Legislative privileges, inhibitions, and qualifications, Constitutional Law

1. Legislative Privilege

a. Immunity from arrest

A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six (6) years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. (Section 11, Article VI, 1987 Constitution)

RESTRICTIVE SENSE: The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives, the latter customarily addressed as Congressmen, arises from a provision of the Constitution. The history of the provision shows that privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. (People v. Jalosjos, G.R. No. 132875-76, 03 February 2000)

WHEN ARREST IS ALLOWED: For offenses punishable by more than six (6) years imprisonment, there is no immunity from arrest. (Ibid.)

The provision granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment, implication or equitable considerations. (Ibid.)

SAME; CONFINEMENT: The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than six months is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. (Ibid.)

b. Parliamentary immunity for speech

No Member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof. (Section 11, Article VI, 1987 Constitution)

Our Constitution enshrines parliamentary immunity which is a funda...


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