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Constitutional Law: Case set # 9 o No.

Such a determination is a
Chapter 17 – Art. XI Accountability of Public Officers purely political question which the
1. Francisco Jr. v. HoR (2003) Constitution has left to the
Ponente: Carpio-Morales, J. sound discretion of the legislation.
- June 2, 2003 Impeachment complaint Although Section 2 of Article XI of
were filed against the then CJ Davide and the Constitution enumerates six
other 7 Associate justices for betrayal of grounds for impeachment, two of
Public Trust and committing high crimes, these, namely, other high crimes
DISMISSED for insufficiency of substance. and betrayal of public trust, elude
- October 23, 2003 another impeachment a precise definition.
complaint was filed against the then CJ - Whether or not Sections 15 and 16 of Rule
Davide alleging underpayment of the V of the Rules on Impeachment adopted by
COLA of the members and personnel of the the 12th Congress are unconstitutional.
judiciary from the JDF and unlawful o Yes. The provisions of Sections 16
disbursement of said fund for various and 17 of Rule V of the House
infrastructure projects and acquisition of Impeachment Rules contravene
service vehicles and other equipment. Section 3 (5) of Article XI as they
- SC held that the second impeachment give the term "initiate" a meaning
complaint was unconstitutional and different from "filing."
barred under Art XI Sec. 3(5) No 2. Jarque v. Desierto (1995)
impeachment proceedings shall be - Jarque case involves Ombudsman Aniano
initiated against the same official more A. Desierto as respondent, hence, the
than once within a period of one year. mention therein of the Deputy
- The petitions were justiciable or ripe for Ombudsmen is merely an obiter dictum.
adjudication because there was an actual - [T]he court is not here saying that the
controversy involving rights that are Ombudsman and other constitutional
legally demandable. officers who are required by the
- Supreme Court held that only questions Constitution to be members of the
that are truly political questions are Philippine Bar and are removable only by
beyond judicial review. The Supreme impeachment, are immunized from
Court has the exclusive power to resolve liability possibly for criminal acts or for
with definitiveness the issues of violation of the Code of Professional
constitutionality. It is duty bound to take Responsibility or other claimed
cognizance of the petitions to exercise the misbehavior.
power of judicial review as the guardian of - The Ombudsman or his deputies
the Constitution. must first be removed from office via the
- The term "initiate" pertains to the initial constitutional route of impeachment
act of filing the verified complaint and under Sections 2 and 3 of Article XI of the
not to the finding of the Committee on 1987 Constitution. Should the tenure of
Justice that the complaint and/or the Ombudsman be thus terminated by
resolution is sufficient in substance or to impeachment, he may then be held to
the obtention of the one-third (1/3) vote of answer either criminally or
all the Members of the House as provided administratively e.g., in disbarment
by the House Rules. proceedings — for any wrong or
- The term "initiate" should be construed as misbehavior which may be proven against
the physical act of filing the complaint, him in appropriate proceedings.
coupled with an action by the House taking - To grant a complaint for disbarment of a
cognizance of it, i.e., referring the Member of the Court during the Member's
complaint to the Committee on Justice. incumbency, would in effect be to
- Can the Court make a determination of circumvent and hence to run afoul of the
what constitutes an impeachable offense? constitutional mandate that Members of
the Court may be removed from office only subdivision, agency or instrumentality
by impeachment for and conviction of thereof, including government-owned and
certain offenses listed in Article XI [2] of controlled corporation with original
the Constitution. charters. Inasmuch as the PNCC has no
3. Lacson v. Exec. Secretary (1999) original charter as it was incorporated
Ponente: Martinez, J. under the general law on corporations, its
- The Sandiganbayan shall have jurisdiction follows that petitioner, an employee of the
over criminal cases committed by public PNCC, is not a public officer. Thus, the
officers and employees, including those in Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction
government-owned or controlled over him.
corporations, "in relation to their office as - Public officer includes elective and
may be determined by law." This appointive officials and employees,
constitutional mandate was reiterated in permanent or temporary, whether in the
the new [1987] Constitution. unclassified or classified or exempted
- The stringent requirement that the charge service receiving compensation, even
be set forth with such particularity as will nominal, from the government as defined
reasonably indicate the exact offense in the preceding paragraph."
which the accused is alleged to have - Article XI, on the Accountability of Public
committed in relation to his office was, sad Officers, provides: "Section 13. The Office of
to say, not satisfied. We believe that the the Ombudsman shall have the following
mere allegation in the amended powers, functions and duties: "2. Direct, upon
complaint or at its instance, any public official
information that the offense was
or employee of the government, or any
committed by the accused public officer in
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof,
relation to his office" is not sufficient. as well as of any government-owned or
- "It is an elementary rule that jurisdiction is controlled corporations with original charters,
determined by the allegations in the to perform and expedite any act or duty
complaint or information and not by the required by law, or to stop, prevent, and
result of evidence after trial. correct any abuse or impropriety in the
- For failure to show in the amended performance of duties."
informations that the charge of murder 5. Binay v. Sandiganbayan (1999)
was intimately connected with the Ponente: Kapunan, J.
discharge of official functions of the - To determine whether an official is within the
accused PNP officers, the offense charged exclusive original jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan, reference should be made to
in the subject criminal cases is plain
R.A. No. 6758 and the Index of Occupational
murder and, therefore, within the
Services Position Titles and Salary Grades.
exclusive original jurisdiction of the - As both the 1989 and 1997 versions of the
Regional Trial Court. Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles
- R.A. 8249 Sec. 4 Sandiganbayan has and Salary Grades list the Municipal Mayor
jurisdiction to officers of PNP. under Salary Grade 27, petitioner mayors
4. Macalino v. Sandiganbayan (2002) come within the exclusive original jurisdiction
Ponente: Pardo, J. of the Sandiganbayan.
- Head of the Loans Administration and - Whether or not SB has jurisdiction over the
Insurance Section of the Philippine case after the passage of RA 7975.
o YES, as amended by RA 8249 SB has
National Construction Corporation
exclusive jurisdiction in all cases involving
(PNCC), Macalino was charged with the violation of (RA 3019) Anti-Graft Corrupt
Sandiganbayan for estafa through Practices act, RA 1379 and RPC Book VII
falsification of official documents and Title II Chapter 2 Section 2. And over
frustrated estafa through falsification of officials of Executive branch occupying the
mercantile documents. positions with salary grade of 27 and
- A public officer includes public officials higher, Mayors are local officials classified
and employees of the government, or any as Grade 27.