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Impeachment Explained
by Manuel L. Quezon III

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‘I know what you’re thinking about,’ said Tweedledum; ‘but it isn’t so, nohow.’ ‘Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.’ ‘I was thinking,’ Alice said politely, ‘which is the best way out of this wood: it’s getting so dark. Would you tell me, please?’ But the fat little men only looked at each other and grinned. –Lewis Carrol, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Through the Looking Glass.
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Impeachment remains the ultimate check on the abuse of power. By providing this power to Congress, the Framers drew on a long tradition of democratic skepticism about leaders, ensuring that they will serve the people only so long as they respect the law and their office. In this sense, the power of impeachment also stands ready to thwart tyranny. - West’s Encyclopedia of American Law

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It is by this tribunal, that statesmen, who abuse their powers, are accused by statesmen, and tried by statesmen, not upon the niceties of a narrow jurisprudence, but upon the enlarged and solid principles of state morality. It is here, that those, who by the abuse of power have violated the spirit of the law, can never hope to escape through any of its defects. - Edmund Burke, Impeachment trial of Warren Hastings

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A judge, under inquiry, must be candid. He cannot plead only technical defences. He cannot be too clever by half. He cannot invoke a right to silence like an ordinary accused, and shy away from speaking the truth. In this case, when the Judge under inquiry says that his offence must be proved ‘to the hilt’ or ‘proved beyond reasonable doubt’, he relies on technicalities rather than substance. A Judge is like Caesar’s wife. He must be beyond suspicion. - Arun Jaitley, August 2011
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No point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment should be continued. Shall any man be above Justice? - George Mason

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Alexander Hamilton
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What, it may be asked, is the true spirit of the institution itself? Is it not designed as a method of NATIONAL INQUEST into the conduct of public men? — Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist No. 65, on the nature of impeachment and the role of public opinion

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Impeachments are too important to leave to the courts, Hamilton wrote, because of the political character of any attempt to remove a high official. And only the Senate ‘would possess the degree of credit and authority’ to acquit an accused on charges approved by the House of Representatives. — David Stewart, counsel of an impeached Federal Judge (Walter Nixon), in “Impeachment by Ignorance,” published in ABA Journal: The Lawyer’s Magazine, New York, 1990

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Benjamin Franklin
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“Benjamin Franklin felt that impeachment was for the benefit of the executive because the alternative to impeachment on the obnoxious chief magistrate was recourse to assassination.” - Edwin Lacierda, Philippine Star, November 14, 2000

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Thomas Jefferson
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John Marshall
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The Senate failed to convict Chase, and the episode drove a wedge between the radical and moderate wings of Jefferson’s coalition. Still, Chase’s impeachment and a rumored threat to impeach Marshall himself chastened the Federalists to a significant degree. The close call showed that Congress would hesitate to intrude too aggressively into the judicial sphere. But it equally established that the judiciary could defend its independence only so long as it plausibly explained its actions as distinctively legal, divorced from politics. - Cambridge, History of Law in America

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Of course the impeachment was thoroughly political. The in-court statements of both sides reflected awareness that the real issue was presidential obstruction of Congressionally ordered Reconstruction. But the Framers of the Constitution would probably not have been shocked by that dimension of the case.
- Robert Black on the Johnson Impeachment

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Woodrow Wilson
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The benefit of such a provision is twofold. First, the salutary fear of the probable coming of a day of account will restrain the evil practices of some bad men and self-seekers; secondly, the legal outlet of accusation gives vent to peccant humors in the body politic, which, if checked and driven inward, would work to the utter ruin of the constitution.
- Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States of America

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Nixon: I am not a crook.

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Corona: Mariin kong itinatanggi ang mga bintang na may katiwalian sa mga pansarili kong kilos

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We follow the precedent in the United States. The Commission on Impeachment does not hold session but only during the legislative period of the session of Congress. - Claro M. Recto, 1934 Constitutional Convention

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TREASON
Revised Penal Code
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BRIBERY
Revised Penal Code
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OTHER HIGH CRIMES
Offenses which, like treason and bribery, are indictable offenses and are of such enormous
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Unamended 1935 Constitution

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To Impeach: 14 (2/3) Members of the Commission on Impeachment
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To Convict: 3/4 vote of all the Members of the National Assembly
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Impeachable Officers
• President • Vice-President • Justices of the Supreme Court • Auditor General

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Amended 1935 Constitution

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To Impeach: 2/3 of the House of Representatives

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To Convict: 3/4 vote of the Senate

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Impeachable Officers
• President • Vice-President • Justices of the Supreme Court • Auditor General

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Impeachment of Elpidio Quirino
Constitution: 1935 Dismissed by the House Representatives Complaint lacked factual and legal basis
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Impeachment of Diosdado Macapagal
Constitution: 1935 Dismissed by the House Representatives Not enough votes to Impeach
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GRAFT AND CORRUPTION
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
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The Batasang Pambansa initiates and tries all cases of Impeachment.

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To Impeach: 1/5 of the Batasang Pambansa

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To Convict: 2/3 of the Batasang Pambansa

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Impeachable Officers
• President • Vice-President • Justices of the Supreme Court • Members of Constitutional
Commissions

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Impeachment of Ferdinand Marcos
Constitution: 1973 Dismissed by Batasang Pambansa Not enough votes to Impeach
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There is no ground for impeachment because there is no proof that President Marcos committed criminal acts which are punishable, or considered penal offenses. - Commissioner Rustico de los Reyes, July 26, 1986, Constitutional Commission of 1986

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BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST
“Catch-all Offense”
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So the term "betrayal of public trust," as explained by Commissioner Romulo, is a catchall phrase to include all acts which are not punishable by statutes as penal offenses but, nonetheless, render the officer unfit to continue in office. - Commissioner Rustico de los Reyes, July 26, 1986, Constitutional Commission of 1986

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To Impeach:1/3 vote of the House of Representatives

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We thought that a happy compromise could be drawn by putting it at one-third, neither to make it very easy to initiate nor to make it very difficult to initiate.
- Commissioner Regalado, July 26, 1986, Constitutional Commission of 1986

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To Convict: 3/4 vote of the Senate

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Impeachment is NOT Criminal in Nature

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MS. AQUINO: Am I in agreement with the Committee that impeachment proceedings are essentially judicial in nature? MR. ROMULO: No, we believe that they are political. Judicial aspects may come in the procedures such as the forming of the articles, the actual trial being presided over by the Chief Justice, and so on. But we still believe that they are essentially a political act rather than a judicial act.
- Excerpt from the Record of the 1986 Constitutional Commission on the Nature of Impeachment Trials

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Impeachable Officers
• President • Vice-President • Justices of the Supreme Court • Members of Constitutional
Commissions

• Ombudsman
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Impeachment of Joseph Ejercito Estrada
Constitution: 1987 Impeached by the House of Representatives Trial aborted
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Impeachments of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Constitution: 1987 Nine (9) impeachment complaints filed All dismissed in the Justice Committee due to lack of votes
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Impeachment of Merciditas Gutierrez
Constitution: 1987 Impeached by 211 Representatives Resigned before Trial in the Senate
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Impeachment of Renato Corona
Constitution: 1987 Impeached by 188 Representatives Conviction requires 16 votes in the Impeachment Court
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We invoke the jurisdiction to remove a man and save the dignity of the office, which is paramount.
- Opening Statement in the Impeachment trial of Justice Sen

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Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos
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Chief Justice Manuel Moran
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Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion
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Chief Justice Enrique Fernando
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Article II
Respondent committed Culpable Violation of the Constitution and/or Betrayed the Public Trust when he failed to disclose to the public his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth as required under Sec. 17, Art. XI of the 1987 Constitution.

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For More Information Visit: article8jester.blog.com
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Article III
Respondent committed Culpable Violations of the Constitution and/or Betrayed the Public Trust by failing to meet and observe the stringent standards under Art. VIII, Section 7 (3) of the Constitution that provides that “[a] member of the judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence” in allowing the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by a counsel which caused the issuance of flip-flopping decisions in final and executory cases; in creating an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo through her appointment of his wife to office; and in discussing with litigants regarding cases pending before the Supreme Court.

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For More Information Visit: article8jester.blog.com
Thursday, March 15, 12

Thursday, March 15, 12

Article VII
Respondent betrayed the public trust through his partiality in granting a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in favor of former President Gloria MacapagalArroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo in order to give them an opportunity to escape prosecution and to frustrate the ends of justice, and in distorting the supreme court decision on the effectivity of the TRO in view of a clear failure to comply with the conditions of the Supreme Court’s own TRO.

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Problems encountered during the Estrada Impeachment

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Overlawyering the Proceedings by Sen. Raul Roco:

• • • •
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A legalistic approach is inherent in the defense, and tempting to lawyers among the Senators. Public is more in synch with what impeachment is supposed to be – a public investigation into the fitness of an official for continuance in office. Senate should not be overly concerned with legal technique. Impeachment is not a barrier to criminal trial afterwards.

Overlawyering the Proceedings by Sen. Rene Cayetano:

• • • •
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Impeachment is neither a criminal nor a civil case and should be treated differently. In a criminal case, a guilty verdict requires establishing “guilt beyond reasonable doubt”; in a civil case a mere “preponderance of evidence” is enough. For Impeachment, the rule on evidence should be liberally interpreted. Impeachment is not a barrier to criminal trial afterwards.

Overlawyering the Proceedings by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile:

• •

Impeachment resembles a criminal case closely because the accused must plead and be convicted or acquitted. Senate is not a quasi-administrative body, rather a special kind of tribunal that will judge a person elected by the sovereign people who wrote the Constitution.

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Quite obviously, impeachment is not strictly lawyers’ business. If the defense lawyers and some members of the court try, as in fact they do, to circumscribe it within legalities, they are out of order, because they’re shutting out the whole nation, which, for all its lay-mindedness, is still the sovereign.The reversal of roles,with senators judging a judge, alone signifies who’s boss. - Vergel Santos, A Spectacle within A Spectacle

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