A Primer on the New Rules of Procedure Governing Impeachment Trials in the Senate of the Philippines
By: ATTY. AMADO F. MARALIT, LLM, MPA, CEO VI Senate Parliamentary Counsellor A Project of: PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INFORMATION BUREAU INFORMATION Senate of the Philippines
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1. What should the Senate do upon receipt of articles of impeachment? Upon receipt of articles of impeachment: a) The Senate shall specify the date and time for the consideration of such articles.1 b) The Senate President shall inform the House that the Senate shall take proper order on the subject of impeachment and shall be ready to receive the prosecutors on such time and date as the Senate may specify.2 c) If it is the Chief Justice that shall preside, notice shall be given to him by the Senate President of the time and place fixed for the consideration of the articles of impeachment, with a request to attend.3 d) The Senate shall organize itself as an Impeachment Court. 2. How does the Senate organize itself into an Impeachment Court? Before proceeding to the consideration of the articles of impeachment: a) The Presiding Officer shall be administered the prescribed oath or affirmation.4 b) The Presiding Officer shall administer the prescribed oath or affirmation to the Members of the Senate then present and to the other Members of the Senate as they shall appear, whose duty it is to take the same.5
Rule III (2), Senate Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Trials Rule I, Senate Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Trials 3 Rule II (1), Senate Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Trials 4 Rule II, Senate Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Trials 5 Rule III 1 2
3. What happens after the organization of the Senate?
a) A writ of summons shall be issued to the person impeached, reciting or incorporating said articles, and notifying hi him/her to appear before the Senate upon a day and at a place to be fixed by the Senate and named in such writ, and to file his/her Answer to said articles of impeachment within a nonnon-extendible period of ten (10) days from receipt thereof; to which the prosecutors may Reply within a non-extendible period of five ecutors non extendible (5) days therefrom and to stand and abide by the orders and judgments of the Senate.6
4. How should the writ of summons be served?
The writ shall be served by personal service. The writ of summons shall be served by such officer or person named in the order hall thereof, not later than three (3) days prior to the day fixed for such appearance of the person impeached, by delivery of an attested copy thereof to the person impeached.7
5. If personal service cannot be done, what other mode of cannot service may be availed? Service may be made by leaving a copy of the writ of summons with a person of sufficient age and discretion at his/her last known address or at his/her office or place of business.8 6. If service of the writ of summons f fails, shall the proceedings abate? No. Further service may be made in such manner as the Senate shall direct.9
Rule VII (1), Senate Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Trials Rule VII 8 Rule VII (2) 9 Rule VII (2) 6 7
7. Shall the impeachment trial proceed even if the person impeached fails to appear before the Senate or fails to file his/her Answer to the articles of impeachment? s/her Yes, the trial shall proceed nonetheless as upon a plea of not guilty if, after service, the person impeached shall fail to appear, either in person or by counsel, on the day so fixed or though appearing, shall fail to file his/her Answer to such articles of impeachment.10 8. If a plea of guilty is entered, shall trial nevertheless proceed? No. If a plea of guilty shall be entered, judgment may be entered thereon without further proceedings.11 9. What shall the Secretary do upon the date Se and time designated by the Senate for the return of summons against the person impeached? The Senate Secretary shall administer the...