Macalintal twits De Lima: Aquino, like Binay, is not immune from suit
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal debunked the recent statement by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima who said President Benigno Aquino III was the sole impeachable official immune from suit.
In a statement, Macalintal said the immunity extended to the President was only a “tradition” that could be abandoned.
“There is nothing in the constitution nor any existing law which provides that only the President, or any of the said impeachable officials, is immune from suit. As a matter of fact the executive immunity provided for under the 1973 Constitution was repealed or removed under the 1987 Constitution,” Macalintal said.
The lawyer also said that De Lima’s statement about the president’s supposed immunity from suit “smacks of unjust or invidious discrimination, thus, violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.”
“Since the President belongs to a similar class of impeachable officials under the constitution, there is no rhyme or reason why the other constitutional officials cannot enjoy the same immunity privilege,” Macalintal added.
De Lima said last Thursday that only Aquino was immune from suit and Vice President Jejomar Binay was not.
“The Vice President is not immune from suit. He is an impeachable official but he is not immune from suit.”
“There is no doctrine in constitutional or political law that serves as a legal basis or rationale for immunity from suit of impeachable officials, other than for the President,” De Lima said.
Binay is facing possible corruption raps due to the construction of alleged overpriced government buildings in Makati City which has been the center of a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee probe.
De Lima: Only President immune from suit, not VP Binay
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.