hence. A party who has a legitimate grievance supported by evidence against an impeachable officer will ordinarily not wait until the last minute to lodge the complaint. which is composed of approximately fifty-five (55) members.[42] the mere submission of the committee report to the plenary is not a good reckoning point for the one-year period. and is but preliminary. which would continually reset the sixty-session day period and. the deadlines for the committee report and the subsequent voting by the plenary should be counted from the date of the complaint/s first referred. Although of persuasive value.[44] are not binding on the entire House in plenary. Contrary to the position of respondent-intervenor Belmonte. the recommendations of the committee. Ordinary diligence and good faith dictate that a person who has sufficient proof of wrongdoing and abuse against an impeachable officer will join and lend support to an impeachment complaint that is already being deliberated upon by the House committee.[43] this discretion is exercised by a mere subset of the entire House. thus. This last minute maneuver is presumably intended to delay the voting.[45] . result in the circumvention of the constitutional deadlines. regardless of any subsequent complaints. However. as when it determines whether the impeachment complaint/s is/are sufficient in form and substance. however. This rule will prevent the filing of subsequent complaints (albeit sham or frivolous). there still exists the possibility that the complaining parties would file multiple complaints at the 11th hour before the entire House votes on the committee report. until the belated complaint is referred and deliberated upon by the committee within the number of session days enumerated under the Constitution. Undoubtedly.Of course.

and this power cannot be taken over by a mere Committee. must be counted from adiscretionary act. the impeachment proceeding will rise or fall or continue up to the impeachment case in the Senate on the basis of the one-third vote of the House. 4. which is a limitation on the House¶s exclusive power to initiate impeachment. not from a mechanical or ministerial act. The time bar can only be reckoned from the plenary action of the House on the report of the committee (regardless of the outcome). the one-year period is a limitation on the discretionary power of the entire House to initiate impeachment proceedings. regardless of the complaint¶s propriety or substance. since such action is done by the constitutional body in which the power is vested. The time bar must equally the impeachment complaint is successful or not. in representation of the sovereign. The time bar. otherwise the absurdity of individuals racing to file the first complaint would ensue. Hence. the power to initiate impeachment proceedings is a power that is reposed upon the House of Representatives as a whole body.The power to initiate all cases of impeachment is an extraordinary exercise of the sovereign people through its elected representatives to immediately remove those found to have committed impeachable offenses. the following principles support the position that the time bar should be counted from the House of Representative¶s plenary action on the report of the Committee on Justice: 1. whether 3. and not on the committee¶s deliberations or recommendations with respect to the impeachment complaint/s. especially not from acts that trivialize the impeachment process. The time bar on impeachment proceedings cannot be counted from the filing of the complaint. 2. In summary. .[46] Therefore. Irrespective of the Committee¶s findings. apply. and not by a mere subset that makes a preliminary finding that has only persuasive value.

On the one hand. of which she and other impeachable officers may be accused. such as petitioner Gutierrez. the power to initiate impeachment proceedings should not be so effortlessly and expeditiously achieved by disgruntled politicians to pressure impeachable officers to submission and undermine the latter¶s institutional independence. the undisputed raison d¶être of the time bar is to prevent the continuous and undue harassment of impeachable officers.[47] In this instance. the Court must remember that it is also performing a legitimating function ± validating how the House exercises its power in the light of constitutional limitations. But neither should the power of impeachment be too unreasonably restrictive or filled with technical loopholes as to defeat legitimate and substantiated claims of gross wrongdoing. a subsequent impeachment proceeding against the same officer cannot be initiated until and unless one year lapses from the time the House in plenary votes either to approve or to disapprove the recommendations of the committee on impeachment complaint/s. Therefore.´[48] in determining the appropriate operation of the one-year time bar on the initiation of subsequent impeachment proceedings vis-à-vis the need to allow Congress to exercise its constitutional prerogatives in the matter of impeachment proceedings. Briefly. On the other hand. in exercising the power of judicial review over the exclusive and sole power of the House to initiate impeachment cases. The Court in the present constitutional dilemma is tasked with doing what has been described as a ³balancing act. I submit that a balance of these two interests is better achieved if the time bar for the initiation of impeachment proceedings commences from the voting of the House on the committee report. and how the delineation of that scope would affect the second Impeachment Complaint filed by private . What the Court is deciding herein is merely the scope of the constitutional limits on the power to initiate impeachment proceedings. the protection afforded to petitioner and other impeachable officers against harassment is not a blanket mechanical safety device that would defeat altogether any complaint of wrongdoing. in a way that prevents them from performing their offices¶ functions effectively.Judicial review serves an affirmative function vital to a government of limited powers ± the function of maintaining a satisfactorily high public feeling that the government has obeyed the law of its own Constitution and stands ready to obey it as it may be declared by a tribunal of independence.

rather than by the Courts. was entrusted with the power of impeachment. as I believe now. to doom to honor or to infamy the most confidential and the most distinguished characters of the community. These considerations seem alone sufficient to authorise a conclusion. and myself. This is the legal import of the majority Decision. consequently. the Status Quo Ante Order is immediately lifted. the issuance of the Status Quo Ante Order in this case was most unfortunate. ³because the objectives and the questions to be resolved are political. the impeachment power is an extraordinary political tool to oust a public officer. the political branch of government. as a court of impeachments. Premises considered. that the Court. Conchita Carpio Morales. since several members of the Court.respondent Reyes. that the Supreme Court would have been an improper substitute for the Senate. myself included. In expounding on the rationale for excluding the power of impeachment from the courts. be exercised by those whose functions are most directly and immediately responsive to the broad spectrum of the Filipino people. which a court of impeachments must necessarily have. It was issued over the objections of Justices Antonio Carpio. without the benefit of a genuinely informed debate. had not yet then received a copy of the Petition. forbids the commitment of the trust to a small number of persons. in issuing the said order. This belief was made more acute by the fact that the order was voted upon in the morning of 14 September 2010. Congress. specifically.´[49] In the Constitution. It must. No one should henceforth presume to tell the House of Representatives that any form of restraining order is still in effect and thereby seek to extend the effectivity of the Status Quo Ante Order. and. I vote to DISMISS the Petition in its entirety. « [50] On a final note. therefore. . was overly intrusive with respect to a power that does not belong to it by restraining without hearing a co-equal branch of Government. Alexander Hamilton succinctly wrote: « The awful discretion. I believed then. This Court does not arrogate unto itself the power to determine the innocence or guilt of petitioner Gutierrez with respect to the allegations contained in the impeachment complaints of private respondents.

2003. Rule II. XI. 3 (3).MARIA LOURDES P. ³God save our country!´ The common thread that draws together the several petitions before this Court is the issue of whether the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. for and against him. [2] CONSTITUTION.´ The antecedents are simple. (15th Congress Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings. On June 2. 3 (4). On October 22. XI. Sec. A. Lim. alleging inter alia that they conspired to deprive him of his mandate as President. Art. Art. the nation is divided which led Justice Jose C. [7] Id. 3 (2). a Chief Justice is subjected to an impeachment proceeding. [3] Id. Sec. to organize and join rallies and demonstrations in various parts of the country. REPORTED BY JAMES MADISON (International Edition). Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. Scott (ed. Danilo D. [9] CONSTITUTION. The verified complaint is filed with the Office of the Secretary General of the House of Representatives. Felipe Pestaño and Evelyn Pestaño SEPARATE AND CONCURRING OPINION SANDOVAL±GUTIERREZ. providing that ³no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. Davide. [8] Id. [11] Private respondents Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. Section 3) [5] Id. 3 (1). J. Sec. Sec. The controversy caused people. Indeed. Estrada filed with the House of Representatives an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide and seven (7) other Justices of this Court. [10] Id.: Never before in the 102-year existence of the Supreme Court has there been an issue as transcendental as the one before us. the House Committee on Justice dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of . 2003. contravenes Section 3 (5). For the first time.) 1970 reprint. SERENO Associate Justice [1] THE DEBATES IN THE FEDERAL CONVENTION OF 1787 WHICH FRAMED THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Jr. 3 (4). [6] Id. deposed President Joseph E. Gaillard Hunt and James Brown N. at 290. [4] Id. Sec. Vitug to declare during the oral arguments in these cases.

The next day. Madison. Agabin of the UP College of Law. charging him with violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and betrayal of public trust with regard to the disposition of the Judicial Development Fund (JDF). the judiciary ³must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. the court must decide . One cornerstone of judicial supremacy is the two-century old case of Marbury vs. Pursuant to the Constitution. he stressed that it is ³the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. the instant petitions were filed with this Court alleging that the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide violates Section 3(5).´ Both the Senate and the House of Representatives claimed that this Court lacks jurisdiction over the petitions. Fuentebella filed another impeachment complaint. ³the courts must decide on the operation of each. this Court heard the petitions on oral argument: Present were the amici curiae appointed by this Court earlier. On November 5 and 6. and Felix William B. namely: Former Senate President Jovito R. former member of this Court.´ In applying the rule to particular cases. former Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Estelito P. and former Dean Pacifico A. Salonga. the House of Representatives in plenary session has still to approve or disapprove the Committee¶s action. Justice Hugo E. Crucial to the determination of the constitutionality of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide are three (3) fundamental issues indicated and discussed below: I ± Whether this Court has jurisdiction over the petitions. Congressmen Gilberto C. former Constitutional Commissioner Joaquin G.´ If two laws conflict with each other. if both the law and the Constitution apply to a particular case. 2003. Court of Appeals Justice Regalado E. At least one-third (1/3) of all the members of the House signed a Resolution endorsing this second impeachment complaint. Dean Raul C. Jr.substance. Cast in eloquent language. Chief Justice John Marshall effectively carried the task of justifying the judiciary¶s power of judicial review..´ It further stressed that ³if a law be in opposition to the Constitution. former Constitutional Commissioner. Maambong. Jr.[1] There. Mendoza. Article XI of the Constitution which provides: ³No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. Gutierrez. the petitions pose political questions which are non-justiciable. Senate President Franklin Drilon manifested that the petitions are premature since the Articles of Impeachment have not been transmitted to the Senate. on October 23. Teodoro. 2003. Moreover. Bernas. Pangalangan. this time against Chief Justice Davide alone. Subsequently.

´ The latter part of the authority represents a broadening of judicial power to enable the courts to review what was before a forbidden territory ± the discretion of the political departments of the government. Article VIII provides: ³Section 1. As earlier mentioned. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of Government. the basic issue posed by the instant petitions is whether the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G.´ x x xBut the courts may annul the proceedings if there is a showing of a grave abuse of discretion committed by the Congress or of non-compliance with the procedural requirements of the Constitution. as where the charges are instituted without a verified complaint. while jurisdiction refers to the power of a court to try and decide a case. May this Court assume jurisdiction over this justiciable issue? Justice Isagani A. Justiciability refers to the suitability of a dispute for a judicial resolution. Davide violates the Constitutional provision that ³no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within the period of one year. this is a justiciable issue. Thus. Is this conflict a justiciable issue? Justiciability. the 1987 Constitution is explicit in defining the scope of judicial power. the courts are authorized not only ³to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.´ Obviously. promulgated by the present Congress of the Philippines.[2] It speaks of judicial prerogative not only in terms of power but also of duty. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Chief Justice Davide. Article XI of the Constitution. ³Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.the case conformably to the Constitution disregarding the law.´ In our shore. or by less than one-third of all the members of the House of Representatives.´ The above provision fortifies the authority of the courts to determine in an appropriate action the validity of the acts of the political departments. he has a right to be protected by the courts. Section 1. on the face of the petitions. This is of the very essence of judicial duty. Cruz aptly wrote that ³A judgment of the Congress in an impeachment proceeding is normally not subject to judicial review because of the vesture in the Senate of the ³sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. under the Constitution. and Section 3(5). is different from jurisdiction.´ but also ³to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.[3] The petitions at bar present a conflict between Sections 16 and 17 of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings. or . Under the new definition of judicial power. should not be subjected to a second impeachment proceedings.

in Santiago vs. This Court held that ³jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is determined by the allegations of the complaint or petition.´[4] He further wrote that the power to impeach is essentially a non-legislative prerogative and can be exercised by the Congress only within the limits of the authority conferred upon it by the Constitution. the Court can exercise its power of judicial review over the internal processes or procedures of Congress when there exists a clear violation of the Constitution.[10] If the branches are interdependent. and if they differ. however. transgressed the Constitution. Also. according to the Court is ³certainly a justiciable question. II ± Should this Court exercise self-restraint? . Commission on Elections. declared that we have no more power to look into the internal proceedings of a House than Members of that House have to look over our shoulders. while our assumption of jurisdiction over the present petitions may.[7] this Court assumed jurisdiction over a petition alleging that the Constitution has not been observed in the selection of the Senate Minority Leader. the Court cannot exercise its power of judicial review over the internal processes or procedures of Congress. Yñiguez. In fine. inArroyo vs. implying that the Batasan. Otherwise there will be unresolved conflict and confusion.[9] this Court.where the judgment of conviction is supported by less than a two-thirds vote in the Senate. through Justice Vicente V. Guingona. an end to discussion.. De Venecia. in view of the latter¶s claim that the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings are unconstitutional. the correct view is that when this Court mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries or invalidates the acts of a coordinate body. If all three branches are faced with the same question. in the exercise of its powers. Owing to the nature of the conflict.´ Stated in converso. as long as no violation of constitutional provisions is shown. et al. regardless of whether the plaintiff or petitioner is entitled to the relief asserted. In this case. Jr. a conclusion. each must have a place where there is finality.[8] this Court ruled that ³absent a clear violation of specific constitutional limitations or of constitutional rights of private parties. all three cannot prevail ± one must be given way to. be considered by some as an attempt to intrude into the legislature and to intermeddle with its prerogatives. what it is upholding is not its own supremacy but the supremacy of the Constitution. It is well within the power and jurisdiction of the Court to inquire whether indeed the Senate or its officials committed a violation of the Constitution or gravely abused their discretion in the exercise of their functions and prerogatives.. the duty necessarily redounds to the judiciary. Mendoza (now retired).[5] The case of Romulo vs. it is clear that this Court has jurisdiction over the petition.´ Corollarily. This may be intolerable in situations where there has to be action.´ In Montesclaros vs. this Court initially took cognizance of the petition filed by Alberto G. Romulo.[6] supports such a view. at first view. In light of the allegation of petitioners. This.

transgress the Constitution. 78 that ³the judiciary [unlike the executive and the legislature] has no influence over either the sword or the purse. Certainly. To allow this transcendental issue to pass into legal limbo would be a clear case of misguided judicial self-restraint. It should do its duty to interpret the law.[11] As the last guardian of the Constitution. there is indeed a danger of exposing the Court¶s inability in giving efficacy to its judgment. and the limitations of that power.Confronted with an issue involving constitutional infringement. This Court has assiduously taken every opportunity to maintain the constitutional order. its act immediately ceases to be a mere internal concern.[12] Judicial reluctance on the face of a clear constitutional transgression may bring about the death of the rule of law in this country. One final note on jurisdiction and self-restraint. Yes. A question repeated almost to satiety is ± what if the House holds its ground and refuses to respect the Decision of this Court? It is argued that there will be a Constitutional crisis. The 1987 Constitution speaks of judicial prerogative not only in terms of power but also of duty. There being a clear constitutional infringement. and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments. seeing to it that it acts within the bounds of its authority. should this Court shackle its hands under the principle of judicial self-restraint? The polarized opinions of the amici curiae is that by asserting its power of judicial review. in impressing on the perceived weakness of the judiciary. the Court¶s duty is to uphold and defend it at all times and for all persons. no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of society. it cannot. It is a mandatory and inescapable obligation ± made particularly more exacting and peremptory by the oath of each member of this Court. under the unusual circumstances associated with the issues raised. But is it not the way in our present system of government? The Legislature enacts the law. it does not follow that the House of Representatives may not overstep its own powers defined and limited by the Constitution. despite such impending scenario. observed in Federalist No. Nonetheless. this Court can maintain the supremacy of the Constitution but at the same time invites a disastrous confrontation with the House of Representatives. It is a duty this Court cannot abdicate. the distribution of public power. and can take no active resolution whatever.´ Nonetheless. under the guise of implementing its Rules. this Court should not shirk from its duty. Alexander Hamilton. I believe this Court should do its duty mandated by the Constitution. While the power to initiate all cases of impeachment is regarded as a matter of ³exclusive´ concern only of the House of Representatives. for when it does. It may truly be said to have neither Force nor Will. It is not for the Court to withhold its judgment just because it would be a futile exercise of authority. the Judiciary interprets it and the Executive implements it. today is an appropriate occasion for judicial activism. but merely judgment. this is no time for a display of judicial weakness. . Indeed. over which the other departments may not exercise jurisdiction by virtue of the separation of powers established by the fundamental law.

´ I am sure that the honorable Members of the House who took part in the promulgation and adoption of its internal rules on impeachment did not intend to disregard or disobey the clear mandate of the Constitution ± the law of the people. even by Congress. the executive. And if its act is then held illegal by this Court. as fully as this Court does. that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. I must emphasize that the jurisdiction of this Court is over the alleged unconstitutional Rules of the House. And I confidently believe that they recognize. it is not because it has any control over Congress. Section 3 (5). has not the power to declare the House Rules unconstitutional. Of course. this Court will not attempt to require the House of Representatives to adopt a particular action.Surely. It need not be stressed that under our present form of government. But it does not follow that this Court. legislative and judicial departments are coequal and co-important. the Constitution has prescribed a diminution of its ³exclusive power. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution provides: ³No impeachment proceeding shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. III ± Whether the filing of the second impeachment is unconstitutional. a fortiori. particularly the House of Representatives. but because the act is forbidden by the fundamental law of the land and the will of the people. At this point. by imposing limitations on specific powers of the House of Representatives. as expressed in its internal rules. However. saying that the first impeachment complaint cannot be considered as having been ³initiated´ because it failed to obtain the . which is paramount and must be obeyed by every citizen. the others argue otherwise. whose Constitutional primary duty is to interpret the supreme law of the land. This Court will not even measure its opinion with the opinion of the House. not over the impeachment proceedings. high or low. justice and advisability of its particular act must be tested by the provisions of the Constitution. Several of the amici curiae support petitioners¶ contention. declared in such fundamental law. equally binding upon every branch or department of the government and upon every citizen. but it is authorized and empowered to pronounce an action null and void if found to be contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.´ Petitioners contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide contravenes the above provision because it was initiated within one (1) year from the filing of the first impeachment complaint against him and seven (7) Associate Justices. But the question of the wisdom.

16. Bar against Initiation of Impeachment Proceedings. as such.endorsement of at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House. no impeachment proceedings. when are impeachment proceedings considered initiated? The House Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings provide the instances when impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated. or (b) on the date the House.[13] overturns or affirms the finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance. ± Within a period of one (1) year from the date impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated as provided in Section 16 hereof. However. impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated at the time of the filing of the verified complaint or resolution with the Secretary General. The Rules infuse upon the term ³initiate´ a meaning more than what it actually connotes. This brings us to the vital question.´ Under the above Rules. as the case may be. as the case may be. Impeachment Proceedings Deemed Initiated. . is sufficient in substance or on the date the House votes to overturn or affirm the finding of the said Committee that the verified complaint and/or resolution. as the case may be. ³SEC. 17. is not sufficient in substance. impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated either (a) on the day the Committee on Justice finds that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance. The House Rules deviate from the clear language of the Constitution and the intent of its Framers. through a vote of one-third (1/3). impeachment proceedings against such official are deemed initiated on the day the Committee on Justice finds that the verified complaint and/or resolution against such official. can be initiated against the same official. thus: ³BAR AGAINST INITIATION OF IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE SAME OFFICIAL ³SEC. impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated at the time of the filing of such verified complaint or resolution of impeachment with the Secretary General. when the verified impeachment complaint is filed by a Member of the House or by a citizen (through a resolution of endorsement by a Member of the House). ³In cases where a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment is filed or endorsed. when the verified impeachment complaint or resolution is filed or endorsed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House. In cases where a Member of the House files a verified complaint of impeachment or a citizen files a verified complaint that is endorsed by a Member of the House through a resolution of endorsement against an impeachable officer. by at least one-third (1/3) of the Member of the House.

thus: ³It [proceeding] consists of several steps. ³Second. explains convincingly that the term ³proceeding. . ³Fourth.´ ³start. because that is the end of the House proceeding and the beginning of another proceeding.´ ³to perform the first rite. not the initiation or beginning. Article XI. the resolution must be forwarded to the House for further processing.´ ³beginning. whether the resolution of the Committee rejects or upholds the complaint. a middle. ³Now we ask. the Committee either rejects the complaint or upholds it. there is the processing of the same complaint by the House of Representatives. is a progressive noun that has a beginning. at what stage is the µimpeachment proceeding¶ initiated? ³Not when the complaint is transmitted to the Senate for trial.[17] Black¶s Law Dictionary defines ³initiate´ as ³commence. The action of the House is already a further step in the proceeding.[16] The reason for this is because the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer¶s document but essentially that of the people. I am convinced that the filing of the verified complaint and its referral to the Committee on Justice constitute the initial step.´ Using these definitions.´[18] while Webster¶s Dictionary[19] defines it as ³to do the first act. the plain.´ or ³commence.´ It came from the Latin word ³initium. namely the trial. It is the first act that starts the impeachment proceeding.J. because something prior to that has already been done. The House either affirms a favorable resolution of the Committee or overrides a contrary resolution by a vote of one third of all the members..The ascertainment of the meaning of the provision of the Constitution begins with the language of the document itself. an amicus curiae.´ meaning ³a beginning. S.[14] The words of the Constitution should as much as possible be understood in the sense they have in common use and given their ordinary meaning. in whose consciousness it should ever be present as an important condition for the rule of law to prevail. ³Third. Bernas.´ which is the object of the term ³initiated´ in Section 3 (5).´ ³originate´ or ³introduce. there is the filing of a verified complaint either by a Member of the House or by a private citizen endorsed by a Member of the House. there is the processing of this complaint by the proper Committee. and an end.[15] In other words. In this step. Joaquin G. clear and unambiguous language of the Constitution should be understood in the sense it has in common use. ³Not when the House deliberates on the resolution passed on to it by the Committee. Fr. ³First.

Then Commissioner Maambong sought the deletion of the phrase ³to initiate impeachment proceedings´ in Section 3 (3) of Article XI[20] to avoid any misconception that the obtention of one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House is necessary to ³initiate´ impeachment proceedings. We quote the pertinent portions of the deliberation. Justice Maambong.´ As early as the deliberation stage in the Constitutional Commission.´ The Records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission support the foregoing theory. The procedure. Apparently. the proceeding is initiated or begins. According to him. EITHER TO AFFIRM A RESOLUTION OF IMPEACHMENT BY THE COMMITTEE OR TO OVERRIDE ITS CONTRARY RESOLUTION. was that the initiation starts with the filing of the complaint. How many votes are needed to initiate? . REGALADO. it seems that the initiation starts only on the floor. This is the initiating step which triggers the series of steps that follow.´ That Commissioner Maambong gained the concurrence of the Framers of the 1987 Constitution with regard to the rationale of his proposed amendment is shown by the fact that nobody objected to his proposal and it is his amended version which now forms part of the Constitution. This prompted him to utter: ³x x x I will just make of record my thinking that we do not really initiate the filing of the Articles of Impeachment on the floor. Will the proponent please state the amendment before we vote? MR. The amendment is on Section 3 (3) which shall read as follows: µA VOTE OF AT LEAST ONE-THIRD OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE SHALL BE NECESSARY TO INITIATE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS. And what is actually done on the floor is that the committee resolution containing the Articles of Impeachment is the one approved by the body. when a verified complaint is filed and referred to the Committee on Justice for action.³Rather. so we can understand it. then a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. He stressed that it was the latter which requires the approval of one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House. explained that ³initiation starts with the filing of the complaint. May we have the amendment stated again.¶ MR. NATIVIDAD. THE VOTES OF EACH MEMBER SHALL BE RECORDED. The term ³initiate´ pertains to the initial act of filing the verified complaint and not to the finding of the Committee on Justice that the complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance or to the obtention of the one-third (1/3) vote of all the Members of the House as provided by the House Rules. as the phraseology of Section 3 (3) runs. thus: ³MR. NATIVIDAD. as I have pointed out earlier. Commissioner Maambong was very careful not to give the impression that ³initiation´ is equivalent to ³impeachment´ proper. the meaning of the term ³initiate´ was discussed.

Mr. that is the impeachment itself. MR. because when we impeach. may we request that Commissioner Maambong be recognized. but I will just make of record my thinking that we do not really initiate the filing of the Articles of Impeachment on the floor. Nevertheless. Thank you. MR. xxx xxx MR. BENGZON. Presiding Officer. . NATIVIDAD. It is not the body which initiates it. Congress. and it was the body who approved the resolution. was that the initiation starts with the filing of the complaint. Commissioner Maambong is recognized. BENGZON. It only approves or disapproves the resolution. I just want to indicate this on record. If we only have time. and the Articles of Impeachment to the body. it appears that the initiation starts on the floor. So. To initiate is different from to impeach. REGALADO. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. MR. the resolution. NATIVIDAD. probably the Committee on Style could help rearranging these words because we have to be very technical about this. As the phraseology now runs. I have submitted my proposal. on that score.¶ we refer here to the Articles of Impeachment. And what is actually done on the floor is that the committee resolution containing the Articles of Impeachment is the one approved by the body. MAAMBONG. to impeach is different from to convict.S. but the Committee has already decided. Mr. which may be corrected by the Committee on Style. Presiding Officer. Mr. So.MR. I could cite examples in the case of the impeachment proceedings of president Richard Nixon wherein the Committee on the Judiciary submitted the recommendation. The proceedings on the case of Richard Nixon are with me. Treñas). One-third. as I have pointed out earlier. The procedure. I am not moving for a reconsideration of the approval of the amendment submitted by Commissioner Regalado. I have been bringing with me the Rules of the House of Representatives of the U. To impeach means to file the case before the Senate. The Senate Rules are with me. MR. That is my understanding. Presiding Officer. When we speak of µinitiative. we are charging him with the Articles of Impeachment.

EVELYN PESTAÑO. RECOGNITION AND ADVANCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (COURAGE). DANILO RAMOS.x . Promulgated on February 15. but it is only in keeping with the exact formulation of the Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States regarding impeachment. Section 3 (3). FELIPE PESTAÑO. SECRETARY GENERAL OF BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (BAYAN). 2011 Item No. MERCEDITAS N. I am proposing. versus THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE. AND JAMES TERRY RIDON OF THE LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS (LFS). 11 G. MAAMBONG I would just like to move for a reconsideration of the approval of Section 3 (3). so that the whole section will now read: µA vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a EN BANC Agenda for February 1. Respondent-Intervenor. ATTY. 2011 x--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION . GUTIERREZ. ACTING SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLE¶S LAWYERS (NUPL). RISA HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL. Respondents. SECRETARY-GENERAL OF KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP). FELICIANO BELMONTE. RENATO M. x x x x x MR. and then capitalize the letter µi¶ in µimpeachment¶ and replace the word µby¶ with OF. EDRE OLALIA. No. we delete the words which read: µto initiate impeachment proceedings¶ and the comma (. 193459 ± MA. that on page 2. MOTHER MARY JOHN MANANZAN. Petitioner. from lines 17 to 18. My reconsideration will not at all affect the substance.R.. FERDINAND R. CONFEDERATION FOR UNITY. CHAIRPERSON. GAITE.. DANILO D. JR. JR.) and insert on line 19 after the word µresolution¶ the phrase WITH THE ARTICLES. without doing damage to any of this provision. CO-CHAIRPERSON OF PAGBABAGO. REYES. Madam President. LIM.

. but voted for the dismissal of the complaint for being insufficient in substance. Oliver Wendell Holmes. the filing of a second impeachment complaint was prohibited under paragraph 5. v. Jose C. Antonio T. Sec. Puno. In order to know what it is. Subsequently. Josue N. Jr. Recall that Francisco. Jr. J.DEL CASTILLO. Bellosillo. Jr. 2003 by former President Joseph E. and Associate Justices Artemio V. Lecture 1 (1881) At the heart of this controversy is the interpretation of the rule enshrined in Article XI. The House of Representatives[1] involved two impeachment complaints filed on separate occasions. and what it tends to become. Mme. The first complaint was filed on June 2. Though the first impeachment complaint was found to be . Jr. Quisumbing. may another impeachment complaint prosper? We said then that from the moment that the first complaint was referred to the proper committee. Carpio. we must know what it has been. 2003 against Chief Justice Hilario G. section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution. that ³[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. Estrada against then Chief Justice Hilario G. the first of which had been resolved long before the second complaint was filed.´ With due respect to my esteemed colleague. Reynato S. 3(5) of our Constitution. The Court in Francisco faced this question: when a first impeachment complaint is filed against an impeachable officer. Upon referral to the House Committee on Justice. Renato C. The Common Law. Panganiban. I do not agree that there may be multiple complaints embraced in only one impeachment proceeding. subsequently referred to the House Committee on Justice. Justice Conchita Carpio Morales. Corona. Davide.: The law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries. and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics. Vitug. and Leonardo A. the Committee ruled that the complaint was sufficient in form. and then dismissed. Davide. a second complaint was filed on October 23. accompanied by the endorsement of at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House of Representatives.

as shown in the Congressional records. and has since been readily applied.[6] As regards the simultaneous referral. it still served as a bar to a subsequent complaint within the same year. so as to bar any further proceedings on the Second Complaint. Does it then follow that only one proceeding has been initiated? To put it differently. I cannot find any reasonable justification for the conclusion that there can be multiple complaints in one proceeding. an impeachment proceeding had already been initiated. upon referral of the First Complaint[5] to the Committee. another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one year period. The rule seems simple enough. is it possible to have two impeachment complaints but just one proceeding? Mme.insufficient in substance. ³[o]nce an impeachment complaint has been initiated. Unfortunately. because the purposes of the one-year ban as enunciated by the framers of our Constitution ± to prevent harassment of the impeachable officials and to allow the legislature to focus on its principal task of legislation[4] ± reveal that the consideration behind the one-year ban is time and not the number of complaints. I posit this view for two reasons: first. even assuming that there was simultaneous referral. it does not appear to be entirely accurate that both complaints were simultaneously referred to the Committee on Justice. The Court ruled that ³initiation [of an impeachment proceeding] takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or.[7] and acknowledged by counsel for the respondents during the October 12. section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution.´[3] It was on that basis that the Supreme Court invalidated Sections 16 and 17 of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings of the 12th Congress. and declared that the second impeachment complaint filed against Chief Justice Davide was barred under paragraph 5. Justice Carpio Morales posits that multiple complaints within one proceeding are possible. But what of a case where two impeachment complaints are separately filed and then simultaneously referred to the Committee on Justice. while we are in agreement as to the reckoning point of initiation. by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House x x x´[2] Thus. 2010 Oral . Second.

simultaneous referral. the basis for the plaintiff's claim. (3) whether the resolution of the Committee rejects or upholds the complaint. and the demand for relief. indeed. x x x[11] Here.Arguments (interpellation of Mr. included in the Order of Business. referred to the Speaker of the House. an act or step that is part of a larger action. In fact.´[9] This is in contradistinction with a ³complaint. including all acts and events between the time of commencement and the entry of judgment. and the . The word ³proceeding´ has been defined as ³the regular and orderly progression of a lawsuit. it would be no less true that the filing and referral of each individual impeachment complaint amounts to the initiation of two separate impeachment proceedings. strictly speaking. the resolution must be forwarded to the House for further processing. the records bear out that each individual complaint was separately scrutinized to determine whether each was sufficient in form and substance. Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura). this Court stated that the impeachment ³proceeding´ consists of the following steps: (1) there is the filing of a verified complaint either by a Member of the House of Representatives or by a private citizen endorsed by a Member of the House of the Representatives. and (4) there is the processing of the same complaint by the House of Representatives which either affirms a favorable resolution of the Committee or overrides a contrary resolution by a vote of one-third of all the members. it appears that during the House plenary session on August 11.[8] Thus there was. any procedural means for seeking redress from a tribunal or agency. (2) there is the processing of this complaint by the proper Committee which may either reject the complaint or uphold it. each complaint was read separately by the Secretary General and individually referred to the Committee on Justice by the Chair. But even if we were to assume that there was. referred to the House Committee on Justice. and separately considered by the Committee. 2010. No doubt this Court should be more concerned with overarching principles rather than the ephemeral passing of minutes or seconds. both the First and Second Complaint separately went through these steps ± they were filed.´[10] In Francisco. no simultaneous referral.´ which is ³[t]he initial pleading that starts a[n] x x x action and states the basis for the court's jurisdiction.

2010[13] Date of Filing Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. Arlene Bag-ao and Walden Colmenares. delay in conducting and the Philippine Bureau of concluding the investigation Customs on the death of Ensign Philip Andrew Pestano Culpable Violation of the 4. conducting the investigations detention of Rep.000. et al. there were two proceedings. failure to conduct an Supreme Court in Information investigation into the Technology Foundation of the PhP1.000. BSP regulations on taking out Arroyo with regard to the of the country currency in NBN-ZTE Broadband excess of US$10.000 Project without declaring the funds to 3. Risa and filing criminal cases Hontiveros-Baraquel by the against responsible Philippine National Police in COMELEC officials pursuant 2006 to the directive given by the 5. Representatives Neri Javier Endorsers from the AKBAYAN House of Hon. In all respects. Ferdinand Gaite. Danilo Ramos. v.00 dinner at Le Philippines. Rafael Mariano. Atty. 2010 August 3. and James Terry Ridon Representatives Hon. the failure to prosecute immediate action re former ³Euro General´ PNP Director President Arroyo and her Eliseo de la Paz for violating husband. Felipe Pestaño. Bello Teodoro Casino. decision upholding the Constitution the delay or inaction in legality of the arrest and 1. failure to take prompt and 2.000. the delay and failure in the Ombudsman from 2008 prosecuting those involved in onwards the Fertilizer Fund Scam 2. et al. De Jesus Grounds raised Betrayal of Public Trust Betrayal of Public Trust 1.petitioner was required to answer both complaints. Pestaño Edre Olalio. and Evelyn Mananzan. Cirque in New York COMELEC. Jose Miguel T. Culpable Violation of the Constitution . To summarize: First Complaint Second Complaint [12] July 22. and Emeranciana A. Danilo Renato Reyes. Antonio Tinio. Mother Mary John Complainants Lim. dismal conviction rate of 1. Luzviminda Representatives Ilagan.

and referral may ignite the wick. ³what¶s done is done.´[19] In truth. 2010[17] August 11. 2010[16] August 11. the complaints have been treated in separate proceedings. been treated separately by the House. In fact. the other may feed the flame. 14 against 41 in favor. because separate and distinct proceedings are contemplated. 2010 39 in favor. each matchstick ignites a separate candle. 2010) Results of vote on whether or not the Complaint was sufficient in substance (September 7. as indicated by the fact that there was no identity in the votes received by each complaint. In Shakespeare¶s immortal words. But in reality. 1 against 31 in favor. in all respects. and each stands alone. . each matchstick is a separate impeachment complaint. only one matchstick will cause the candle to melt. 9 against 41 in favor. 2010 1. 2010[15] August 9. refusal to grant access to public records such as the Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth July 27. stays lit. but a candle. 16 against These two complaints have. 2010[14] August 2. once lit.[18] To use the analogy of the candle. August 4. 2010) repeated delays and failure to take action on cases impressed with public interest 2. the second matchstick becomes superfluous.Transmittal to the Speaker of the House Directive regarding inclusion in the Order of Business Referral by the Speaker of the House to the Committee on Justice Results of Vote on whether or not the complaint was Sufficient in Form (September 1.

This protection granted by the Constitution cannot be waved away merely by reference to the ³layers of protection for an impeachable officer´ and the likelihood that the number of complaints may be reduced during hearings before the Committee on Justice.But perhaps we need not venture so far for an analogy. our work here has been called unjustifiable arrogance by an unelected minority who condescends to supplant its will for that of the sovereign people and its elected representatives. To summarize. Just like in a regular lawsuit. Even if the Clerk of Court refers two complaints to the same branch at exactly the same time. As such. However. The Clerk of Court then refers the complaints to the branch for appropriate action. filed and referred to the Committee on Justice. the filing and referral of the First Complaint against the petitioner precluded the Committee on Justice from taking cognizance of the Second Complaint. we cannot shirk from our duty to ³say what the law is. if one conceives of the law as both the reflection of society¶s most cherished values as well as the means by which we. though the Second Complaint is barred by Section 3(5) of the Constitution.´[21] Particularly. this does not detract from the fact that two proceedings have been initiated. particularly where each complaint alleges different causes of action. different parties may prepare their initiatory complaints and file them in court. lest the provisions of our fundamental law be used to work an evil which may not be fully measured from where we stand. I vote that: (1) the status quo ante order should be LIFTED. try as we might. I believe the Members of this Court are well aware of the tension here between the clamor for public accountability and claims of judicial overreach vis-à-vis the demand that governmental action be exercised only within Constitutional limits. secure those values. that is to say. then this Court can do no less than ensure that any impeachment proceedings stand on unassailable legal ground. In fact. as a nation. the two proceedings remain separate and distinct. no other proceeding could be initiated against the petitioner. ACCORDINGLY. the House Committee on Justice should be allowed to proceed with its hearing on the First Complaint. once the First Complaint was initiated.[20] Nonetheless. and (2) the proceedings on the First Impeachment Complaint should be allowed to . notwithstanding simultaneous referral. And though the branch may hear the two complaints in one hearing.

ROMULO: Yes. Journal No. available online at http://www. The House of Representatives (Azcuna. This is not only to protect public officials who. REFERENCE OF BUSINESS CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION PUNO.: Over a century ago. and Ms.gov. 830 (2003). 2010. the intention here really is to limit.congress. Danilo Lim. Mr.ph/download/journals_15/J09. 2010. Casiño. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. During said deliberations. 2010. Renato Reyes. Mo. Before the Court are separate petitions for certiorari. However.´ Alexander Hamilton warned that any impeachment proceeding ³will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community. Danilo Ramos and Atty. Id. House of Representatives (15th Congress of the Philippines). prohibition and mandamus filed by different groups seeking to prevent the House of Representatives from transmitting to the Senate the Articles of Impeachment against . MARIANO C. are of the highest category from harassment but also to allow the legislative body to do its work which is lawmaking. in response to queries regarding the one-year limitation. Mr. Tinio and De Jesus filed on August 3. proceedings on the Second Complaint are barred by Section 3(5). And if we allow multiple impeachment charges on the same individual to take place. at 932. id. v. Jr. stated: MR. Merceditas Navarro-Gutierrez filed by Ms. citing the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. Used here to refer to the Verified Complaint for the Impeachment of Ombudsman Ma. Mary John Mananzan. Article XI of the Constitution. Romulo.continue. Mr. Ilagan.´ His word is prophetic for today we are in the edge of a crisis because of the alleged unconstitutional exercise of the power of impeachment by the House of Representatives. at 1053. in this case. Mariano. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] 460 Phil. Edre Olalia with the Resolutions of Endorsement filed by Representatives Colmenares. Lord Bryce described the power of impeachment as the ³heaviest piece of artillery in the congressional arsenal. Id. August 11. Evelyn Pestaño with the Resolutions of Endorsement filed by Representatives Bag-ao and Bello filed on July 22.pdf. the legislature will do nothing else but that. Used here to refer to the Verified Complaint for the Impeachment of Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Navarro-Gutierrez filed by Mr. Felipe Pestaño. J. 9. See Francisco. Impeachment proceedings take a lot of time. at 933. Mr. Separate Opinion).

alleging improper use of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). Davide. Maambong. the House alleged that the petitions pose political questions which are non-justiciable. swearing in then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the Presidency. thru its President. and Felix William B. Regalado E. Jr. 2003 for allegedly conspiring to deprive him of his mandate as President. Regalado of the Supreme Court. all asserting their rights. . retired Justice Hugo E. Let us first leapfrog the facts. Pangalangan and former Dean Pacifico A. On October 28. It is set to be transmitted to the Senate for appropriate action. Bernas. The petitioners contend that the filing of the present impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice is barred under Article XI. Davide. and unlawful disbursement of said fund for various infrastructure projects and acquisition of service vehicles and other equipment. former Constitutional Commissioner and now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. The Court further called on the petitioners and the respondents to maintain the status quo and enjoined them to refrain from committing acts that would render the petitions moot. as well as private individuals. First District. Tarlac. Camarines Sur. former Constitutional Commissioner Joaquin G.. The Court also appointed the following as amici curiae: Former Senate President Jovito R.´ They cite the prior Impeachment Complaint filed by Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada against the Chief Justice and seven associate justices of this Court on June 2. Third District. Section 3 (5) of the 1987 Constitution which states that ³(n)o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. 2003. several petitions were filed with this Court by members of the bar. Dean Raul C. Jr. as taxpayers to stop the illegal spending of public funds for the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice. this Court issued a resolution requiring the respondents and the Solicitor General to comment on the petitions and setting the cases for oral argument on November 5. 2003. of the Supreme Court . retired Justice Florenz D. Agabin of the UP College of Law. Teodoro. Mendoza. On October 23. In the succeeding days. members of the House of Representatives. filed with the House of Representatives a Complaint for Impeachment against Chief Justice Hilario G. the Honorable Franklin Drilon further manifested that the petitions are premature for the Articles of Impeachment have not been transmitted to them.Chief Justice Hilario G.. The Senate. Gutierrez. Salonga. and to enjoin the Senate from trying and deciding the case. Representatives Gilberto C. former Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Estelito P. The complaint alleged the underpayment of the cost of living allowance of the members and personnel of the judiciary from the JDF. 2003 for being insufficient in substance. 2003. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives took the position that this Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the petitions at bar. Fuentebella. The recommendation has still to be approved or disapproved by the House of Representatives in plenary session. Jr. In its Special Appearance. Said complaint was dismissed by the Committee on Justice of the House of Representatives on October 23. and declaring him permanently disabled to hold office. Jr. among others. The complaint was endorsed by one-third (1/3) of all the members of the House of Representatives.

especially to the United States.[3] It was originally conceived as a checking mechanism on executive excuses. let us look to the history of thought on impeachment for its comprehensive understanding. and whether it should be exercised by this Court at this time. ripeness (prematurity.[4] It was then the only way to hold royal officials accountable. Due to the constraints of time. I shall limit my Opinion to the hot-button issues of justiciability.[5] The records reveal that the first English impeachments took place in the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). 2003. on what issues and at what time. The Origin and Nature of Impeachment: The British Legacy The historical roots of impeachment appear to have been lost in the mist of time.We then look at the profiles of the problems. Senate¶s ³sole´ power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. A. The citizens were then given the right to charge the said officials before they were allowed to bow out of office. constitutionality of the House Rules on Impeachment vis a vis Section 3 (5) of Article XI of the Constitution. the modern concept of impeachment is part of the British legal legacy to the world. House¶s ³exclusive´ power to initiate all cases of impeachment.[1] It is written that Athenian public officials were hailed to law courts known as ³heliaea´ upon leaving office. a) b) c) d) e) f) g) locus standi of petitioners. jurisdiction and judicial restraint.[2] Undoubtedly.[6] It was during his kingship that the two houses of Lords and Commons acquired some legislative powers. however. On November 5 and 6. the Court heard the petitions on oral argument. and judicial restraint.[7] But it was during the reign of Henry IV (1399-1413) that the procedure was firmly established whereby the House of Commons initiated impeachment proceedings while the House of Lords tried . who can invoke it. For a start. It received arguments on the following issues: Whether the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be invoked. mootness). Some trace them to the Athenian Constitution. political question/justiciability.

the Constitution provided for a Chief Executive.[13] Judges were either commissioned in England or in some instances appointed by the governor. they were named by the proprietor.[11] B. a bicameral legislature and a judiciary. Father of the American Constitution. In the royal colonies. the trial of impeachment cases was given to the upper house of the legislature.[18] Even the grounds for impeachment and their penalties were dissimilar.[15] In each state. the delegates were again guided by their colonial heritage. In crafting the provisions on impeachment.[8] Impeachment in England covered not only public officials but private individuals as well.[14] The first state constitutions relied heavily on common law traditions and the experience of colonial government.the impeachment cases. a legislature and a judiciary.[19] In some states. It was largely the handiwork of James Madison. the early state constitutions. the lower house of the legislature was empowered to initiate the impeachment proceedings. centered on the accountability of the President and how he should be impeached. and common law traditions.[17] There were differences in the impeachment process in the various states. It called for a strong national government composed of an executive.[25] Much of the impeachment debates.[21] Then came the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787.[9] Impeachment in England skyrocketed during periods of institutional strifes and was most intense prior to the Protestant Revolution. Its use declined when political reforms were instituted. They enjoyed no security of office. It also suggested that the Supreme Court should be granted original jurisdiction to try cases of impeachment.[23] The Virginia Plan vested jurisdiction in the judiciary over impeachment of national officers. Impeachment in the United States: Its political character The history of impeachment in colonial America is scant and hardly instructive. the 1781 Articles of Confederation did not contain any provision on impeachment. He lodged the power of impeachment in the lower house of the legislature but the right to try was given to the federal judiciary. They were dismissed for disobedience or inefficiency or political patronage.[20] At the national level.[10] Legal scholars are united in the view that English impeachment partakes of a political proceeding and impeachable offenses are political crimes.[16] Almost all of the Constitutions provided for impeachment. In most states. in others. A Committee called Committee on Detail[26] recommended that the House of Representatives be given the sole power of impeachment.[12] Their tenure was uncertain. There was hardly any limitation in the imposable punishment. it was entrusted to a combination of these fora.[24] Charles Pinkney of South Carolina offered a different plan. The matter was further referred to a Committee . especially the British legacy.[22] The records show that Edmund Randolph of the State of Virginia presented to the Convention what came to be known as the Virginia Plan of structure of government. governors were appointed by the Crown while in the proprietary colonies. however.

of Eleven chaired by David Brearley of New Hampshire.[27] It suggested that the Senate should have the power to try all impeachments, with a 2/3 vote to convict. The Vice President was to be ex-officio President of the Senate, except when the President was tried, in which event the Chief Justice was to preside.[28] Gouverneur Morris explained that ³a conclusive reason for making the Senate instead of the Supreme Court the Judge of impeachments, was that the latter was to try the President after the trial of the impeachment.´[29] James Madison insisted on the Supreme Court and not the Senate as the impeachment court for it would make the President ³improperly dependent.´[30] Madison¶s stand was decisively rejected.[31] The draft on the impeachment provisions was submitted to a Committee on Style which finalized them without effecting substantive changes.[32] Prof. Gerhardt points out that there are eight differences between the impeachment power provided in the US Constitution and the British practice:[33]

First, the Founders limited impeachment only to ³[t]he President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States.´ Whereas at the time of the founding of the Republic, anyone (except for a member of the royal family) could be impeached in England. Second, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention narrowed the range of impeachable offenses for public officeholders to ³Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,´ although the English Parliament always had refused to constrain its jurisdiction over impeachments by restrictively defining impeachable offenses. Third, whereas the English House of Lords could convict upon a bare majority, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention agreed that in an impeachment trial held in the Senate, ³no Person shall be convicted [and removed from office] without the concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.´ Fourth, the House of Lords could order any punishment upon conviction, but the delegates limited the punishments in the federal impeachment process ³to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of Honor, Trust, or Profit under the United States.´ Fifth, the King could pardon any person after an impeachment conviction, but the delegates expressly prohibited the President from exercising such power in the Constitution. Sixth, the Founders provided that the President could be impeached, whereas the King of England could not be impeached. Seventh, impeachment proceedings in England were considered to be criminal, but the Constitution separates criminal and impeachment proceedings. Lastly, the British provided for the removal of their judges by several means, whereas the Constitution provides impeachment as the sole political means of judicial removal.
It is beyond doubt that the metamorphosis which the British concept of impeachment underwent in the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1789 did not change its political nature. In the Federalist No. 65, Alexander Hamilton observed:

The subject of the Senate jurisdiction [in an impeachment trial] are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public man or in other words, form the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a political nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.
Justice James Wilson characterized impeachments as proceedings of a political nature ³confined to political characters, to political crimes and misdemeanors, and to political punishments.´[34] Another constitutionalist, McDowell emphasized: ³To underscore the inherently political nature of impeachment, the Founders went further and provided that the right to a jury trial was to be secured for µall crimes except in cases of impeachment.¶ When it came to the President, unlike his powers to interfere with ordinary crimes, the Founders sought to limit his power to interfere with impeachments. His power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States was granted broadly µexcept in cases of impeachment.¶´[35] A painstaking study of state court decisions in the United States will reveal that almost invariably state courts have declined to review decisions of the legislature involving impeachment cases consistent with their character as political.[36] In the federal level, no less than the US Supreme Court, thru Chief Justice Rehnquist, held in the 1993 case of Nixon v. United States[37] that the claim that the US Senate rule which allows a mere committee of senators to hear evidence of the impeached person violates the Constitution is non-justiciable. I quote the ruling in extenso:

xxx The history and contemporary understanding of the impeachment provisions support our reading of the constitutional language. The parties do not offer evidence of a single word in the history of the Constitutional Convention or in contemporary commentary that even alludes to the possibility of judicial review in the context of the impeachment powers. See 290 US App DC, at 424, 938 F2d, at 243; R. Berger, Impeachment: The Constitutional Problems 116 (1973). This silence is quite meaningful in light of the several explicit references to the availability of judicial review as a check on the Legislature¶s power with respect to bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and statutes. See the Federalist No. 78 p 524 (J. Cooke ed 1961) (³Limitations « can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of the courts of justice´). The Framers labored over the question of where the impeachment power should lie. Significantly, in at least two considered scenarios the power was placed with the Federal Judiciary. See 1 Farrand 21-22 (Virginia Plan) ; id., at 244 (New Jersey Plan). Indeed, Madison and the Committee of Detail proposed that the Supreme Court should have the power to determine impeachments. See 2 id., at 551 (Madison); id., at 178-179, 186 (Committee of Detail). Despite these proposals, the Convention

ultimately decided that the Senate would have ³the sole Power to Try all Impeachments.´ Art I, § 3, cl 6. According to Alexander Hamilton, the Senate was the ³most fit depositary of this important trust´ because its members are representatives of the people. See The Federalist No. 65, p 440 (J. Cooke ed 1961). The Supreme Court was not the proper body because the Framers ³doubted whether the members of that tribunal would, at all times, be endowed with so eminent a portion of fortitude as would be called for in the execution of so difficult a task´ or whether the Court ³would possess the degree of credit and authority´ to carry out its judgment if it conflicted with the accusation brought by the Legislature ± the people¶s representative. See id., at 441. In addition, the Framers believed the Court was too small in number: ³The lawful discretion, which a court of impeachments must necessarily have, to doom to honor or to infamy the most confidential and the most distinguished characters of the community, forbids the commitment of the trust to a small number of persons.´ Id., at 441-442. There are two additional reasons why the Judiciary, and the Supreme Court in particular, were not chosen to have any role in impeachments. First, the Framers recognized that most likely there would be two sets of proceedings for individuals who commit impeachable offenses ± the impeachment trial and a separate criminal trial. In fact, the Constitution explicitly provides for two separate proceedings. See Art I, § 3, cl 7. The Framers deliberately separated the two forums to avoid raising the specter of bias and to ensure independent judgments: Would it be proper that the persons, who had disposed of his fame and his most valuable rights as a citizen in one trial, should in another trial, for the same offence, be also the disposers of his life and his fortune? Would there not be the greatest reason to apprehend, that error in the first sentence would be the parent of error in the second sentence? That the strong bias of one decision would be apt to overrule the influence of any new lights, which might be brought to vary the complexion of another decision? The Federalist No. 65, p 442 (J. Cooke ed 1961) Certainly judicial review of the Senate¶s ³trial´ would introduce the same risk of bias as would participation in the trial itself. Second, judicial review would be inconsistent with the Framers¶ insistence that our system be one of checks and balances. In our constitutional system, impeachment was designed to be the only check on the Judicial Branch by the Legislature. On the topic of judicial accountability, Hamilton wrote: The precautions for their responsibility are comprised in the article respecting impeachments. They are liable to be impeached for mal-conduct by the house of representatives, and tried by the senate, and if convicted, may be dismissed from

e. No. This is the only provision on the point. Where the vortex of the controversy refers to the legality or validity of the contested act. See id.´ Over the years.. which is consistent with the necessary independence of the judicial character. Carr. a leading light in the Warren Court known for its judicial activism. Id. 81. or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. the matter is definitely justiciable or non-political. namely. 79. C. Justice Brennan. and is the only one which we find in our own constitution in respect to our own judges. COMELEC.. No.office and disqualified for holding any other. whether it is likewise political in nature. Cuenco. or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it.[40] Mr. It refers to ³those questions which under the Constitution. is counterintuitive because it would eviscerate the ³important constitutional check´ placed on the Judiciary by the Framers. The Nature of Impeachment in the Philippine Setting Given its history. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. even if only for purposes of judicial review. a question of policy. In Tañada v.[41] delineated the shadowy umbras and penumbras of a political question. p 545. impeachment is dominantly political in character both in England and in the United States. A revisit of the political question doctrine will not shock us with the unfamiliar. or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. or the impossibility of a court¶s undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government. the core concept of political question and its contours underwent further refinement both here and abroad. In fine. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of government.[39] we further held that ³political questions are not the legality of a particular act. i. In the 1962 landmark case ofBaker v. or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made. let us now consider the nature of impeachment in the Philippine setting. . He held: x x x Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department.[38] we held that the term political question connotes what it means in ordinary parlance.. not legality of a particular measure. pp 532-533 (emphasis added) Judicial involvement in impeachment proceedings.´ In Sanidad v.

The right to accuse is exclusivelygiven to the House of Representatives.´[43] They hardly have any judicially ascertainable content. It is for this reason and more that impeachment proceedings are classified as sui generis. graft and corruption as well defined criminal offenses. EDSA People Power I resulted in the radical rearrangement of the powers of government in the 1987 Constitution. Thus. among the grounds of impeachment are ³other high crimes or betrayal of public trust.[46] Likewise. bribery. a political branch of government. C. jurisdiction refers to the power of a court to entertain.1. legal and philosophical lookover. Parenthetically. try and decide a case. Thus. The Chief Justice has a limited part in the process ± ± ±to preside but without the right to vote when the President is under impeachment.[49] If found guilty.[47] All these provisions confirm the inherent nature of impeachment as political. The resolution of the issue demands a study that goes beyond the depth of the epidermis. they point to some of the grounds of impeachment like treason.[48] They stress that the impeached official undergoes trial in the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.[42] Mr. Justice Frankfurter considers political question unfit for adjudication for it compels courts to intrude into the ³political thicket. 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. The historiography of our impeachment provisions will show that they were liberally lifted from the US Constitution. I shall now grapple with the threshold issue of whether the petitions at bar pose political questions which are non-justiciable or whether they present legal and constitutional issues over which this Court has jurisdiction. the purity of the political nature of impeachment has been lost. To be sure. We give the impeachment provisions of our Constitution a historical.The political question problem raises the issue of justiciability of the petitions at bar. Among others. The issues at bar are justiciable Prescinding from these premises. Following an originalist interpretation. The power of impeachment is textually committed to Congress. They have been shaped by our distinct political experience especially in the last fifty years. there is much to commend to the thought that they are political in nature and character. the issue of justiciability is different from the issue of jurisdiction. Justiciability refers to the suitability of a dispute for judicial resolution.´[50] I therefore respectfully submit that there is now a commixture of political and judicial components in our reengineered concept of impeachment. Be that at it may. Some legal scholars characterize impeachment proceedings as akin to criminal proceedings. The political character of impeachment hardly changed in our 1935. a kind of its own. the powers of the President were .[44] The right to try and decide is given solely to the Senate[45] and not to the Supreme Court. the impeached official suffers a penalty ³which shall not be further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines. the President cannot exercise his pardoning power in cases of impeachment. textual. our impeachment proceedings are indigenous.´ In contrast.

´ In contrast. the issue of whether the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide involving the JDF is already barred by the 1-year rule under Article XI. I respectfully submit that the petitions at bar concern its non-political aspect. and a remedy granted and sanctioned by law. this is a justiciable issue.[51] Within forty-eight hours from such suspension or proclamation. By any standard. It is demandable. It was given the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights. Justice Laurel as ponente: . he can suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law but only for a period not exceeding sixty days. The petitions at bar call on the Court to define the powers that divide the jurisdiction of this Court as the highest court of the land and Congress as an impeachment court.´ The petitions at bar involve the right of the Chief Justice against the initiation of a second impeachment within one year after a first impeachment complaint. Among the new features of the proceedings is Section 3 (5) which explicitly provides that ³no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. In the seminal case of Angara v.diminished. has jurisdiction over the issues posed by the petitions at bar has no merit in light of our long standing jurisprudence. legally demandable.political aspects.[56] In light of our 1987 constitutional canvass. the powers of the legislature were pruned down.[58] we held that ³x x x the onlyconstitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituents thereof is the judicial department.[57] a justiciable question implies a given right. it expanded the rule making power of the Court. the 1987 Constitution gave the Judiciary more powers. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. As aforediscussed. Aquino. the power of impeachment has both political and non. for said breach of right. Even while Article XI of the Constitution lodged the exercise of the power of impeachment solely with Congress. Among others.[52] The sufficiency of the factual basis of the suspension of habeas corpus or the proclamation of martial law may be reviewed by the Supreme Court. and enforceable. an act or omission violative of such right. The right is guaranteed by no less than the Constitution. it expanded the reach and range of judicial power by defining it as including ³x x x the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. he is required to submit a report to Congress. Substantive and procedural restrictions were placed in the President¶s most potent power ± ± ± his power as Commander-in-Chief.´ So ruled Mr. nonetheless it defined how the procedure shall be conducted from the first to the last step. As held in Casibang v. Electoral Commission. Section 3(5) of the Constitution. It is a right that can be vindicated in our courts.[54] Its power of impeachment was reconfigured to prevent abuses in its exercise.[53] Similarly. Thus. acting in its constitutional capacity as an impeachment body. The contention that Congress. the question is whether this Court can assume jurisdiction over the petitions at bar.´[55] Likewise.

but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. To be sure. inter alia.[61] this Court declared null and void the Resolution . And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof. Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution provides. et al. the legislative and the judicial departments of the government. In times of social disquietude or political excitement.´ As well observed by retired Justice Isagani Cruz. In cases of conflict. scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. if not entirely obliterated. the great landmarks of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed ³judiciary supremacy´ which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. this expanded definition of judicial power considerably constricted the scope of political question. sometimes makes it hard to say just where the one leaves off and the other begins. that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) shall be the ³sole judge´ of all contests relating to the election. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. returns. Who is to determine the nature. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments. In Bondoc v. xxx The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. and qualifications of the members of the House. in the exercise of their discretionary powers.[59] He opined that the language luminously suggests that this duty (and power) is available even against the executive and legislative departments including the President and the Congress. however. the Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and in bold lines. allotment of power to the executive. the force to impugn the jurisdiction of this Court becomes more feeble in light of the new Constitution which expanded the definition of judicial power as including ³the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. Pineda. Article VI.xxx But in the main.[60] We shall not be breaking grounds in striking down an act of a co-equal branch of government or an act of an independent agency of government done in grave abuse of discretion. The overlapping and interlacing of functions and duties between the several departments.

Secretary of Finance. The question thus posed is judicial rather than political. limitations being provided for as to what may be done and how it is to be accomplished. but to unjustly interfere with the tribunal¶s disposition of the Bondoc case and deprive Bondoc of the fruits of the HRET¶s decision in his favor. a constitutional organ created for the specific purpose of determining contests relating to election returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly may not be interfered with by the judiciary when and while acting within the limits of authority. x x x It is simply a necessary concomitant of the power to hear and dispose of a case or controversy properly before the court.[64] we nullified the HRET¶s decision declaring private respondent Syjuco as the duly elected Congressman of Makati for having been rendered in persistent and deliberate violation of the Tribunal¶s own governing rules and the rules of evidence. His expulsion from the HRET by the House of Representatives was held not to be for a lawful and valid cause.´[62] In Angara v. Similarly. Since ³a constitutional grant of authority is not unusually unrestricted. To be sure.[63] we also ruled that the Electoral Commission. 7716 or the VAT law. et al.A. to the determination of which must be brought the test and measure of the law. We ruled that the VAT law satisfied the . It is ³a plain exercise of judicial power. This Court found that the House of Representatives acted with grave abuse of discretion in removing Congressman Camasura. and rescinding the election of Congressman Camasura as a member of the HRET. it becomes the responsibility of the courts to ascertain whether the two coordinate branches have adhered to the mandate of the fundamental law. necessarily then. No. We passed upon the issue of whether the procedure for passing a law provided by the Constitution was followed by the House of Representatives and the Senate in Tolentino v. in appropriate cases. the actions of the executive and legislative branches does not mean that the courts are superior to the President and the Legislature. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and Augusto Syjuco. Electoral Commission. Its action was adjudged to be violative of the constitutional mandate which created the HRET to be the ³sole judge´ of the election contest between Bondoc and Pineda. but this Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission for the purpose of determining the character. for the improvident exercise or the abuse thereof may give rise to a justiciable controversy. the power vested in courts to enable them to administer justice according to law. It does mean though that the judiciary may not shirk ³the irksome task´ of inquiring into the constitutionality and legality of legislative or executive action when a justiciable controversy is brought before the courts by someone who has been aggrieved or prejudiced by such action.´ We further explained that the power and duty of courts to nullify.[65] involving R. scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the commission as sole judge of all contests relating to the election and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. in Arroyo v.of the House of Representatives withdrawing the nomination. this Court has reviewed not just acts of the HRET but also of the House of Representatives itself. We held that a showing that plenary power is granted either department of government is not an obstacle to judicial inquiry.

With humility. Section 24 of the 1987 Constitution. The Exercise of Jurisdiction: Theory and Limits of Judicial Restraint.[68] Deference to the majority rule constitutes the flagship argument of judicial restraint[69] which emphasizes that in democratic governance. The recent case of Macalintal v. Former Senate President Salonga says not yet and counsels restraint. In said case.´ and held that this requirement was satisfied when the bill which became R. Finally. Within this democratic and republican framework.constitutional provision requiring that all appropriation. We also interpreted the constitutional provision requiring the reading of a bill on three separate days ³except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment. COMELEC[66] on absentee voting affirmed the jurisdiction of this Court to review the acts of the legislature. it is anchored on a heightened regard for democracy. board or before a government official exercising judicial. As a judicial stance. both the apostles of judicial restraint and the disciples of judicial activism agree that government cannot act beyond the outer limits demarcated by constitutional boundaries without becoming subject to judicial intervention. and quoted Tañada v.´ I therefore concur with the majority that the issues posed by the petitions at bar are justiciable and this Court has jurisdiction over them. It accords intrinsic value to democracy based on the belief that democracy is an extension of liberty into the realm of social decisionmaking. To be sure. D. the Court settled the question of propriety of the petition which appeared to be visited by the vice of prematurity as there were no ongoing proceedings in any tribunal.[70] Judicial restraint assumes a setting of a government that is democratic and republican in character. it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. I wish to discuss its philosophical underpinnings. So do Deans Agabin and Pangalangan of the UP College of Law. quasi-judicial or ministerial functions as required by Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. revenue and tariff bills originate from the House of Representatives under Article VI. The Court considered the importance of the constitutional issues raised by the petitioner. Judicial Activism and the Coordinacy Theory of Constitutional Interpretation The next crucial question is whether the Court should now exercise its jurisdiction. 7716 underwent three readings on the same day as the President certified the bill as urgent. Angara[67] stating that ³where an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. there is much to commend in judicial restraint. The issue that splits them is the .A. we interpreted the Rules of the Senate and the House of Representatives and held that there was nothing irregular about the conference committee including in its report an entirely new provision not found either in the House bill or in the Senate bill as this was in accordance with the said Rules. majority rule is a necessary principle. No. etc. Judicial restraint in constitutional litigation is not merely a practical approach to decision-making.

The democratic value assists the judicial restraintist in arriving at an answer. that is. As he observed ³if judges want to be preachers. They are divided in delineating the territory within which government can function free of judicial intervention. on constitutional grounds. imagination and prophetic responsibility.[71] As an unelected official. concede that the legislature has a ³right to be wrong´ and will be answerable alone to the people for the exercise of that unique privilege. published in 1893. the judge considers that respect for majoritarian government compels him to be circumspect in invalidating.[73] It is consistent and congruent with the concept of balance of power among the three independent branches of government. In one of the earliest scholarly treatments of judicial review.´[78] Adherents of judicial restraint warn that under certain circumstances. ³The Origin and Scope of the American Doctrine of Constitutional Law´. James Bradley Thayer of Harvard established strong support for the rule that courts should invalidate legislative acts only when their unconstitutionality is established with great certainty.location of those limits. within broad limits. It nudges the judge who considers democracy as an intrinsic and fundamental value to grant that the discretion of the legislature is large and that he cannot correct any act or enactment that comes before the court solely because it is believed to be unwise. than for a judge to make a correct one.´ Thayer¶s thesis of judicial deference had a significant influence on Justices Holmes. Restraintists hold that large-scale reliance upon the courts for resolution of public problems could lead in the long run to atrophy of popular government and collapse of the ³broad-based political coalitions and popular accountability that are the lifeblood of the democratic system. they should dedicate themselves to the pulpit.[76] Justice Frankfurter is the philosopher of the school of thought trumpeting judicial restraint. and encourages separation of powers. The judge will give to the legislature the leeway to develop social policy and apart from what the Constitution proscribes. the considered judgments of legislative or executive officials. It does not only recognize the equality of the other two branches with the judiciary.´[79] They allege . but fosters that equality by minimizing inter-branch interference by the judiciary.[72] Judicial restraint thus gives due deference to the judiciary¶s co-equal political branches of government comprised of democratically elected officials and lawmakers. respect by the judiciary for other co-equal branches. if judges want to be primary shapers of policy the legislature is their place.[77] He opined that there is more need for justices of the Supreme Court to learn the virtue of restraint for the cases they consider ³leave more scope for insight. Prof. whose decisions are more likely to reflect popular sentiments. It may also be called judicial respect.[74] Many commentators agree that early notions of judicial review adhered to a ³clear-error´ rule that courts should not strike down legislation if its constitutionality were merely subject to doubt. the active use of judicial review has a detrimental effect on the capacity of the democratic system to function effectively. Brandeis. Cases raising the question of whether an act by Congress falls within the permissible parameters of its discretion provide the litmus test on the correctness of judicial restraint as a school of thought. It is better for the majority to make a mistaken policy decision.[75] For Thayer. and Frankfurter. full and free play must be allowed to ³that wide margin of considerations which address themselves only to the practical judgment of a legislative body. bereft of a constituency and without any political accountability.

the coordinacy theory accommodates judicial restraint because it recognizes that the President and Congress also have an obligation to interpret the constitution.[81] Judicial restraint. and association and other basic constitutional rights should be given the same deference as is accorded legislation affecting property rights. if at all it can participate. Laws will reflect the beliefs and preferences of the majority. will perpetuate suppression of political grievances.[85] The oath to ³support this Constitution. press. judicial activists hold that the Court¶s indispensable role in a system of government founded on doctrines of separation of powers and checks and balances is a legitimator of political claims and a catalyst for the aggrieved to coalesce and assert themselves in the democratic process. association and the right to suffrage . They charge that restraintists forget that minority rights are just as important a component of the democratic equation as majority rule is. however.[84] I most respectfully submit. the Court.so that citizens can form political coalitions and influence the making of public policy. In fine. in the political process. under the coordinacy theory.that aggressive judicial review saps the vitality from constitutional debate in the legislature. press. Coordinacy means courts listen to . Critics of judicial restraint further stress that under this theory. the majority imposes upon itself a self-denying ordinance. Judicial restraint fails to recognize that in the very act of adopting and accepting a constitution and the limits it specifies. This coordinacy theory gives room for judicial restraint without allowing the judiciary to abdicate its constitutionally mandated duty to interpret the constitution. Thus. It promises not to do what it otherwise could do: to ride roughshod over the dissenting minorities. considers the preceding constitutional judgments made by other branches of government. then the Court would be just as ³democratic´ as Congress. Its unbelievers insist that the concept of democracy must include recognition of those rights that make it possible for minorities to become majorities. legislators and executives to take ± proves this independent obligation. does it signify complete judicial deference.´ ± which the constitution mandates judges. however. The expanded definition of judicial power gives the Court enough elbow room to be more activist in dealing with political questions but did not necessarily junk restraint in resolving them.freedoms of speech. They submit that if the Court uses its power of judicial review to guarantee rights fundamental to the democratic process . assembly.[83]Thus.e. the minority has little influence.. i.[80] It leads to democratic debilitation where the legislature and the people lose the ability to engage in informed discourse about constitutional norms. They are of different variety.[82] The restraintist¶s position that abridgments of free speech. This obligation is rooted on the system of separation of powers. is not without criticisms. each branch of government has an independent obligation to interpret the Constitution. The antagonism between judicial restraint and judicial activism is avoided by the coordinacy theory of constitutional interpretation. By no means however. Political questions are not undifferentiated questions. that the 1987 Constitution adopted neither judicial restraint nor judicial activism as a political philosophy to the exclusion of each other. Coordinacy theory rests on the premise that within the constitutional system. the mainstream or median groups.

is indefensible. As well stated. to Congress. The political components of impeachment are dominant and their appreciation are not fit for judicial resolution. while not amounting to an abdication of judicial review. The contextual approach better attends to the specific character of particular constitutional provisions and calibrates deference or restraint accordingly on a case to case basis.the voice of the President and Congress but their voice does not silence the judiciary. The 1924 case of Alejandrino v.[88] I shall now proceed to balance these constitutional values. Indeed. at the very least. the glue that holds together our government. Only those with the armor of invincible ignorance will cling to the fantasy that a stand-off between this Court and Congress at this time will not tear asunder our tenuous unity. Quezon[89] teaches us that the system of checks and balances should not disturb or harm the harmony in government. it allows the legislature adequate leeway to carry out their constitutional duties while at the same time ensuring that any abuse does not undermine important constitutional principles. Madison[86] that courts are not bound by the constitutional interpretation of other branches of government still rings true. judicial deferment will. If we weaken the glue. they are beyond the loop of judicial review. This theme resonates in the 1936 case of Angara v.´[87] With due respect. a collision where there will be no victors but victims alone. The doctrine in Marbury v. I cannot take the extreme position of judicial restraint that always defers on the one hand. In doing so. stop our descent to a constitutional crisis. Electoral Commission. An approach that will bring this Court to an irreversible collision with Congress. There can be no debate on the proposition that impeachment is designed to protect the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. First.´ Our government has three branches but it has but one purpose ± ± ± to preserve our democratic republican form of government ± ± ± and . or judicial activism that never defers on the other. impeachment is political in nature and hence its initiation and decision are best left. judicial deferment of judgment gives due recognition to the unalterable fact that the Constitution expressly grants to the House of Representatives the ³exclusive´ power to initiate impeachment proceedings and gives to the Senate the ³sole´ power to try and decide said cases. we shall be flirting with the flame of disaster. the constitution¶s judgments as to the relative risks of action and inaction by each branch of government. I prefer to take the contextual approach of the coordinacy theory which considers the constitution¶s allocation of decision-making authority. a political organ of government. ³the coordinacy thesis is quite compatible with a judicial deference that accommodates the views of other branches. at least initially. Second. At its core. The grant of this power ± the right to accuse on the part of the House and the right to try on the part of the Senate ± to Congress is not a happenstance. where Justice Laurel brightlined the desideratum that the principle of checks and balances is meant ³to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. Their correct calibration will compel the conclusion that this Court should defer the exercise of its ultimate jurisdiction over the petitions at bar out of prudence and respect to the initial exercise by the legislature of its jurisdiction over impeachment proceedings. and the fears and aspirations embodied in the different provisions of the constitution.

Be that as it may. the timing of its exercise depends on the sense of the situation by the Court and its sense depends on the exigencies created by the motion and movement of the impeachment proceedings and its impact on the interest of our people. I quote his disquisition. The words of former Senate President Jovito Salonga.´ The call for that quality of ³rare disinterestedness´ should counsel us to resist the temptation of unduly inflating judicial power and deflating the executive and legislative powers. ³the most important thing we decide is what not to decide.´[91] Indeed. As well put by Justice Brandeis. the Court should strive to work out a constitutional equilibrium where each branch of government cannot dominate each other. but that by no means is a justification for the errant thought that the Constitution created an imperial judiciary.[90] But that does not diminish the role of the legislature as co-guardian of the Constitution. ought to bridle our rush to judgment ± ± ± this Court will eventually have jurisdiction but not yet. even before the resumption . It is our hands that will cobble the components of this delicate constitutional equilibrium. There are moves going on to get enough members of Congress to withdraw their signatures down to 75 or less. Third. Justice Frankfurter requires judges to exhibit that ³rare disinterestedness of mind and purpose. the ³legislatures are ultimate guardians of the liberties and welfare of the people in quite as great a degree as courts. we cannot be the repository of all remedies.I refuse to adopt an approach that refuses to reconcile the powers of government. In the discharge of this duty. we have the jurisdiction to strike down impermissible violations of constitutional standards and procedure in the exercise of the power of impeachment by Congress but the timing when the Court must wield its corrective certiorari power rests on prudential considerations. and it is now wrong to abdicate its exercise. Fourth. An imperial judiciary composed of the unelected. It is true that this Court has been called the conscience of the Constitution and the last bulwark of constitutional government. judges take an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution but so do our legislators. should the Supreme Court render a decision at this time? This brings us back to the realities of the 2nd Impeachment Complaint and the question of propriety posed earlier. We cannot pretend to be an imperial judiciary for in a government whose cornerstone rests on the doctrine of separation of powers. judicial review is now a matter of duty. an equilibrium where each branch in the exercise of its distinct power should be left alone yet bereft of a license to abuse. an amicus curiae. We are right in ruling we have jurisdiction but the wrong timing of the exercise of our jurisdiction can negate the existence of our very jurisdiction and with catastrophic consequence. 1. viz: Assuming the question of propriety can be surmounted. In the words of Justice Cardozo.´ Indeed. whose sole constituency is the blindfolded lady without the right to vote. is counter-majoritarian. a freedom from intellectual and social parochialism. inherently inimical to the central ideal of democracy. I agree that judicial review is no longer a matter of power for if it were power alone we can refuse to exercise it and yet be right. hence. The 1987 Constitution expanded the parameters of judicial power.

Moreover. in the stock market. Malacañang is also pushing for a Covenant which may or may not succeed in ending the controversy. long time. . In politics. 2003 (and perhaps in the succeeding days). a lot of things can happen outside ± in the streets. there are still a number of steps to be taken in the House in connection with the First Impeachment Complaint ± before the Second Impeachment Complaint can be transmitted to the Senate. so the Committee can submit its Report to the entire House for its information and approval.of the sessions on November 10. the Committee may be persuaded to call the officials of the Commission on Audit to explain the COA Special Audit Report of September 5. Whatever happens in the House. 2. will be smooth and easy or rough and protracted. if it is true that the House Committee on Justice has not yet finished its inquiry into the administration of the Judicial Development Fund. in media. one day ± especially in Congress ± can be a long. so as to render this whole controversy moot and academic. Considering. the Senate. it has been said. Dismissal of the 2nd Impeachment Complaint can be done by 4. 2003 and help the Committee Chair and members to carry out and complete their work. can decide the question of whether the one-year ban has been violated or not. 3. on its face. All these will have a great bearing on what happens in the House and in the Senate. For example. Assuming the desired number of withdrawals is not achieved and the Covenant does not gain enough support among the NPC congressmen. a number of things can be done before the Senate is convened as an Impeachment Court. 2003. among other things. in Government and in public assemblies throughout the country. I understand a number of congressmen may also raise the question of compliance with the due process clause in handling the Impeachment Complaint against Chief Justice Davide. Much will depend on developments after this hearing in this Court (on November 5). that only two congressmen filed the 2nd Impeachment Complaint ± the other congressmen were mere endorsers ± the Complaint cannot qualify for Senate Impeachment trial as pointed out by Attys. Macalintal and Quadra. which has the primary jurisdiction over the case. Likewise. the Senate can decide whether the Complaint. It may be too early to predict whether the House session on November 10. has any legal basis. particularly the twin requirements of notice and hearing. If the 2nd Impeachment Complaint finally reaches the Senate.

grant the locus standi of the petitioners considering the transcendental constitutional issues presented. Only when this case is ripe for judicial determination can the Supreme Court speak with great moral authority and command the respect and loyalty of our people. My point is that there may be no urgent need for this august tribunal to render a decision at this point. Ibid. If the Senate decides that the one-year ban has been violated or that the Complaint on its face has no leg to stand on. should be the final arbiter. The Supreme Court. I vote as follows: 1. Section 3 (5) of the Constitution until after the remedies against impeachment still available in both the House of Representatives and the Senate shall have been exhausted. 5 (1970). 4. which has final jurisdiction on questions of constitutionality. p. it should be the authoritative court of last resort in our system of democratic governance. 3. Section 3 (5) of the Constitution which provides that ³no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year´ is a justiciable issue and hence within the competence of this Court to decide. 2. Few will dispute that former Senate President Salonga has the power of a piercing insight. [2] . all the remedies in the House and in the Senate should be exhausted first. In light of the above. In my view. hold that it is within the power of this Court to define the division of powers of the branches of government. hold that the alleged violation of Article XI. Impeaching Federal Judges: A Study of the Constitutional Provisions. 39 Fordham L Rev. [1] Ferrick.the Senate motu proprio or through a Motion to Quash filed on behalf of Chief Justice Davide. this could be the end of the whole controversy. CONCLUSION In summary. I vote to dismiss the petitions at bar. and hold that the coordinacy theory of constitutional interpretation and prudential considerations demand that this Court defer the exercise of its certiorari jurisdiction on the issue of alleged violation of Article XI.

No. 3 (March 1999). Gerhardt. Turley. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] SEPARATE OPINION VITUG. Ibid at pp.. Ibid. 67 Geo Wash L. Mc Dowell. pp. Feerick. p. 636-638. Ibid. 21.´ Recovering the Intentions of the Founders. op cit. J. Congress as Grand Jury: The Role of the House of Representatives in the Impeachment of an American President. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. p. 5. 61 (1973). The Lessons of Impeachment History. pp. 67 Geo Wash L Rev. Ibid. Ibid. ³High Crimes and Misdemeanors. 14-15. Ibid. 67 Geo Wash L. Feerick. 20. Rev. Rev. 67. 763-764. Ibid.. 67 Geo Wash L Rev. No. pp. 763. 15-16. p. Perrick. Turley. 11.[3] Schlesinger. op cit. No. p. Ibid.. Bergeir. 3 (March 1999) p. Ibid.. Impeachment. p. Ibid. 12-14. No. 67. 3 (March 1999). 3 (March 1999). Ibid. Ibid. 693. Ibid. p. Reflections on Impeachment. op cit. Ibid. The Constitutional Problems.: . Ibid. op cit.

once again. and various other sectors expressed alarm. Must the Supreme Court come into grips and face the matter squarely? Or must it tarry from its duty to act swiftly and decisively under the umbrella of judicial restraint? The circumstances might demand that the Court must act dispassionately and seasonably.the Executive. and the Judiciary each branch being supreme in its own sphere but with constitutional limits and a firm tripod of checks and balances. can lead to abuse. Today. a looming threat of an overreaching arm of a ³co-equal´ branch of government would appear to be perceived by many. It is the yardstick upon which every act of governance is tested and measured. Section 21 of the Jones Law only mentions of an executive officer whose official title shall be ³the Governor General of the Philippine Islands´ and provides that he holds office at the pleasure of the President and . On 23 October 2003. the Legislative. Thus. a veritable kindling to the passionate fires of anarchy. SOVEREIGNTY RESIDES IN THE PEOPLE AND ALL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY EMANATES FROM THEM. yet perhaps one of the toughest test in its more than one hundred years of existence. Nothing in our history suggests that impeachment was existent in the Philippines prior to the 1935 Constitution. On 02 June 2003. but it also shuns a direct and unbridled rule by the people. People took to the streets. this time. but this time. a second complaint for impeachment was filed by two members of the House. regrettably. The Constitution is the written manifestation of the sovereign will of the people. Involved are no longer just hypothetical principles best left as fodder for academic debate. The Court itself was swarmed with petitions asking the declaration by it of the total nullity of the second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice for being violative of the constitutional proscription against the filing of more than one impeachment complaint against the same impeachable officer within a single year. the principle of checks and balances. media reported what it termed to be an inevitable constitutional crisis. the Court. only against the Chief Justice. when absolute. and explicit constitutional mandates and concepts come into sharp focus and serious scrutiny.´ [1] A Republican form of government rests on the conviction that sovereignty should reside in the people and that all government authority must emanate from them. the core values of separation of powers among the co-equal branches of the government. a complaint for impeachment was filed before the House of Representatives against the Chief Justice of the Philippines and seven associate justices of the Supreme Court. It abhors the concentration of power on one or a few. the business sector became restive. cognizant that power.³THE PHILIPPINES IS A DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN STATE. Our people have accepted this notion and decided to delegate the basic state authority to principally three branches of government --. has been called upon to act. endorsed by at least one-third of its membership.

could expeditiously remove an erring official. it could be applied against private citizens.[15] In Republic of China (Taiwan) and Cuba. France. and in some states in theUnited States. under its Sections 2 and 3. In England. the US Constitution narrowed impeachable offenses to treason. ministers and judges of the monarch who was then considered incapable of any wrongdoing. it had been the courts. the process was heavily utilized. or commoners.[2] The impeachment provision.[5] Since the accession of James I in 1603.[8] While the procedure was dying out in England. members of the cabinet and those in the judiciary. it would be an executive body which could initiate impeachment proceedings against erring civil officials. or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Article XI.. the framers of the United States Constitution embraced it as a "method of national inquest into the conduct of public men. treason.[4] The first recorded case was in 1376. the parliament. i. bribery. were charged with crimes.until his successor is chosen and qualified."[9] The provision in the American Federal Constitution on impeachment simply read - "The President. of an American precept into the Philippine landscape. In Belgium.[13] While the British parliament had always refused to contain its jurisdiction by restrictively defining impeachable offenses. for lending the King¶s money at usurious interest. when Lords Latimer and Neville. and Conviction of. for treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors.[3] In its modern form.[12] Some notable differences included the fact that in the United States. and all civil Officers of the United States.[6] its application only declining and eventually becoming lost to obsolescence during the 19th century when. in an unsuccessful attempt to remove Lord Melville. while the US Constitution treated impeachment rather differently. in a process called eisangelia. together with four commoners. English impeachments partook the nature of a criminal proceeding.[7] It was last used in England in 1806. the proceeding first made its appearance in 14th century England in an attempt by the fledgling parliament to gain authority over the advisers. Bribery. among many. and to peers. for any crime. for removing the staple from Calais. The earliest system of impeachment existed in ancient Greece. which conducted trial. which appeared for the first time in the 1935 Constitution was obviously a transplant. or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Vice-President. India. with the rise of the doctrine of ministerial responsibility. by mere vote of censure or "no confidence". shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for. Italy.[16] The 1987 Constitution provides. the proceedings might be directed against civil officials such as the chief of state.e." [10] While the American impeachment procedure was shaped in no small part by the English experience. the skeletal constitutional framework of the impeachment process in the Philippines - .[14] Variations of the process could be found in other jurisdictions. and for buying Crown debts for small sums and paying themselves in full out of the Treasury.[11] records of the US Constitutional Convention would reveal that the Framers took pains to distinguish American impeachment from British practice.

(5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. The Committee. graft and corruption. together with the corresponding resolution. trial and punishment according to law. (6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. treason. culpable violation of the Constitution. . the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. after hearing. The President. other high crimes. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. but not by impeachment. but shall not vote. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee or override its contrary resolution. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days.Section 2. bribery. the Vice-President. When the President of the Philippines is on trial. and conviction of. on impeachment for. the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. or betrayal of public trust. When sitting for that purpose. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office. (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. Section 3. the Members of the Supreme Court. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. and by a majority vote of all its members. (7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines. but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution. the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.

(8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section.
As a proceeding, impeachment might be so described thusly ± First, it is legal and political in nature and, second, it is sui generis neither a criminal or administrative proceeding, but partaking a hybrid characteristic of both and retaining the requirement of due process basic to all proceedings.[17] Its political nature is apparent from its function as being a constitutional measure designed to protect the State from official delinquencies and malfeasance, the punishment of the offender being merely incidental.[18] Although impeachment is intended to be non-partisan, the power to impeach is nevertheless lodged in the House of Representatives, whose members are highly responsive to political and partisan influences. The trial by the Senate is thought to reduce the likelihood of an impeachment case being decided solely along political lines. With its character of being part criminal and part administrative, carrying the punitive sanction not only of removal and disqualification from office but likewise the stigmatization of the offender,[19] an impeachment proceeding does not exactly do away with basic evidentiary rules and rudimentary due process requirements of notice and hearing. The House of Representatives is the repository of the power to indict; it has the ³exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.´ But, unlike the American rule[20] from which ours has been patterned, this power is subject to explicit Constitutional guidelines and proscriptions. Its political discretionextends, albeit within constitutional parameters, to the formulation of its rules of impeachment and the determination of what could constitute impeachable offenses. The impeachable offenses of "bribery," "graft and corruption" and "treason" are clearly defined in criminal statute books. The terms ³high crimes,´ ³betrayal of public trust´, and ³culpable violation of the Constitution,´ however, elude exact definition, and by their nature, cannot be decided simply by reliance on parsing criminal law books[21] but, although nebulous, all three obviously pertain to 'fitness for public office,' the determination of which allows the exercise of discretion. Excluding any definite checklist of impeachable offenses in the Constitution is a wise measure meant to ensure that the House is not unduly impeded by unwise restrictive measures, which may be rendered obsolete with a changed milieu;[22] otherwise, it would have made more sense to give the power to the judiciary, which is the designated arbiter of cases under traditionally determinate or readily determinable rules.[23] A broad grant of powers, nonetheless, can lead to apprehensions that Congress may extend impeachment to any kind of misuse of office that it may find intolerable.[24] At one point, Gerald Ford has commented that ³an impeachable offense is whatever the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment.´[25] The discretion, broad enough to be sure, should still be held bound by the dictates of the Constitution that bestowed it. Thus, not all offenses, statutory or perceived, are impeachable offenses. While some particular misconduct might reveal a shortcoming in the integrity of the official, the same may not necessarily interfere with the performance of his official duties or constitute an unacceptable risk to the public so as to constitute an impeachable offense. Other experts suggest the rule of ejusdem generis, i.e. that "other high crimes," "culpable violation of the constitution" and "betrayal

of public trust" should be construed to be on the same level and of the same quality as treason or bribery. George Mason has dubbed them to be "great crimes," "great and dangerous offenses," and "great attempts to subvert the Constitution,"[26] which must, according to Alexander Hamilton, be also offenses that proceed from abuse or violation of some public trust, and must ³relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to society itself.´[27] These political offenses should be of a nature, which, with peculiar propriety, would cause harm to the social structure.[28] Otherwise, opines James Madison, any unbridled power to define may make impeachment too easy and would effectively make an official's term subject to the pleasure of Congress, thereby greatly undermining the separation of powers. Thus, where the House of Representatives, through its conduct or through the rules it promulgates, transgresses, in any way, the detailed procedure prescribed in the Constitution, the issue is far removed from the sphere of a ³political question,´ which arises with the exercise of a conferred discretion, and transformed into a constitutional issue falling squarely within the jurisdictional ambit of the Supreme Court as being the interpreter of the fundamental law. The issue of "political question" is traditionally seen as an effective bar against the exercise of judicial review. The term connotes what it means, aquestion of policy, i.e., those issues which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to either the Legislature or Executive branch of the government. It is concerned with the wisdom, not with the legality, of a particular act or measure.[29] The Court should not consider the issue of "political question" as foreclosing judicial review on an assailed act of a branch of government in instances where discretion has not, in fact, been vested, yet assumed and exercised. Where, upon the other hand, such discretion is given, the "political question doctrine" may be ignored only if the Court sees such review as necessary to void an action committed with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. In the latter case, the constitutional grant of the power of judicial review vested by the Philippine Constitution on the Supreme Court is rather clear and positive, certainly and textually broader and more potent than where it has been borrowed. The Philippine Constitution states[30]---

"Judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. ³Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government."
[31]

Even before it emerged in the 1987 Constitution, early jurisprudence, more than once, supported the principle. In Avelino vs. Cuenco,[32] the Court passed upon the

internal rules of the Senate to determine whether the election of Senator Cuenco to the Senate Presidency was attended by a quorum. InMacias vs. COMELEC,[33] the Court rejected American precedents and held the apportionment of representative districts as not being a political question. InTanada vs. Macapagal,[34] the Supreme Court took cognizance of the dispute involving the formation of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. In Cunanan vs. Tan,[35]the Court pronounced judgment on whether the Court had formed the Commission on Appointments in accordance with the directive of the Constitution. InLansing vs. Garcia[36], the Court held that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus was not a political question because the Constitution had set limits to executive discretion. To be sure, the 1987 Constitution has, in good measure, "narrowed the reach of the µpolitical question doctrine¶ by expanding the power of judicial review of the Supreme Court not only to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable but also to determine whether or not grave abuse of discretion has attended an act of any branch or instrumentality of government.[37] When constitutional limits or proscriptions are expressed, discretion is effectively withheld. Thus, issues pertaining to who are impeachable officers, the number of votes necessary to impeach and the prohibition against initiation of impeachment proceeding twice against the same official in a single year, provided for in Sections 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Article XI of the Constitution, verily are subject to judicial inquiry, and any violation or disregard of these explicit Constitutional mandates can be struck down by the Court in the exercise of judicial power. In so doing, the Court does not thereby arrogate unto itself, let alone assume superiority over, nor undue interference into the domain of, a co-equal branch of government, but merely fulfills its constitutional duty to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution.[38] The Judiciary may be the weakest among the three branches of government but it concededly and rightly occupies the post of being the ultimate arbiter on, and the adjudged sentinel of, the Constitution. Recent developments in American jurisprudence, steeped only in cautious traditions, would allow recourse to the judiciary in areas primarily seen as being left to the domain of the discretionary powers of the other two branches of government. In Nixon vs. United States[39], Walter L. Nixon, Jr., an impeached federal court judge, assailed the impeachment procedure of the Senate before the Supreme Court. Speaking for the Court, Chief Justice Rehnquist acknowledged that courts defer to the Senate as to the conduct of trial but he, nevertheless, held ---

"In the case before us, there is no separate provision of the Constitution which could be defeated by allowing the Senate final authority to determine the meaning of the word "try" in the Impeachment Trial Clause. We agree with Nixon that courts possess power to review either legislative or executive action that transgresses identifiable textual limits. As we have made clear, "whether the action (of either Legislative or Executive Branch) exceeds whatever authority has been committed, is itself a delicate

convicting. a Constitutional expert. that whether a matter is a political question depends on the fit between the actual legal procedure chosen by Congress and the circumstances to which Congress attempts to apply the procedure and. the Senate's action might be so far beyond the scope of its constitutional authority and the consequent impact on the Republic so great.[42] Powell demonstrates. and is the responsibility of this Court as the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution.[43] Summing up. Article XI. it nonetheless is within its powers to ensure that Congress follows the constitutional standards for expulsion. Indeed." But respondents. 2) when the House votes to overturn or affirm the finding of the said Committee. and 3)." In the earlier case of Powell vs. say. judicial review would be proper to determine whether Congress has followed the proper procedure for making the political decision committed to it by the Constitution. Powell has clarified that while the Court cannot interfere with the decision of the House to exclude its members." In his separate opinion.exercise in constitutional interpretation. Justice Souter also considered the legal possibility of judicial interference if the Senate trial were to ignore fundamental principles of fairness so as to put to grave doubt the integrity of the trial itself [40]----- "If the Senate were to act in a manner seriously threatening the integrity of its results. citing House Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings. "No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. as to merit a judicial response despite the prudential concerns that would ordinarily counsel silence. In such circumstances. Section 3 (5) of the 1987 Constitution is explicit. McCormick. upon filing of the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment with the Secretary general after a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed or endorsed by at least 1/3 of the . first. second. that the choice and application of a procedure by Congress are reviewable by the federal courts to ensure that Congress has done no more than the Constitution allows. argue that a complaint is deemed initiated only in three instances: 1) when there is a finding by the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint or resolution is sufficient in substance.[44] and any departure from the constitutionally mandated process would be subject to corrective ruling by the courts.[41] the US Supreme Court has ruled that while Congress possesses the power to exclude and expel its members.[45] Petitioners contend that respondents committed grave abuse of discretion when they considered the second complaint for impeachment in defiance of the constitutional prohibition against initiating more than one complaint for impeachment against the same official within a single year. upon a coin toss or upon a summary determination that an officer of theUnited States was simply "a bad guy" judicial interference might well be appropriate. Jonathan Turley observes that there may be judicial review of static constitutional provisions on impeachment while leaving actual decisions of either house unreviewable.

lest events overtake it. I entertain no doubt that the advice is well-meant and understandable. do not appear to sustain that idea. its dependability. In my view. But the social unrest and division that the controversy has generated and the possibility of a worsening political and constitutional crisis.e. to include in the Order of Business the complaint. however." as so used in the Constitution. against the Chief Justice. 3) on 13 October 2003. The highly political nature of the power to impeach can make the proceeding easily fraught with grave danger. the Speaker of the House directed the chairman of the House Committee on Rules."[48] This forewarning should emphasize that impeachment is a remedy and a tool for justice and public good and never intended to be used for personal or party gain. but it need not be a weakling. of the Supreme Court. The following day. and 4) on 22 October 2003. influence. and seriously endanger the Constitution and what it stands for. I would second the view[47] that the term "initiate" should be construed as the physical act of filing the complaint. Despite having conceded the locus standi of petitioners and the jurisdiction of the Court. and interest on one side or on the other. the Court must do its task now if it is to maintain its credibility. The provisions expressed in the Constitution are mandatory. It may be weak.. the circumstances could well be compelling reasons for the Court to put a lid on an impending simmering foment before it erupts. for being insufficient in substance. when there should be none. Hamilton uncannily foresaw in the impeachment process a potential cause of great divide ---. the House of Representatives had taken cognizance of the first complaint and acted on it ----1) The complaint was filed on 02 June 2003 by former President Joseph Estrada along with the resolutions of endorsement signed by three members of the House of Representatives. the second impeachment complaint was filed by two members of the House of Representatives. including Chief Justice Hilario Davide. Some final thoughts. and its independence. when the complaint for impeachment is filed before the House and the latter starts to act thereon. In the words of US Chief Justice Marshall - . accompanied by an endorsement signed by at least onethird of its membership. should be understood in its simple sense. the House Committee on Justice included the complaint in its Order of Business and ruled that the complaint was sufficient in form.[46] Thus. 2) on 01 August 2003. Jr.³In many cases. partialities. Evidently. respondents assert that the first complaint against the Chief Justice could not qualify as an "initiated complaint" as to effectively bar the second complaint. referring the complaint to the proper Committee. The keeper of the fundamental law cannot afford to be a bystander. some would call for judicial restraint. that is. on 23 October 2003. Petitioners. there will be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of the parties than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt. the House Committee on Justice dismissed the complaint for impeachment against the eight justices. passively watching from the sidelines.members of the House. i. coupled with an action by the House taking cognizance of it. it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions. indeed. make it impotent. insist that "initiation. and will enlist all their animosities. and in such cases.

Article II. March 1982. but the US House of Representatives need to have a concurrence of two-thirds of its members to render a guilty verdict. The English monarch can never be impeached. supra. the Court¶s action will be viewed with criticism. "The Constitutional Limits to Impeachment and its Alternatives. 1970. The one or the other would be treason to the Constitution. "The Lessons of Impeachment History. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] . The House of Lords can order any punishment upon conviction. such power was expressly withheld from the US President. Rodriguez. whichever way it goes. Gerhardt. but to remain stoic in the face of extant necessity is a greater risk. supra.. US Constitution. a case may be attended.C. as the legislature may. ³The Presidency A to Z. The judiciary cannot. Numeriano F. With whatever doubts. Vol. Section 4. and the disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor. Jr. Ibid. the US Senate can only order the removal from Office. The English monarch can exercise pardon on any convicted official. that it must take jurisdiction if it should. 1987 Constitution. than to usurp that which is not given. Michael J. trust and profit. Nelson. Ibid. but it is equally true.. 1st Quarter." Texas Law Review. with whatever difficulties. [1] Section 1. Vol. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. Other differences include ---. 67 (1999) Nelson." The George Washington Law Review. 57:104. Gerhardt. ed. Congressional Quarterly (1998) Ibid.The English House of Lords can convict by mere majority. Manila. Circumspection and good judgment dictate that the holder of the lamp must quickly protect it from the gusts of wind so that the flame can continue to burn. "Structural Analysis of the 1973 Constitution. I vote to grant the petitions on the foregoing basic issue hereinbefore expressed. if it be brought before us. Michael Nelson. avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution. We have no more right to decline the exercise of a jurisdiction which is given. The Supreme Court is the chosen guardian of the Constitution. Ibid. See Article II." [49] The issues have polarized the nation. we must decide it. Michael J. 68 (1989)."It is most true that this Court will not take jurisdiction if it should not." Philippine Law Journal. UP Law Center Constitutional Revision Project.´ Washington D.

Vol. liberty. "The president. In so deciding not to indict Nixon. proven to have been committed by public officials in both their private and public capacities. citizens or subjects.. Amar. arising under this Constitution. vice-president. Arthur M. The George Washington Law Review.to all Cases affecting ambassadors. "Reflections on Impeachment. --. ³Impeachment: The Structural Understanding. Vol.. 2. McGinnis. . may be removed from office. Tañada vs. supra. falsehoods. ³On Impeaching Presidents. Winter 1999. supra. or property without due process of law. the constitutional provision reads.´ Hofstra Law Review.to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. it is argued that the failure to impeach Nixon on the basis of his tax returns should not be taken to mean that merely µprivate conduct¶ is not impeachable. or the citizens thereof. and foreign states.between a state and citizens of another state. Jr. and Treaties made. ³Would George Washington Have Wanted Bill Clinton Impeached?´. Schlesinger. As American history would attest. in Law and Equity. For example.while the American president is not immune from the impeachment process. Presser.) [15] Nelson. 67 (1999).to controversies to which the United States shall be a Party. or which shall be made. UP Law Center. Article III of the US Federal Constitution granted only limited power to the US Supreme Court--- [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] "The judicial power shall extend to all Cases. it also undercuts the notion that Congress is obliged to impeach for any particular offense. Cuenco.´ The George Washington Law Review. Ibid. (Gerhardt. Schlesinger.´ supra. ³The Lessons of Impeachment History. 103 Phil 1051. are not always deemed by the US Senate as sufficient to warrant removal from office. 28. Ibid.. --. John O.--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states. In contrast. 1999. Bill of Rights. No. supra.to controversies between two or more states. Article III. Section 2. the Laws of the United States. No. nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. other factors were apparently considered by the US House of Representatives. It goes without saying that if its purpose is to remove seriously unfit public officials to avoid injury to the Republic. Vol. on impeachment for.. --. Presser. Section 1. and between a state. supra.. impeachment may not be resorted to if injury is not likely to flow from the assailed conduct. No person shall be deprived of life. supra." The George Washington Law Review.). Akhil Reed Amar. Vol. under their Authority. 28. Ibid. --.--. 76. Winter 1999. Overwhelming consensus further show that impeachment is not required for all impeachable acts or that failure to bring impeachment erring conduct of some erring officials in the past mean that those were not impeachable offenses (Thus." The clause not only provides the authority for Congress to impeach and convict on proof of such conduct. including the sufficiency of the evidence and the need to streamline the already complicated case against Nixon [McGinnis] infra. other public ministers and consuls. Stephen B. 2.

Electoral Commission. 404. 67 (1999). Ibid. by at least one-third (1/3) of the Members of the House. Jonathan Turley. 42 SCRA 448. L-10520. Impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated at the time of the filing of such verified complaint or resolution of impeachment with the Secretary General.. 1965.In all cases affecting ambassadors. Angara vs. United States. "Did the Senate Trial Satisfy the Constitution and the Demands of Justice?" Hofstra Law Review. other public ministers and consuls. [31] Section 1. In all the other Cases before mentioned.´ The George Washington Law Review. ³Congress As Grand Jury: The Role Of The House Of Representatives In The Impeachment Of An American President. Cohens v. Ibid. 28 (1999) 395 US 486 (1969). [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] Succinctly explained by Fr. supra. as the case may be. 83 Phil 17. Vol. Estrada vs. 63 Phil 139. Article 8. 3 SCRA 1. and under such regulations as the Congress shall make. as the case may be. S. Impeachment Proceedings Deemed Initiated ± In cases where a Member of the House files a verified complaint of impeachment or a citizen filed a verified complaint that is endorsed by a Member of the House through a resolution of endorsement against an impeachable officer. 353 SCRA 452. Impeachment and its Alternatives. Nixon vs. and those in which a State shall be Party. Virginia 19 US (6 Wheat) 265. (1821).S. 5 SCRA 1 (1962). Presser. Desierto. (1961). Gerhardt. In cases where a verified complaint or a resolution of Impeachment is filed or endorsed. supra. Bar Against Initiation Of Impeachment Proceedings Against the same official.J. Joaquin Bernas. 1987 Constitution. the supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. himself a member of the Constitutional Commission and an amicus curiae invited by this Court. is sufficient in substance or on the date the House votes to overturn or affirm the findings of the said Committee that the verified complaint and/or resolution. as the case may be. Vol. impeachment proceedings against such official are deemed initiated on the day the Committee of Justice finds that the verified complaint and/or resolution against such official. the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction. [48] [49] . 224 (1993) Asa Hutchinson. February 28. 506 U. is not sufficient in substance. both as to law and fact with such exceptions. Section 16. Full text of the House Rules states: Rule V.

SecretaryGeneral of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). versus The House of Representatives Committee on Justice. Gaite. J. Merceditas N. Mother Mary John Mananzan. To sum up. Danilo Ramos. No. Promulgated: February 15. Respondents. Gutierrez for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution. Petitioner. 2011 x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. Chairperson of the Confederation for Unity. the complaint alleges: . 2010 respondents Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel and others filed with the Secretary General of respondent House of Representatives (the House) a verified impeachment complaint (First Complaint) against petitioner Ombudsman Ma. Two members of the House endorsed this complaint.: The Facts and the Case On July 22. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. Danilo D.x SEPARATE CONCURRING OPINION ABAD. Merceditas N. Acting SecretaryGeneral of the National Union of People¶s Lawyers (NUPL). and James Terry Ridon of the League of Filipino Students (LFS). Gutierrez. Atty. 193459 -Ma.R. Co-Chairperson of PAGBABAGO. Ferdinand R.EN BANC G.. Reyes. Jr. Evelyn Pestaño. Edre Olalia. Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE). Secretary General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN). Renato M. Lim. Felipe Pestaño.

Betrayal of Public Trust a. The refusal to grant ready access to public records such as the Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth in violation of Section 13(6). Jr. of the Constitution. Article III. On July 23. 2010 respondents Renato M. and Section 16. Article XI. and others filed with the Secretary General of the House another verified impeachment complaint (Second Complaint) against Ombudsman Gutierrez also for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution. Betrayal of Public Trust a. Jose Miguel T.000 presidential party dinner at Le Cirque Restaurant in New York in August 2009. Culpable Violation of the Constitution a. d. which alleges: 1. b. with regard to the NBN-ZTE Broadband Project. Arroyo. The dismal and unconscionably low conviction rates by the Office of the Ombudsman from 2008 onwards. Reyes. The gross inexcusable delay in investigating and failure in prosecuting those involved in the anomalous transactions arising from the Fertilizer Fund Scam despite the blatant anomalous .000. 2010 the 15th Congress opened its regular session. Seven members of the House endorsed the complaint. and e. The decision upholding the legality of the arrest and involuntary detention of Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel by the PNP in March 2006. and b. The failure to take prompt and immediate action on the complaints filed against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband. The repeated failures to take prompt action on cases involving official abuse and corruption in violation of Section 12. The failure to conduct an investigation with regard to the P1. 2. The inexcusable delay in conducting and concluding an investigation on the death of Ensign Philip Andrew Pestaño aboard a Philippine Navy vessel. c.1. Article III of the Constitution. Article XI and Section 7. Shortly after or on August 3.

The contemplated consolidation of the two complaints also violates Section 3(5).[1] On August 11. despite the public admission under oath by General De La Paz before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. The gross inexcusable delay or inaction by acting in deliberate disregard of the Supreme Court¶s findings and directive in its Decision and Resolution in Information Technology Foundation of the Philippine. 2010 it simultaneously referred the first and second complaints to the House Committee on Justice (the Justice Committee). et al. The repeated failures and inexcusable delay in acting upon matters brought before her office. as amended by BSP Circular 507 (2006). Article XI and Section 16. which mandates prompt action and speedy disposition of cases. Senate Committee Report 54 and the Complaints filed with the Ombudsman on the said Fertilizer Fund Scam. v. Culpable Violation of the Constitution a. On September 6. thus violating Sections 12 and 13(1)(2)(3). and . et al. On even date. Such finding violates Section 3(5). Commission on Elections. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution which bars more than one impeachment proceeding against the same impeachable officer within a period of one year.000 without declaring the same to the Philippine Customs. Article III of the Constitution. and c. The failure to prosecute General Eliseo De La Paz for violating BSP Circular 98 (1995). the House provisionally adopted the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings of the 14th Congress. b. which prohibits the taking out of the country of currency in excess of US$10. 2.transactions revealed in the COA Findings. 2010 the Justice Committee found the first and second complaints sufficient in form. 2010 Ombudsman Gutierrez filed a motion for reconsideration of the committee¶s finding on the grounds that: 1. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution and would permit Congress to do indirectly what it is proscribed from doing directly. in relation to Republic Act 6713. During its hearing on September 1. 2.

that the termination of his term as President is done in the manner provided by law. However. therefore. She asserts that any attempt to revert petitioner to the presidency is an exercise in futility.: I concur in the result of the Decision of the Court. During its hearing on September 7. the vehemence and passion of her comment and the arguments of her counsel during the hearing on the petition leave lingering apprehension on the legal contestability of her claim to the presidency. Respondent Arroyo claims she is the de jure President and that petitioner Estrada has pro tantopassed into history. The facts which led to the transfer of power. J. constrained to write this separate opinion to express my views on the basic issue of whether or not petitioner Estrada resigned as President of the Philippines. are not in serious dispute.3. SEPARATE OPINION SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. The Justice Committee declined to accept Ombudsman Gutierrez¶s motion for reconsideration for being premature. I am. It advised her instead to just include in her answer the grounds she cited in her motion. Petitioner Joseph E. ousted and legitimately replaced by her. He states that he is willing to give up the claimed presidency provided. while manuevered to suit the conclusions desired by either party. Rule 110 of the Rules of Court which provides that a complaint must charge only one offense. . It is in their interpretation where both parties are continents apart. He merely prays for a decision declaring that she is holding the presidency only in an acting capacity. assailing the constitutionality of the Justice Committee¶s action in finding the two complaints sufficient in form and substance. The finding of the Justice Committee violates Section 13. however. The sought-for judicial intercession is not for petitioner Estrada alone. This prompted her to file the present action. it caused the service of summons and copies of the two complaints on Ombudsman Gutierrez with a directive for her to file her answer to the same within ten days. 2010 the Justice Committee found the two complaints sufficient in substance. He does not seek the ouster and exclusion of respondent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the position. Estrada does not ask for restoration to the Office of The President. On even date.

Pandemonium broke out in the impeachment court. on January 16.Serious charges were leveled against petitioner Estrada involving culpable violation of the Constitution. by a vote of 11-10. opposition leaders and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church had led street marches and assemblies in key Metro Manila centers demanding his resignation or ouster. Protest actions were staged at the same area in EDSA where the ³People Power Revolution´ of the 1986 was centered. There can be no question that the so-called resignation of petitioner Estrada is not expressed in clear terms. The sight of thousands of students and left-leaning groups marching towards Malacañang and the presence there of then AFP Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes clearly indicate that petitioner had no option but to leave. It is a cardinal principle in Public Officers Law that a resignation must be voluntary and willingly. graft and corruption and betrayal of public trust. it was abruptly suspended. initiated and prosecuted by the House of Representatives. She vigorously asserts that petitioner Estrada acknowledged his permanent disability to govern. A resignation even if clear and unequivocal. The constitutional process of removal is through impeachment. and that his statement that he was leaving Malacañang Palace for the sake of peace and the healing process is a confirmation of his resignation. the proceedings for the impeachment of petitioner Estrada were underway when an incident concerning the opening of an envelope aborted the process. The proceedings were terminated. in an impeachment trial. most intense. contained vital evidence supporting the charges but which the defense wanted suppressed being inadmissible and irrelevant. Respondent Arroyo invoked petitioner¶s resignation as a reason for her to be sworn in as President. 2001. public defections to the protesters¶ cause by other key government officials. the audience. Earlier. resignations of certain cabinet officers. There is no single instance when he stated he was resigning. if made under duress. is voidable and may be repudiated. The impeachment session was thrown into turmoil when the Senate. The contending parties. was proceeding as provided in the Constitution when. But the events prior to his departure from Malacañang telecast nationwide constrained him to step down from the Presidency.[1] It must also be express and definite. but at times entertaining. In fact. The event was God-sent to petitioner Estrada¶s opponents. decided against the opening of an envelope which. The charges. bribery. with the Chief Justice as Presiding Officer. Even viewers as far as Mindanao in the South or Batanes in the North undoubtedly felt the duress. Anybody who watched the events on live television leading to petitioner Estrada¶s hurried departure in a motor launch away from the hordes marching from EDSA to Malacañang could declare without hesitation that he was faced with imminent danger to his life and family. the prosecution insisted. and riveted attention ever given to any TV or radio program. The proceedings were covered in their entirety by live television and radio and attracted the widest. and an everswelling throng at EDSA followed in swift succession. and even the senator-judges gave vent to their respective feelings and emotions. Trial. were heard by the Senate. heated and acrimonious. preventing him from presenting his defenses. The withdrawal of support by top defense and military officers. .

JR. Indeed. Petitioner.. ACTING SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLE¶S LAWYERS (NUPL). JR. the international community has likewise recognized the legitimacy of her government. MERCEDITAS N. On January 24. Davide. However. 2011 x---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x SEPARATE OPINION . CONFEDERATION FOR UNITY. EDRE OLALIA. and JAMES TERRY RIDON OF THE LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS (LFS). Promulgated: February 15. Moreover. Respondent Arroyo immediately took her oath as President of the Republic of the Philippines before Chief Justice Hilario G. CHAIRPERSON. [1] Gonzales vs. GAITE. the legality or illegality of petitioner¶s so called resignation has been laid to rest by the results that have taken place. Jr. 2001. ATTY.. DANILO D. SECRETARY GENERAL OF BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (BAYAN). Under the circumstances. Likewise. and threat of impending violence. this Court has to declare as a fact what in fact exists. 112 Phil. 193459 ± MA. twelve members of the Senate signed a Resolution recognizing and expressing support to the new government and of president Arroyo. versus THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE. G. LIM. CO-CHAIRPERSON OF PAGBABAGO. Respondent Gloria Macapagal ± Arroyo is the de jure President of the Republic of the Philippines. Respondent-Intervenor. EVELYN PESTAÑO. FERDINAND R. No. SECRETARY-GENERAL OF KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP). it is safe to conclude that he was compelled to ³resign´ or to leave the Presidency. Respondents. 175 expressing its full support to her administration. 165 (1961). REYES.coercion. RISA HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL. RECOGNITION AND ADVANCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (COURAGE). Hernandez. GUTIERREZ. RENATO M.R. DANILO RAMOS. the House of Representatives issued House Resolution No. FELIPE PESTAÑO. MOTHER MARY JOHN MANANZAN. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FELICIANO BELMONTE.

. Ferdinand Gaite.: Justice Conchita Carpio Morales once again impresses with her incisive and tightly written ponencia. Speaker Belmonte directed the Committee on Rules to include the Reyes Complaint in the Order of Business. Marilyn Barua-Yap. the 15th Congress opened its first session. as he had done with the previous complaint. J. on even date. 2010. I am constrained to express my views on the ripeness of the issues posed by petitioner. While I agree with the defenestration[1] of the petition. Jr. however. and representative Feliciano Belmonte was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. the Secretary-General transmitted the Reyes Complaint to Speaker Belmonte. 2010. On August 3. Atty. On even date. Edre Olalia. and James Terry Ridon (Reyes Complaint). 2010. The very next day. Danilo Lim. Further. Mother Mary John Mananzan. On July 26. Speaker Belmonte directed the Committee on Rules to include the complaint in the Order of Business.. In a Memorandum dated August 2.NACHURA.´ the theme of President Benigno C. against petitioner Ombudsman Ma. Danilo Ramos. Secretary-General of the House of Representatives. Taking the cue from ³matuwid na landas. the antecedents. which was filed by private respondents Renato Reyes. and spouses Felipe and Evelyn Pestaño filed an impeachment complaint (Baraquel Complaint) on July 22. 2010. Merceditas Gutierrez. 2010. or on July 27. the House of Representatives received yet another impeachment complaint against petitioner. private respondents Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. the House of Representatives provisionally adopted the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings of the 14th Congress. transmitted the impeachment complaint to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte. In turn. Before anything else. Aquino III¶s inaugural address.

both the Baraquel[2] and Reyes[3] Complaints were endorsed by Members of the House of Representatives. AND HER HUSBAND JOSE MIGUEL T. OMBUDSMAN MA. iii. . Baraquel Complaint I. iv.[4] The two complaints separately alleged betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution. as mandated in the Constitution. IN VIOLATION OF ITS OWN RULES OF PROCEDURE.Parenthetically. THE DISMAL AND UNCONSCIONABLY LOW CONVICTION RATES ACHIEVED BY THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN FROM 2008 ONWARD INDICATE A CRIMINAL LEVEL OF INCOMPETENCE AMOUNTING TO GRAVE DERELICTION OF DUTY x x x. ii. THE UNREASONABLE FAILURE OF THE OMBUDSMAN TO TAKE PROMPT AND IMMEDIATE ACTION. i. THE DECISION OF THE OMBUDSMAN UPHOLDING THE ³LEGALITY´ OF THE ARREST AND INVOLUNTARY DETENTION OF THEN REPRESENTATIVE RISA HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL BY THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE IN MARCH 2006 IN VIOLATION OF THE EXPLICIT RULES PROVIDED IN THE REVISED PENAL CODE AND AS ESTABLISHED BY JURISPRUDENCE x x x. MERCEDITA[S] NAVARRO-GUTIERREZ BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST. ARROYO WITH REGARD TO THE NBN-ZTE BROADBAND PROJECT x x x. to wit: 1. ON THE COMPLAINTS FILED AGAINST VARIOUS PUBLIC OFFICIALS INCLUDING FORMER PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. THE INEXCUSABLE DELAY OF THE OMBUDSMAN IN CONDUCTING AND CONCLUDING ITS INVESTIGATION INTO THE WRONGFUL DEATH OF ENSIGN PHILIP ANDREW PESTAÑO ABOARD A PHILIPPINE NAVY VESSEL x x x.

[5] 2. vii. SECTION 13(6) AND ARTICLE III. THE REFUSAL OF THE OMBUDSMAN TO GRANT READY ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS SUCH AS THE STATEMENT OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES AND NET WORTH (SALN) REQUIRED OF ALL PUBLIC OFFICERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. AND A FORMAL LETTER FROM REPRESENTATIVE WALDEN F.´ . THE REPEATED FAILURES OF THE OMBUDSMAN TO TAKE PROMPT ACTION ON A WIDE VARIETY OF CASES INVOLVING OFFICIAL ABUSE AND CORRUPTION VIOLATES (sic) ARTICLE XI. BETRAYAL OF TRUST (1) OMBUDSMAN GUTIERREZ COMMITTED BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST THROUGH HER GROSS INEXCUSABLE DELAY IN INVESTIGATING AND FAILURE IN PROSECUTING ANY ONE OF THOSE INVOLVED [I]N THE ANOMALOUS TRANSACTIONS ARISING FROM THE FERTILIZER FUND SCAM DESPITE THE BLATANT ANOMALOUS TRANSACTIONS REVEALED IN THE COA FINDINGS. II.000. SECTION 7 OF THE CONSTITUTION. 6713 CONSTITUTES A CULPABLE VIOLATION OF ARTICLE XI. MERCEDITAS NAVARRO-GUTIERREZ PERFORMED ACTS AMOUNTING TO CULPABLE VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION vi. SECTION 16 OF THE CONSTITUTION. BELLO CALLING FOR AN INQUIRY CONSTITUTES BETRAYAL OF THE PUBLIC TRUST. SENATE COMMITTEE REPORT 54 AND THE COMPLAINTS FILED WITH [PETITIONER] ON THE ³FERTILIZER SCAM.000. THE FAILURE OF THE OMBUDSMAN TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION INTO POSSIBLE WRONGDOING OR IMPROPRIETY WITH REGARD TO THE P1.v. OMBUDSMAN MA. SECTION 12 AND ARTICLE III. WHICH MANDATE PROMPT ACTION AND SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES.00 DINNER FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL PARTY AT LE CIRQUE RESTAURANT IN NEW YORK IN AUGUST 2009 DESPITE WIDESPREAD MEDIA COVERAGE AND PUBLIC CLAMOR. Reyes Complaint I.

WHICH MANDATES PROMPT ACTION AND SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES. PARAGRAPHS 1. AS AMENDED BY BSP CIRCULAR 507 (2006). DESPITE THE FACT THAT GEN. CULPABLE VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION THROUGH HER REPEATED FAILURES AND INEXCUSABLE DELAY IN ACTING UPON THE MATTERS BROUGHT BEFORE HER OFFICE.00 WITHOUT DECLARING THE SAME TO THE PHILIPPINE CUSTOMS. (3) OMBUDSMAN GUTIERREZ BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST THROUGH HER GROSS INEXCUSABLE DELAY OR INACTION BY ACTING IN DELIBERATE DISREGARD OF THE SUPREME COURT¶S FINDINGS AND DIRECTIVE IN ITS DECISION AND RESOLUTION IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOUNDATION OF THE PHILIPPINES. during its plenary session.[6] On August 10. Chairperson of the Committee on Rules. the House Committee on Justice found both complaints sufficient in form. ET AL.(2) OMBUDSMAN GUTIERREZ COMMITTED BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST WHEN SHE DID NOT PROSECUTE GEN. ARTICLE III OF THE CONSTITUTION. ARTICLE XI ON WHICH HER CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY IS ENSHRINED. ELISEO DE LA PAZ FOR VIOLATING BSP CIRCULAR 98 (1995). WHICH PROHIBITS THE TAKING OUT OF THE COUNTRY OF CURRENCY IN EXCESS OF US$10. ELISEO DE LA PAZ PUBLICLY ADMITTED UNDER OATH BEFORE THE SENATE BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE THAT HE TOOK OUT OF THE COUNTRY CURRENCY IN EXCESS OF US$10. . IN RELATION TO REPUBLIC ACT 6713.000. V. On August 11. In a Resolution dated September 1.00 WITHOUT DECLARING THE SAME [TO] THE PHILIPPINES CUSTOMS. the House of Representatives simultaneously referred both complaints to public respondent House Committee on Justice. August 11. upon the instruction of House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II. II. 2010. AS WELL AS SECTION 16. 2010. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. ET AL. the two impeachment complaints were included in the Order of Business for the following day. 2010. 2 AND 3. OMBUDSMAN GUTIERREZ VIOLATED SECTION 12 AND SECTION 13. 2010.000.

[7]Petitioner points out that in taking cognizance of the two (2) complaints and requiring her to file an answer thereto. However. In all. The House of Representatives. 2010. on the same date. the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings of the 15th Congress was published. 2010.On September 2. public respondent House Committee on Justice issued a Resolution finding both complaints sufficient in substance. public respondent violated the constitutional prohibition against the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same official more than once within a period of one year. Alleging grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction by public respondent House Committee on Justice in issuing the Resolutions dated September 1 and 7. 2010 Resolution of public respondent House Committee on Justice. 2010. Posthaste. .[8] Not unexpectedly. which found the impeachment complaints sufficient in form and substance. 2010. Foremost in petitioner¶s arguments is the invocation of our ruling in the trailblazing case of Francisco. respectively. did not accept the motion. petitioner attempted to file a motion for reconsideration of the September 1. v. petitioner filed the present petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for the issuance of injunctive reliefs. On September 6. petitioner is of the view that the sole act of filing one (1) impeachment complaint forecloses all situations for the filing of another impeachment complaint within a given year. At the hearing on September 7. and informed petitioner that she should instead file her answer to the complaints upon her receipt of notice thereof. along with copies of both complaints. the House Committee on Justice. which found both complaints sufficient in form. petitioner advances that the ruling in Francisco definitively declares that the initiation of impeachment proceedings plainly refers to the filing alone of an impeachment complaint. Jr. petitioner was served notice directing her to file an answer within ten (10) days.

Petitioner likewise raises the alleged violation of her right to due process of law. Essentially. notwithstanding. The expanded jurisdiction of this Court. hence. despite the effusive petition before us. petitioner did not file an answer to the complaints despite receipt of notice to do so. permit judicial intervention. in both its substantive and procedural aspects. The supplications contained in the petition are premature and ought to be brought first before the House Committee on Justice. In our jurisdiction. In other words. invocation of judicial review requires that the issues presented are ripe for adjudication. Hence. the hardship to the parties entailed by withholding court consideration. petitioner came directly for succour to this Court. it is my view that the facts obtaining herein do not. An alternative road to review similarly taken would be to determine whether an action has already been accomplished or performed by a branch of government before the courts may step in. are palpably not ripe for adjudication. the issues. Another approach is the evaluation of the twofoldaspect of ripeness: first. Nograles[9] instructs us on the two-fold aspect of ripeness: An aspect of the ³case-or-controversy´ requirement is the requisite of ³ripeness. as presented by petitioner.´ In the United States. and second. I believe that the issue for resolution is not yet upon us. the issue of ripeness is generally treated in terms of actual injury to the plaintiff. Curiously. The power of judicial review is not boundless and not without limitation. the House Committee on Justice violated the Constitution. Lozano v. as yet. a question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. or indeed may not occur at all. Instead. Unfortunately. courts are centrally concerned with whether a case involves uncertain contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated. petitioner claims that the House Committee on Justice committed various violations equivalent to grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. the Court must intervene. . the fitness of the issues for judicial decision.

prematurity deals with the question of whether all remedies have been exhausted before resort to the courts could be had. the Committee on Justice should submit to the House a report on its action to treat the Amended Complaint as a second impeachment complaint and also on its determinations on the sufficiency in form and substance of the impeachment complaint. Only then may the courts pass on the validity of what was done. therefore. petitioner has not established the fitness of the issues for our decision. Then. For a case to be considered ripe for adjudication. this is not yet the auspicious time to resolve the issues raised in the petition. The House Committee on Justice. case of Francisco v. The Court should. which provides: . if and when the latter is challenged in an appropriate legal proceeding. Article XI of the Constitution. albeit less popular. much less actual injury to petitioner. it is a prerequisite that something had by then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture. Applying the rule on the two-fold aspect of ripeness used in other jurisdictions and the demonstration of actual injury to pass the test of ripeness in this jurisdiction. Indeed.[10] where we dismissed the petition on the ground of prematurity: Ripeness and prematurity are correlated matters. A juxtaposition of the timeline for the initiation of impeachment complaints mapped out in Section 3(2). hardship if we withhold consideration.Hewing closely to the foregoing is the second. The House Committee on Justice has not been given opportunity to address the points raised by petitioner in her petition before us. which the latter could very well raise before public respondent. the report shall be deliberated and acted upon by the House. We find striking similarities between the second Francisco and the case at bar. Petitioner has yet to formally answer and appear before the House Committee on Justice. xxxx Thus. On the other hand. the resolution of the Committee on Justice to treat the Amended Complaint as a second impeachment complaint is yet to be passed upon by the House in a plenary session. wait until after all the remedies in the House are exhausted. In this case. at this juncture. it is quite obvious to me that.

together with the corresponding resolution. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. after hearing. and Sections 2 and 3. 3. or (b) a verified complaint filed by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any member thereof. (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. Rule II of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings which read: RULE II INITIATING IMPEACHMENT Section 2. It shall then be referred to the Committee on Justice within three (3) session days thereafter. The Committee. It cannot be overemphasized that petitioner has yet to formally appear before public respondent. Mode of Initiating Impeachment. Filing and Referral of Verified Complaints. ± Impeachment shall be initiated by the filing and subsequent referral to the Committee on Justice of: (a) a verified complaint for impeachment filed by any Member of the House of Representatives. do not indicate any deviation from the constitutional mandate. and by a majority vote of all its Members. Section 3. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. and the latter has not yet terminated its hearing of the impeachment . The Speaker shall have it included in the Order of Business within ten (10) session days from receipt. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof.SEC. or (c) a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment filed by at least one-third (1/3) of all Members of the House. ± A verified complaint for impeachment by a Member of the House or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any member thereof shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary-General and immediately referred to the Speaker. (1) x x x.

during oral arguments. when you developed this. therefore. Justice Cuevas. However. JUSTICE CUEVAS: Yes. Your Honor. JUSTICE CUEVAS: July 22. Clearly. In fact. 2010. Your Honor. JUSTICE NACHURA: All right. or should await the submission of a report by the House Committee on Justice. it is really a violation of the procedural aspect of due process. that when you make a reference to a violation of due process in this particular case. And that was the first statement you made. I would like to believe. Those were your words. its partiality and its vindictiveness. The Committee on Justice deprived the petitioner of due process because of its haste. there is no constitutional violation justifying this Court¶s intervention even without delving into the burning question of whether the initiation proceedings are deemed initiated with the mere filing of a complaint. primarily the first requisite of due process which is that there must be an impartial court or tribunal with authority to hear and decide a case.complaints. Your Honor. JUSTICE NACHURA: The second complaint was filed on August 3. JUSTICE CUEVAS: Right. 2010? RET. you said there was delay in the filing or in the referral of the first complaint because the first complaint was filed on July 22« RET. the following was limned: JUSTICE NACHURA: In fact. RET. and its referral to the House Committee on Justice. JUSTICE NACHURA: .

before the committees could be truly organized by the leadership of the House. JUSTICE NACHURA: The same day at the same time on August 11. Why will it take the Speaker of the House twenty (20) days before a referral of the impeachment complaint number 1 is made to the Committee on Justice and only eight days (8) days insofar as the second impeachment complaint? JUSTICE NACHURA: Justice Cuevas. the Answer to be filed by petitioner. perhaps. JUSTICE CUEVAS: On the same day at the same time. Your Honor. same time. maybe two (2) weeks. specifically. And in the House.And both complaints were referred only to the Committee on Justice on August 11. counsel for petitioner obviously yielded. which public . Congress had not yet started its sessions. I am sure. at least a week. Your Honor. Obviously. you would go to around August 9 and that would be near August 11. JUSTICE CUEVAS: We do not want to believe. On July 22. It was only on July 26 that sessions in Congress started with the delivery by the President of the State of the Nation Address. And if you count two (2) weeks from July 26. xxxx RET. JUSTICE CUEVAS: Our charge of impartiality does not merely gravitate on that particular aspect.[11] On that point. But it cannot be accidental. that this was intentional. It would have taken. 2010? RET. I am looking at a calendar right now. Very apparent from all the foregoing is that a contingent event is still about to unfold. there was still no organization of the committees by then. x x x. 2010? RET. we cannot impute vindictiveness or partiality on the basis of this alleged delay in the referral of the complaints. Same day. Your Honor.

June 16. The Constitution. [5] Annex ³F´ of the Petition.R. and a more famous one ± known as the Defenestration of Prague ± in 1618 which heralded the 30-Year War when a gang of Protestant nobles threw two Catholic governors out of the window of the Royal Palace. NACHURA Associate Justice The act of throwing someone or something out of a window. (See <http://www. October 5.thefreedictionary. declares that the Committee should hear the complaint. especially at this stage. Emerenciana A. 2009. and after hearing. Antonio L. Teodor Casiño of Bayan Muna. threw councillors out. [6] Annex ³G´ of the Petition. [10] Extended Resolution. [1] EN BANC Agenda for 15 February 2011 Item No. 3(5). 187883 and 187910. Tinio of Act Teacher. There was one in 1419 at the Town Hall where a mob. 88-91. Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis. G. [11] TSN. 169244.e. Kaka Bag-ao and Walden Bello of the Akbayan Party-list. 358-359.. Sec. At that stage. Ilagan of Gabriela. perhaps. De Jesus of Gabriela. I vote to DISMISS the petition.) [2] Endorsed by Party-list Representatives. [3] Endorsed by Party-list Representatives Neri Javier Colmenares of Bayan Muna. demanding the release of prisoners. 2010. to hear the defenses raised by petitioner in her Answer. [7] 460 Phil. September 1. in no uncertain terms. Raymond V. Public respondent House Committee on Justice must be allowed to conduct and continue its hearing of the impeachment complaints against petitioner. become justified. [8] CONSTITUTION. 2005.i. Nos. 3(2). 2011]. pp. petitioner¶s apprehensions of the Committee¶s partiality and vindictiveness would. we have no business to interfere. [4] Art. submit a report to the House within sixty (60) days from referral thereof. 23 . ANTONIO EDUARDO B. No.respondent has yet to hear and rule on. 830 (2003). Sec. Luzviminda C. XI. Art. A co-equal branch of government has not committed a positive act.R. The term is associated with political dissidence and political assassinations in 15th to 17th century Prague where rioters made a habit of it. [9] G. XI. 589 SCRA 356. Palatino.com/Defenestration+of+Prague> [visited February 14.

G. Renato Reyes. . Danilo D.. Betrayal of Public Trust The dismal and unconscionable low conviction rate of the Ombudsman from 2008 onwards.R.[1] On 22 July 2010. Gutierrez. SEPARATE CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION PEREZ. Jr. Lim. Felipe Pestaño and Evelyn Pestaño.[3] The complaint (First Complaint) charges the petitioner of Betrayal of Public Trust and Culpable Violation of the Constitution. Article XI of the Constitution? I respectfully submit that the successive referrals of the complaints are constitutionally prohibited. Danilo D. J. No. Merceditas N. Mother Mary John Mananzan. Merceditas N. an Impeachment Complaint against the petitioner was filed before the House of Representatives[2] by private respondents Risa HontiverosBaraquel. And James Terry Ridon. Evelyn Pestaño.: The present case asks: Did the referral to the House of Representatives Committee on Justice of two complaints for the impeachment of the petitioner violate Section 3(5). 1. The Impeachment Complaints Petitioner Ma. Feliciano Belmonte. Jr. respondent-intervenor. allegedly committed thru the following acts and omissions: A.. Gutierrez is the incumbent Ombudsman of the Republic of the Philippines. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. Danilo Ramos. respondents.Ma.The House Of Representatives Committee On Justice. Gaite. Lim. Edre Olalia. Ferdinand R. petitioner -versus. Felipe Pestaño. 193459 . Atty.

on 27 July 2010. the complainants were private respondents Renato M. 6. Edre Olalia. another impeachment complaint (Second Complaint) against the petitioner was filed with the House of Representatives..00 dinner at Le Cirque Restaurant in New York in August 2009. with regard to the NBN-ZTE Broadband project. Jr. 7. 5. Culpable Violation of the Constitution The repeated delays and failures to take action on cases impressed with public interest. The failure to take prompt and immediate action against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband.000. like the First Complaint. 3. Belmonte. The decision upholding the legality of the arrest and detention of Rep. but is premised on different acts and omissions. forwarded the First Complaint to the House Committee on Rules for its inclusion in the Order of Business. and The refusal to grant ready access to public records such as the Statement of Assets and Liabilities. Reyes. Feliciano R.[5] The Second Complaint. On 3 August 2010.2. The First Complaint was referred to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Jr. This time around. Thus: A. Betrayal of Public Trust . Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel by the PNP in March 2006.[4] On 2 August 2010. The failure to conduct an investigation with regard to the Php 1. B. also accuses the petitioner of Betrayal of Public Trust and Culpable Violation of the Constitution. Speaker Belmonte. Atty. Mother Mary John Mananzan. The delay in conducting and concluding an investigation on the death of Ensign Philip Andrew Pestaño aboard a Philippine Navy vessel. Jr. Jose Miguel T. Ferdinand Gaite and James Terry Ridon. 4.. Arroyo. Danilo Ramos.000.

Paragraphs 1.00 without declaring the same to the Philippine Customs. The Proceedings Before the House Committee on Justice . Senate Report 54 and the Complaints filed with respondent on the said Fertilizer Scam. Ombudsman Gutierrez did not prosecute General Eliseo de la Paz for violating BSP Circular 98 (1995). Ombudsman Gutierrez committed gross inexcusable delay or inaction by acting in deliberate disregard of the Supreme Court¶s finding and directive in its Decision and Resolution in Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines. Article III of the Constitution. which mandates prompt action and speedy disposition of cases. et al.000.000. et al. The Second Complaint reached the desk of Speaker Belmonte.1. and 2. B. Then. Commission on Elections. in relation to Republic Act 6713. Article XI on which her constitutional duty is enshrined. which prohibits the taking out of the country of currency in excess of US$10. 3.. Jr. Ombudsman Gutierrez violated Section 12 and Section 13.00 without declaring the same to the Philippine Customs. as well as Section 16. Speaker Belmonte. on the same day it was filed. Ombudsman Gutierrez committed gross inexcusable delay in investigating and failure in prosecuting those involved in the anomalous transactions arising from the Fertilizer Fund Scam despite the blatant anomalous transactions revealed in the COA Findings. On 9 August 2010. as amended by BSP Circular 507 (2006). Culpable Violation of the Constitution Through her repeated failures and inexcusable delay in acting upon the matters brought before her Office. v. despite the fact that General Eliseo de la Paz publicly admitted under oath before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that he took out the country currency in excess of US$10. Jr. on 11 August 2010. 2 and 3. the plenary simultaneously referred the First and Second Complaints to the public respondent House Committee on Justice. forwarded the Second Complaint to the House Committee on Rules.

In assessing formal validity. the petitioner came to this Court via the instant Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with . the House Committee on Justice conducted a hearing to determine whether the First and Second Complaints were sufficient in form. the House Committee on Justice took into account the fact that the two (2) complaints were referred to it at exactly the same time and that both were duly verified. was served upon the petitioner at 5:05 in the afternoon of the very same day. Jr.[6] the House Committee on Justice found the First Complaint sufficient in form by a vote of 39 in favor and 1 against. By votes of 41 in favor and 14 against for the First Complaint and 41 in favor and 16 against for the Second Complaint. In it. Tupas. the House Committee on Justice declared both to be sufficient in substance. Representative Niel C. refused to receive this motion. the House Committee on Justice reconvened to determine the sufficiency in substance of the First and Second Complaints. however. as well as copies of the First and Second Complaints. the House Committee on Justice also found the Second Complaint to be formally valid. issued summons directing the petitioner to file an answer within ten (10) days from its receipt. Upon a separate vote of 31 in favor and 9 against. The hearing was presided by the Chairman of the House Committee on Justice. the petitioner attempted to file a Motion for Reconsideration with the House Committee on Justice. she sought to question the authority of the House Committee on Justice to take cognizance of two (2) impeachment complaints against her²in light of the constitutional proscription against the initiation of multiple impeachment proceedings against the same official within a one-year period. The House Committee on Justice. The House Committee on Justice. thereafter.[7] On 7 September 2010. The summons. Resort to the Supreme Court and the Status Quo Ante Order Aggrieved by the actions of the House Committee on Justice. On 6 September 2010.On 1 September 2010. The petitioner did not file an answer. After taking up preliminary matters.

when the following conditions are present: .[8] In this opinion. On 14 September 2010. DISCUSSION The submission of the petitioner may be summarized into two principal issues. in taking cognizance of two (2) impeachment complaints against the petitioner. In sum. It is the primary contention of the petitioner that the House Committee on Justice is already precluded from acting upon the Second Complaint²the same having been barred under the Constitution by virtue of the filing of the First Complaint. The second is whether the hearings conducted by the House Committee on Justice violated the petitioner¶s right to due process. Article XI of the Constitution succinctly states: No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.prayer for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Article XI of the Constitution. the petition asks for the nullification of the House Committee on Justice¶s findings that the First and Second Complaints were sufficient in form and substance. the provision operates to bar the initiation of an impeachment proceeding against an official. Section 3(5). I only wish to articulate my reflections on the first. this Court issued a Resolution directing the parties to observe the status quo prevailing before the House Committee on Justice made the contested findings. The first is whether the House Committee on Justice. however. violated Section 3(5). In practical terms.

The filing of the First Complaint did not bar the Second Complaint because the mere filing of a verified complaint does not mark the initiation of an impeachment proceeding. De Venecia. there never was a ³single´ or ³simultaneous´ referral of the two (2) impeachment complaints against the petitioner. in this case. unless the verified complaint is filed by at least 1/3 of the members of the House of Representatives. the respondents proffer the position that the House Committee on Justice may validly act on both the First and Second Complaints. Jr.[9] In that case. Article XI of the Constitution. this Court laid down the rule that. initiation takes place upon the filing of the complaint coupled by its referral to the proper committee.a.´ A perusal of the records of the House of Representatives plenary proceedings on 11 August 2010[11] reveals that . represented by Speaker Jose G. The respondents emphasized that Francisco associated the initiation of an impeachment proceeding not only with the filing of a complaint but also with the referral thereof to the proper committee. Thus. there can be no violation of Section 3(5). v. Contrary to what the respondents adamantly profess. in turn. It is argued that since there was. b. The House of Representatives. but a single referral of the two (2) complaints to the House Committee on Justice²the logic ofFrancisco dictates that there was also only one impeachment proceeding initiated. and one year has not yet elapsed from the time of the previous initiation. the subject of the landmark case Francisco. the complaints were not referred to the House Committee on Justice ³at exactly the same time. the respondents concluded.) an impeachment proceeding against such official was previously initiated. No Simultaneous Referral of Two Complaints To begin with.) Initiation of an impeachment proceeding was. I disagree.[10] Invoking Francisco as their guide.

Ilagan. This. the reading and referral of the First Complaint preceded that of the Second Complaint. Mr. Edre Olalia with the Resolutions of Endorsement filed by Representatives Colmenares. in fact. A prior referral of the First Complaint to the House Committee on Justice would mean that an impeachment proceeding against the petitioner was. renders inutile the succeeding referral of the Second Complaint and makes such referral together with its subject. by the Francisco ruling. by then. Danilop Ramos at Atty.the two (2) impeachment complaints were actually referred to the House Committee on Justice one after the other. the subject of a separate and distinct referral.´ This is shown by the floor exchanges following the successive referrals of the complaints. Mr. Representative Tupas rose on a parliamentary inquiry to seek. the impeachment complaints were referred to the House Committee on Justice on the same date and during the same session. Mr. Felipe Pestaño. nevertheless. Merceditas Navarro-Gutierrez filed by Ms. Cognizance of this fact necessitated the creation of the fiction that the referrals of the impeachment complaints were done ³at the same time. among others. Mariano. Tinio and De Jesus TO THE COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE The above entries plainly attest that. and Ms. a clarification on ³what was the exact time the two impeachment complaints . Mary John Mananzan. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. Thus:[12] ADDITIONAL REFERENCE OF BUSINESS Verified Complaint for the Impeachment of Ombudsman Ma. Mo. True. unconstitutional excesses that can be given neither force nor effect. Evelyn Pestaño with the Resolutions of Endorsement filed by Representatives Bag-ao and Bello TO THE COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE Verified Complaint for the Impeachment of Ombudsman Mr. Renato Reyes. Casiño. already completely initiated. Danilo Lim. This fact has immense constitutional consequences. Francisco prohibits rather than justifies a second referral. which is the Second Complaint. but there can be no mistake that each complaint was.

and both complaints were jointly referred by the Committee on Rules to the Committee on Justice.. Mr. yesterday. Daza). Mr. number two. Mr.m. with respect to the impeachment complaints. Daza). and number three. Mr. Speaker. Mr. The date of the first verified complaint filed by Miss Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. REP. Is the Gentleman from Iloilo satisfied with the response of the Dep. schedule or a cutoff time. Majority Leader will please respond. TUPAS. in response to the query of the Honorable Tupas. Mr. Daza). The complaint filed by Mr. Majority Leader is recognized. based on the date of the letter of the Speaker. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. was dated July 22. may this Representation know: number one. Speaker.. Mr. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Daza). the Chairman of the Committee on Justice. The Dep. REP. Speaker. Majority Leader prepared to answer the query now? The Gentleman from Iloilo. Renato Reyes. TUPAS. The Dep. et al. was dated August 3. what was the exact time the two impeachment complaints were referred to the Committee on Justice? THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Speaker. Mr. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. . based on the letter of the Speaker. the Committee on Rules received the verified complaint for impeachment from the Speaker of the House yesterday. TUPAS. what I am asking is the exact time of the referral to the Committee on Justice. TUPAS. Speaker. Majority Leader? REP. is querying with regard to a time frame. when were the complaints filed.were referred to the Committee on Justice. Partly.´[13] The answer would become the battlecry of the respondents: THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Speaker. Daza). Is the Dep. Both letters were received during the Committee on Rules¶ meeting on August 10 at the same time at 2:00 p. et al. REP. REP. but the third question is: what is the exact time of the referral to the Committee on Justice? This Representation would like to know the exact time the two complaints were referred to the Committee on Justice. Speaker. Speaker. The Gentleman may state his inquiry. when were they referred to the Committee on Rules. parliamentary inquiry. ROMULO.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful