I. Power of impeachment

Frequency: ★★★★★

1. Who may be impeached

The following may be impeached:

1) The President;

2) The Vice-President;

3) The Members of the Supreme Court;

4) The Members of the Constitutional Commissions; and,

5) The Ombudsman. (Section 2, Article XI, 1987 Constitution)

a. Grounds

The above-mentioend impeachable officers may be removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of:

1) Culpable violation of the Constitution;

2) Treason;

3) Bribery

4) Graft and corruption;

5) Other high crimes; or,

6) Betrayal of public trust. (Ibid.)

b. Procedure

1) Verified Complaint filed before House of Representatives

The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. (Section 3[1], Article XI, Ibid.)

A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed:

1) By any Member of the House of Representatives; or,

2) By any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. (Section 3[2], Article XI, Ibid.)

The verified complaint which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten (10) session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three (3) session days thereafter. (Ibid.)

2) House Resolution

The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty (60) session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. (Ibid.)

3) 1/3 vote to endorse impeachment

A vote of at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either:

1) To affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee; or,

2) To override its contrary resolution. (Section 3[3], Article XI, Ibid.)

The vote of each Member shall be recorded. (Ibid.)

4) Trial before the Senate

In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. (Section 3[4], Article XI, Ibid.)

The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. (Section 3[6], Article XI, Ibid.)

When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. (Ibid.)

5) 2/3 vote for conviction

No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds (2/3) of all the Members of the Senate. (Ibid.)

BAR EXAM QUESTION

(Question B.13, Political Law, 2019 Bar Exam)

Who are the impeachable officers under the 1987 Constitution? Briefly explain the process of impeaching them thereunder. (5%)

(a) The following may be impeached:

1) The President;

2) The Vice-President;

3) The Members of the Supreme Court;

4) The Members of the Constitutional Commissions; and,

5) The Ombudsman.

(b) Procedure:

1) Verified Complaint filed before House of Representatives

The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.

A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed:

1) By any Member of the House of Representatives; or,

2) By any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof.

2) House Resolution

The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty (60) session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof.

3) 1/3 vote to endorse impeachment

A vote of at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either:

1) To affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee; or,

2) To override its contrary resolution.

4) Trial before the Senate

In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.

The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation.

When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote.

5) 2/3 vote for conviction

No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds (2/3) of all the Members of the Senate.

2. Limitations

a. Once a year only

No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. (Section 3[5], Article XI, Ibid.)

The initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or, by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated, another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one-year period. (Francisco, Jr. v. House of Representatives, En Banc, G.R. Nos. 160261, 10 November 2003)

BAR EXAM QUESTION

(Question XV-C, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)

Sec. 3, Art. XI of the Constitution states that “[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.”

What constitutes initiation of impeachment proceedings under the provision? (3%)

Suggested Answer:

The initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or, by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated, another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one-year period.

b. Limited to removal and disqualification from holding office

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, trial, and punishment according to law. (Section 3[7], Article XI, Ibid.)

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