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GUTZIERREZ VS HOUSE COM. ON JUSTICE GR No.

193459, February 15, 2011 FACTS: Before the 15th Congress opened its first session private respondents filed an impeachment complaint against petitioner. A day after the opening of the 15th Congress, Atty. Marilyn Barua-Yap, Secretary General of the House of Representatives, transmitted the impeachment complaint to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., directed the Committee on Rules to include it in the Order of Business. On August 3, 2010, private respondents filed another impeachment complaint5 against petitioner. On even date, the HR provisionally adopted the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings of the 14th Congress.On August 10, 2010, House Majority Leader instructed Atty. Artemio Adasa, Jr., to include the two complaints in the Order of Business,10 which was complied with by their inclusion in the Order of Business for the following day. ST 1 ISSUE: Did the House Committee of Justice fail to ascertain the sufficiency of form and substance of the complaints on the basis of the standards set by the Constitution and its own Impeachment Rules? RULING: The determination of sufficiency of form and substance of an impeachment complaint is an exponent of the express constitutional grant of rule-making powers of the House of Representatives which committed such determinative function to public respondent. In the discharge of that power and in the exercise of its discretion, the House has formulated determinable standards as to the form and substance of an impeachment complaint. Prudential considerations behoove the Court to respect the compliance by the House of its duty to effectively carry out the constitutional purpose, absent any contravention of the minimum constitutional guidelines. nd 2 ISSUE: Should the Impeachment Rules be published to be effective? RULING: Publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation is but one avenue for Congress to make known its rules. Jurisprudence emphatically teaches that in the absence of constitutional or statutory guidelines or specific rules, the Court is devoid of any basis upon which to determine the legality of the acts of the Senate relative thereto. Had the Constitution intended to have the Impeachment Rules published, it could have stated so as categorically as it did in the case of the rules of procedure in legislative inquiries, per Neri vs Senate. 3rd ISSUE: Should the impeachment against Gutierrez be considered a prohibited second impeachment proceedings initiated within one-year? RULING: No it is not. What is stated in the Constitution is that no impeachment PROCEEDINGS shall be

initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year, NOT COMPLAINTS!

Contrary to petitioners emphasis on impeachment complaint, what the Constitution mentions is impeachment "proceedings." Her reliance on the singular tense of the word "complaint"74 to denote the limit prescribed by the Constitution goes against the basic rule of statutory construction that a word covers its enlarged and plural sense.75

4th ISSUE: Should an impeachment complaint only allege one impeachable offense under the one offense, one complaint rule of the Rules on Criminal Procedure? RULING: The Court finds that petitioner s invocation of that particular rule of Criminal Procedure does not lie. Suffice it to state that the Constitution allows the indictment for multiple impeachment offenses, with each charge representing an article of impeachment, assembled in one set known as the "Articles of Impeachment." It, therefore, follows that an impeachment complaint need not allege only one impeachable offense.

Respondent Joel S. Samaniego was the City Treasurer of Lig ao City, Albay. On separate dates, the Commission on Audit (COA) through its Regional Cluster Director Atty. Francisco R. Velasco[3] filed two administrative complaints against Samaniego, docketed as OMB-L-A-03-1060-K[4] and OMB-L-A-03-1061K,[5] for dishonesty and grave misconduct. In these administrative complaints, the COA alleged that respondent incurred shortages in his accountabilities for two separate periods.[6] Respondent received letters of demand requiring him to explain his side and settle his accountabilities. He was dismissed by the Ombudsman but was released a writ of preliminary injunction when he

appealed to the CA. The Office of the Ombudsman claimed that the CA erred in denying its right to intervene, considering that its joint decision was the subject of the appeal. It also asserts that the writ of preliminary injunction should be recalled.