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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

SUPREME COURT
Manila

REP. CLAVEL A. MARTINEZ


et al.,
Petitioners

-versus-
GR NO. 160561
THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES of the
13th CONGRESS, et al.,
Respondents.
X__________________________X

URGENT MOTION TO RESOLVE

Petitioners, by counsel, respectfully move for an urgent resolution of

the instant case on the following discussion:

1. The instant case was filed before this Honorable Court in the hope of

putting a resolution to the constitutional issues that arose from last year’s

impeachment proceeding against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that are

capable of repetition yet evading review. The Petition raised the following

issues:

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN PLENARY


COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION
WHEN IT RATIFIED BY VOTE OF 158-51, THE DECISION
OF THE COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE BY MAJORITY VOTE,
AND AS EMBODIED IN COMMITTEE REPORT 1012, TO
DISCUSS “PREJUDICIAL AND THRESHOLD QUESTIONS”
AHEAD OF A DETERMINATION OF THE FORM AND

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SUBSTANCE OF THE THREE IMPEACHMENT
COMPLAINTS, IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION
AND ITS OWN RULES OF PROCEDURE.

II.

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN PLENARY


COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION
WHEN IT RATIFIED BY A VOTE OF 158-51, THE
DECISION OF THE COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE BY
MAJORITY VOTE, AND AS EMBODIED IN COMMITTEE
REPORT 1012, TO TREAT THE AMENDED COMPLAINT
AS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE ORIGINAL
LOZANO COMPLAINT, CONSIDERING THAT THE
DEFECTIVE ORIGINAL LOZANO COMPLAINT HAS
ALREADY BEEN SUPERSEDED BY THE AMENDED
COMPLAINT WHILE THE LOPEZ COMPLAINT, IT BEING
FRAUGHT WITH PROCEDURAL AND SUBSTANTIVE
INFIRMITIES, IS OF NO LEGAL EFFECT.

III.

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN PLENARY


COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION
WHEN IT RATIFIED BY A VOTE OF 158-51, THE
DECISION OF THE COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE BY
MAJORITY VOTE, AND AS EMBODIED IN COMMITTEE
REPORT 1012, TO DISMISS THE AMENDED COMPLAINT
AS A PROHIBITED PLEADING UNDER THE RULING IN
THE FRANCISCO CASE WHEN IT IS CLEAR THAT
UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, AND THE VARIOUS
APPLICABLE RULES OF PROCEDURE, THE ONE-YEAR
CONSTITUTIONAL BAR DOES NOT APPLY.1

2. As has been ably shown by the conduct of President Gloria Macapagal-

Arroyo’s men, all kinds of technicalities have been raised against the

impeachment complaint against her, in violation of the very intent of the

constitutional clauses on impeachment.

1
See Petition for Certiorari, at 22.

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3. But one year later, with the issues brought before this Honorable Court

still pending, citizens of various groups and persuasions have converged to

file yet another impeachment complaint against her before the House of

Representatives and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s lawyers are quick to raise

the pendency of this case before the Honorable Court as an effective bar to

the new effort to hold her accountable for her unconstitutional misdeeds

in office.

4. The Petitioners draw the attention of this Honorable Court to a

Manifestation made by lawyers Romulo B. Macalintal and Alberto C. Agra

dated June 22, 2o06 informing the House of Representatives that as “…no

impeachment complaint can be deliberated upon or considered by the

Committee on Justice of the House of Representatives…and by the House

of Representatives against the President at this time. The [one-year] ban

on the filing of a new impeachment complaint remains operative to this

day…”2

5. The Macalintal-Agra Manifestation has explicitly referred to the instant

proceeding – the Martinez Petition – to say that the initiation of new

impeachment proceedings against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo “is still

premature until such time as the Supreme Court decides with finality the

Martinez Petition.”

6. Pursuing the argument of the Macalintal-Agra Manifestation to its logical

conclusion, it may give rise to the situation where the Court does not

resolve a pending petition, such as the instant case, for the next four or five

years while in the meantime, the President again and again commits

impeachable offenses; does this mean that the citizens will have to wait for

2
A copy of the Manifestation is attached as ANNEX A.

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the resolution of the case five years later before they can file another

impeachment complaint?

7. It is in consideration of such absurd interpretation by Attys. Macalintal

and Agra, and the equally absurd construction of the Respondents in the

instant case, that the Petition in this case was filed, that is, for the

Honorable Court to, among others, decide clearly and unequivocally, when

the one-year bar rule on initiation of impeachment proceedings

starts.

8. For if Attys. Macalintal and Agra are to be believed, the possibility of “one

year” becoming more than three hundred sixty five (365) days, contrary to

the legal3 and ordinary acceptation of the term, is not remote; and the one

year bar rule being applied to prohibit multiple impeachment proceedings

initiated three hundred and sixty six (366) days apart from each other is

neither an impossibility notwithstanding the very clear wording of the

constitutional provision.4

9. Given the conduct of the Respondents with respect to the impeachment

complaints filed last year, what is feared as a not-so-remotely-possible

scenario may well be in danger of becoming a very probable one.

10. And that may as well be if the issues raised in this instant case are not

resolved by this Honorable Court with dispatch – with no less than the

principle of public office as a public trust becoming the victim in the

process.

3
See Article 13, Civil Code.
4
Section 3 (5), Article XI of the Constitution states: “No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated
against the same official more than once within a period of one year.”

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11. The importance of the resolution of the issues raised in this case cannot be

overemphasized as they have a direct bearing on the principle of

accountability upon which the claim, nay the principle enshrined in no less

than the Constitution, of a democratic Philippine government rests.

12. The Macalintal-Agra Manifestation certainly goes against the

fundamental principle of the Constitution for “public officers and

employees” to “at all times be accountable to the people” and to hold

impeachable public officers into account for their impeachable misdeeds,

giving them only a breathing room of only one year between each

“initiation of impeachment proceedings.”

13. Which is why the herein Petitioners argue that the issues they have raised

in the instant proceeding should not be mooted and declared academic by

this Honorable Court because of this month’s filing of impeachment

complaints against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

14. For otherwise, the principle of accountability at all times would be put to

naught, becoming merely a policy of accountability until the next year, or

worse, until this Honorable Court finally decides once and for all, perhaps

in a case other than the one at bar, what the rules are.

15. At the very least, these issues, as they are “capable of repetition yet

evading review,”5 should be settled once and for all, for the future guidance

of citizens interested in holding accountable any impeachable public

officer for their misdeeds in office; that is, “to prevent similar questions

from reemerging,” as this Honorable Court decided in Lacson v. Perez.6

In fact, all the requirements laid down by this Honorable Court in the
5
Alunan v. Mirasol. 276 SCRA 501 (1997), cited in Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary, G.R Nos. 159085,
159185 and 159196, February 3, 2004.
6
Lacson v. Perez, GR No. 147780, May 10, 2001; 357 SCRA 756 (2001)

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landmark case of Professor Randolf S. David, et al., v. Gloria Macapagal-

Arroyo et. al.,7 applies in the instant case:

The “moot and academic” principle is not a magical formula


that can automatically dissuade the courts in resolving a
case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic,
if: first, there is a grave violation of the Constitution;8
second, the exceptional character of the situation and the
paramount public interest is involved;9 third, when
constitutional issue raised requires formulation of
controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the
public;10 and fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet
evading review.11

16. Obviously, there is a grave violation of the constitution here when the

House of Representatives disregarded well-defined constitutional

parameters for the proper conduct of an impeachment proceeding.

17. What is involved is also of exceptional character and situation involving

paramount public interest –a President accused of wrongdoing while in

public office and the public’s constitutional right to hold her accountable

for her misdeeds is being denied them.

18. A judgment by this Honorable Court resolving the issues presented by this

instant proceeding before it is required to formulate controlling principles

to guide the bench, the bar, a and the public, precisely because unsettled

issues in the procedures for impeachment are being utilized by the

unscrupulous to transform a sacrosanct procedure into a rat race of who

files first.

7
G.R. No. 171396; G.R. No. 171409; G.R. No. 171485; G.R. No. 171483; G.R. No. 171400; G.R. No.
171489; G.R. No. 171424, May 3, 2006.
8
Citing Province of Batangas v. Romulo, G.R. No. 152774, May 27, 2004; 429 SCRA 736 (2004).
9
Citing Lacson v. Perez, G.R. No. 147780, May 10, 2001, 357 SCRA 756 (2001).
10
Citing Province of Batangas v. Romulo, G.R. No. 152774, May 27, 2004; 429 SCRA 736 (2004).
11
Citing Albaña v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 163302, July 23, 2004; 435 SCRA 98 (2004),
Acop v. Guingona, Jr., G.R. No. 134855, July 2, 2002; 383 SCRA 577 (2002), and Sanlakas v. Executive
Secretary, G.R. No. 159085, February 3, 2004; 421 SCRA 656. (2001).

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19. Lastly, it is clear that precisely because of these unsettled issues, what

obtains is a situation capable of repetition – as it is now being repeated –

yet evading review.

20. Thus, one year later, the same questions have reemerged in the new

efforts to impeach Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her patently

unconstitutional acts while illegally occupying the Office of the President.

21. And once again, this Honorable Court stands between the past and the

future of this troubled nation with a historical burden which it has a

constitutional duty to bear.

22. The records of the instant case – to which were consolidated two other

cases, namely G.R. No. 169697 (Ernesto B. Francisco Jr. v. House of

Representatives) and G.R. No. 169751 (Rep. Benigno Simeon Aquino III et

al., v. House of Representatives) – show that the issues have already been

joined with the exchange of pleadings between and among the parties.

23. In fact, in the instant case, GR NO. 160561, the Respondents have already

filed their Comment to the Petition (The House of Representatives,

through a Comment dated December 15, 2005 and the Office of the

Solicitor General, through a Comment dated January 16, 2006). The

Petitioners, in return, have likewise already submitted their Consolidated

Reply dated March 24, 2006 to the Respondents’ Comment.

24. The Petitioners in G.R. No. 169751 have likewise already filed their

Consolidated Reply dated April 27, 2006 to the Respondent’s Comment.

Only the Petitioner in the second case has not filed any pleading

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subsequent to his own Petition. In any case, it should not in any way affect

the immediate resolution of the instant consolidated cases.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Petitioners respectfully

pray that this Honorable Court immediately resolve the instant consolidated

cases and render judgment declaring the patent unconstitutionality of the

questioned acts.

Other relief just and equitable are also prayed for.

Makati City for the City of Manila, July 3, 2006.

ROQUE AND BUTUYAN LAW OFFICES


Unit 1904, Antel 2000 Corporate Center
No. 121 Valero Street, Salcedo Village
Makati City

By:

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H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR.
PTR No. 4189667, 1.11.06, Makati City
IBP No. 499912, 1.25. 00, Lifetime
Roll no. 36976

JOEL R. BUTUYAN
PTR No.4189664; 1-11-06; Makati City
IBP No. 500459; 01-25-00; Lifetime
Roll No. 36911

ROGER R. RAYEL
PTR No. 7258042, 1.17.06, Quezon City
IBP No. 02159, Lifetime, Quezon City
Roll No. 44106

ROMEL REGALADO BAGARES


PTR No. 4189663, 1.11.06, Makati City`
IBP No 670994, 1.11.06, SocSarGen Chapter
Roll No. 49518

COPY FURNISHED:

THE HON. SOLICITOR GENERAL


134 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village
Makati City 1229

ATTY. LEONARDO B. PALICTE III


Chief Counsel and Deputy Secretary General
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
LEGAL AFFAIRS DEPARMENT
BATASAN COMPLEX,
NATIONAL GOVERNMENT CENTER
QUEZON CITY

Atty. Ernesto B. Francisco, Jr.


Francisco Law Office
(Counsel for Petitioner in G.R. No. 169697)
Unit 201 Liberty Building
835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road)
Legaspi Village, 1229 Makati City

Attys. Jose Luis Martin Gascon &


Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz

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(Counsel for Petitioners in G.R. No. 169751)
1602-A West Trade Center
132 West Avenue, Quezon City

EXPLANATION

Because of time and personnel constraints, a copy of this Reply is being sent by

registered mail to the other parties in accordance with the requirements of Sec.

11, Rule 13 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court.

ROMEL REGALADO BAGARES

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