President’s privileges, inhibitions, and disqualifications, Constitutional Law

1. Privileges

a. Presidential immunity

Concurrent with incumbency. The presidential immunity from suit exists only in concurrence with the president’s incumbency. (Saez v. Arroyo, En Banc, G.R. No. 183533, 25 September 2012)

Same; While in office; Cannot be invoked by non-sitting president. The President enjoys immunity from suit during his or her tenure of office or actual incumbency. Conversely, this presidential privilege of immunity cannot be invoked by a non-sitting president even for acts committed during his or her tenure. (Lozada, Jr. v. Arroyo, En Banc, G.R. Nos. 184379-80, 24 April 2012)

Lozada v. Arroyo (2012)

• [S]ince her tenure of office has already ended, former President Arroyo can no longer invoke the privilege of presidential immunity as a defense to evade judicial determination of her responsibility or accountability for the alleged violation or threatened violation of the right to life, liberty and security of Lozada. (Ibid.)

Estrada v. Desierto (2001)

• The cases filed against petitioner Estrada are criminal in character. They involve plunder, bribery and graft and corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes, especially plunder which carries the death penalty, be covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of a non-sitting president. Petitioner cannot cite any decision of this Court licensing the President to commit criminal acts and wrapping him with post-tenure immunity from liability. It will be anomalous to hold t...

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