Impeachment in the Philippines

PPT, impeachment in the Philippines
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  Impeachment in the Philippines Definition: An impeachment is a written accusation by the House of Representatives to the Senate against an Officer. Who are the government officials removable by impeachment?    The President, The Vice-President, The Justices of the Supreme Court, The Members of the Commission on Elections, Civil Service Commission, and Commission on Audit, The Ombudsman What are the impeachable offenses?    Culpable Violation of the Constitution, Treason, Bribery, Graft and Corruption, Other high crimes, Betrayal of public trust Impeachment Proceedings as “Sui Generis” The first view is that impeachment proceeding is political in nature. The second view, adhered to by some legal scholars like former Justice Isagani Cruz, characterizes the impeachment proceedings as “in a sense judicial and penal in character,” hence, akin to criminal proceedings. Procedure in the Impeachment Trial Sections 1-3, Article XI of the Constitution lay down the rules on impeachment proceedings. What is the role and duty of the Senate upon receipt of Articles of Impeachment? Section 3 (6), Article XI of the Constitution states that “The Senate has the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment.”   What are the powers of the Senate? a. Compel the attendance of witnesses; b. Enforce obedience to its orders, mandates, writs and judgments; c. Preserve order; d. Summarily punish contempt of, and disobedience to its authority, orders, mandates, writs, or judgments; and e. Make all lawful orders, rules, and regulations which it may deem essential or conducive to the ends of justice; Who shall preside in impeachment proceedings? The Senate President shall be the Presiding Officer except when the President is on trial in which case the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside. Can the Presiding Officer rule on any questions on evidence? Yes, the Senate President, as Presiding Officer, may rule on all questions. How will the person impeached be notified of the Articles of Impeachment? A Writ of Summons shall be issued to the person impeached notifying him/her of the Articles of Impeachment, the date and time of his/her appearance before the Senate.  What happens if the person impeached fails to appear on the date fixed by the Senate? The trial shall proceed nevertheless upon a plea of not guilty. When will the impeachment trial proceed? Unless otherwise provided, the trial will start on the day fixed by the Senate, particularly, at 2:00 in the afternoon, and the sessions will continue from day to day Will the legislative business of the Congress be totally suspended pending the impeachment trial? No. With respect to the House of Representatives, the ordinary legislative business will continue because only the 11-member panel of prosecutors will be handling the case before the Senate. How long will it take to finish the trial? It is estimated that the trial may last from 3 to 5 months, depending on the circumstances of the case, such as when the person impeached will resign from his/her post which may result in the termination of the trial. Can the impeachment trial proceed despite the resignation of the person impeached during the trial? It is submitted that the trial may still proceed for purposes of ferreting the truth and ascertaining accountability. What is the role of the House of Representatives in the Trial? The members of the House of Representatives shall act as the sole prosecutors in the impeachment trial through a panel of 11 members elected by a majority vote in plenary under the rules adopted by the House of Representatives. How will the trial proceed? The case, on each side, will be opened by one person. The final argument on the merits may be made by 2 persons on each side, and the argument shall be opened and closed on the part of the House of Representatives. How will witnesses be examined? Witnesses shall be examined by one person on behalf of the party presenting them, and then cross-examined by one person on the other side. Can a Senator ask a question on the witness? Yes, a Senator can put a question to a witness, prosecutor, counsel, and even to the person impeached. Can a Senator be called as a witness? Yes, and he/she shall be sworn and give the testimony standing in his/her place. May parties or counsels object to any question propounded by a prosecutor, counsel or Senator?  Yes. All motions, objections, requests, or applications whether relating to the procedure of the Senate or relating immediately to the trial made by the parties or counsel shall be argued and addressed to the Presiding Officer. What happens after the presentation of the final arguments by the prosecutors as well as the counsels of the person impeached? After the completion of the trial for all of the Articles of Impeachment, the Senators shall vote on the final question on whether or not the impeachment is sustained. The Presiding Officer shall first state the question and, thereafter, each Senator shall rise and answer: “guilty” or “not guilty”  How shall the voting of Senators be made? On the final question whether the impeachment is sustained, the yeas and the nays shall be taken on each Article of Impeachment separately. May the Articles of Impeachment be divisible? No. The judgment shall be made only after all the arguments of both parties have been concluded. Is a Motion for Reconsideration allowed? No. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the Articles of Impeachment is sustained or rejected shall not be in order. What is the consequence of conviction in any of the articles of impeachment? The person impeached shall have a  judgment which shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any public office under the Republic of the Philippines. May the convicted public officer be pardoned by the President? No. The Constitution specifically states that impeachment conviction may not be subject to pardon by the President. After the Senate conviction, may the convicted public officer be prosecuted in ordinary suits? Yes, the convicted public officer may be prosecuted in ordinary criminal or civil actions in regular courts. In case of conviction in ordinary criminal cases, can the convicted person be pardoned by the President? In this instance, the convict may be pardoned by the President as in ordinary cases. Other Salient Features and Gray Areas of the Senate Rules    All Proceedings are Public, Political Neutrality, Evidence Necessary for Conviction, Basis of Two-Thirds Vote Limits The 1987 (current) constitution limits the number of impeachment complaints that can be filed against an official to one per year.
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