.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Name:
Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

You Decide - A Blog Examination

Unless encumbered by another round of speeches and delays, the House Justice Committee today will rule on the admissibility of the second complaint and the Amended Lozano Complaint. And one can already hazard a guess as to the outcome of the two latter complaints in the light of the ratio of administration solons vis-à-vis opposition congressmen.

The Bar Examination is upon us next week. The first subject of the first week is Political Law. Let us have our own Political Law blog exam. Let us back track and deal with the primordial issue in this current impeachment controversy and that is: When is an impeachment proceeding initiated?

First, a definition of terms.

“Initiate” - using the various definitions found in the Francisco case, to initiate means “to file” [Maambong definition]; to perform or facilitate the first action” [Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language]; “to begin, to commence or set going” [SC’s own and un-cited definition];

“Initiated” – Under the Francisco case, it means filing of complaint and referral to the House Justice Committee. This was the interpretation of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S. J. and adopted by the Supreme Court;

Second, the constitutional provisions in question:

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

(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, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty 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.

xxxxx


(5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.


Third: The pertinent portion of the 3 different House Rules of Impeachment Proceedings, to wit: (a) the 11th Congress Rules which was used in the Erap Impeachment proceeding in the House; (b) the 12th Congress Rules which was applied in the Davide impeachment proceeding; and (3) the 13th Congress Rules which cover the Arroyo impeachment proceeding:

11th Congress Rules, Rule 2 (Initiating Impeachment) Section 2. Mode of Initiating Impeachment. – Impeachment shall be initiated only by a verified complaint for impeachment filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof or by a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment filed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House

12th Congress Rules, Rule V, Section 16. – Impeachment Proceedings Deemed Initiated. – 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, 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, as the case may be, 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, is not sufficient in substance.

13th Congress Rules, Rule2, Section 2. – 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; or

(b) a verified complaint for impeachment filed by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof;

(c) a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment filed by at least one-third (1/3) by all the Members of the House.

Fourth, First Question: Compare the impeachment provisions of the 1987 Constitution with the three different Congress Rules on Impeachment proceedings, knowing what you know now about the various Congress Rules of Impeachment and the 1987 Constitution, which Congress Rules of Impeachment Proceedings are the most faithful to the provisions of the 1987 Constitution;

Second Question: Knowing what you know now about the meaning of initiate and initiated, and knowing what you know now about the three different Congress Rules of Impeachment Proceedings; (a) would you vote for the Lozano complaint; or (b) would you allow the consolidation of the three complaints?

Third Question: Do you agree that initiate and initated are still synonymous? If not, do you agree that initiated should be filing and referral to the Justice Committee. If you disagree with Fr. Bernas, please state your reasons.

Fourth and final question: Knowing what you know now about legality behind the whole impeachment controversy, we come back to the primordial issue, when is the impeachment proceeding initiated?

Good luck. A wrong answer here will not be taken against you. But a wrong answer in the House Justice Committee may trigger an outbreak. Let us hope they will be true to their committee’s namesake and have some sense of justice.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Performancing
Google