Comments on The President’s Possible Legal Strategies

Jove posted on the possible legal arguments and strategies to be employed by the President for the impeachment proceedings. To be clear, I cut and pasted his entry below:

GROUNDS they relied upon: (as is, pati grammar)
-“the so called amended complaint is a sham and unauthorized pleading and therefore procedurally infirm”
-“the so-called amended complaint for impeachment is actually new, different and separate impeachment complaint and , at the time it was filed, was constitutionally impermissible, pursuant to Sec. 3(5), Art. XI of the Constitution, which reads: “No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within the period of one year”
(note: stuff we heard of before)

-filing of Lopez complaint is likewise a violation of the constitutional one year bar rule on initiating impeachment proceedings.
-the honorable congress does not have jurisdiction over the subject matters pleaded in the supplemental complaints, the lopez complaint and he amended complaint considering that:
a) the alleged impeachable acts allegedly committed by president arroyo pertain to acts committed prior to or outside the elected term of office of president arroyo, hence not valid grounds for impeachment.
b) the alleged impeachable acts allegedly committed by president arroyo are in fact accusations of election fraud in connection with the May 2004 presidential elections, which by constitutional mandate, is exclusively lodged with the supreme court sitting as a PET. The election contest against president arroyo has been decided upon in PET case no. 002.
c)the acts alleged relied on illegally wiretapped conversations, which under the constitution in relation to Republic Act No. 4200, otherwise known as the anti wire tapping law, are inadmissible in evidence in any proceeding.

Interesting too, are the notations in the category of DISCUSSIONS and ARGUMENTS: (things they are supposed to say, in defense of their motion, call it a script to answer makukulit questions by media and anti-admin solons) (which by the way, hints that the promised creation of a separate communications team for impeachment matters, is already “created” and functioning.) (in fact, I believe the two sheets of paper containing the details here are actually “media guides”)
-the so-called amended complaint is a procedural “hybrid” composed by an odd and disparate mixture of diverse personalities and entities pursuing varying ideological and political causes.
-the Lozano Impeachment Complaint Cannot Be Amended.
-So-called Amended Complaint Filed in Bad Faith and in Derogation of the Rules of the Court.
-Even if Leave was requested the same would have been denied because the so-called amended complaint substantially altered the original complaint by introducing new causes of action.
-the so-called amended complaint is in reality a New Complaint for Impeachment.
-The so-called amended complaint is prohibited pleading for being in gross and culpable violation of the provision in the constitution which prohibits the initiation of an impeachment proceedings against the same official more than once within a period of one year.
-the lapse of judgment of the opposition and the remedy that is too little and too late.
(do you hear the opposition huffing and puffing about this part? Hehehe)
-what one cannot do directly, he cannot do indirectly. The leaders of the opposition in the House as the new complainants, would like to circumvent and subvert the constitutional provision.
(eto pa isang banat sa opposition, hehehe) (again, as is, pati grammar)
-one final word. The intent of Sec. 3(5), Art. XI of the Consitution.

Then promptly passed the proverbial mike to me in this point.

Some comments are therefore in order:

1. I have tackled the matter of multiple complaints in this entry.

2. I have discussed the issue of amended complaints here.

3. The one the jumped out at me is “the alleged impeachable acts allegedly committed by president arroyo pertain to acts committed prior to or outside the elected term of office of president arroyo, hence not valid grounds for impeachment.”

Whoa! I did not see that coming…

Like a splinter in my mind, I kept thinking about it all night.

What it propounded is the theory “the rule is that a public official can not be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer’s previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor.” (Aguinaldo vs. Santos, G.R. No. 94115, 21 August 1992)

However, there is a difference here, in the following senses:

1. An impeachment is not necessarily for administrative misconduct. Impeachment proceedings is not exactly an administrative proceeding, although the penalties are similar to that of administrative charges (removal from office and disqualification).

2. It likewise presupposes a valid re-election, which the pro-impeachment fellows vehemently question. As a matter of fact, poll fraud is one of the acts they used as evidence of the President’s “betrayal of public trust.”

3. The President’s case is peculiar because being “re-elected” to the presidency is a rarity.

My opinion on the matter?

The legal point is so arguable it could go either way.

The President could claim that she is entitled to the benefit of the doctrine I stated above. The pro-impeachment people could argue that hers is a rare case and hence, not covered by this general principle of law.

It would really depend on which side you are on…


1 Comment

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One response to “Comments on The President’s Possible Legal Strategies

  1. punzi…your the man! lol

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