SC denies De Lima’s suit vs. President Duterte: May 'presidential immunity' and Pangulo

SC denies De Lima’s suit vs. President Duterte: May 'presidential immunity' and Pangulo




The highest court of the land has spoken.

The Supreme Court (SC) has shot down (denied) opposition senator Leila De Lima’s petition seeking for the issuance of a writ of habeas data against incumbent and sitting President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.



In a 22 page resolution the SC decided to turn down the said petition “on the ground that respondent Rodrigo Roa Duterte as the incumbent President of the Philippines is immune from suit during his incumbency.”
(photo credit to owner)
“As the framers of our Constitution understood it, which view has been upheld by relevant jurisprudence, the President is immune from suit during his tenure,” read the resolution that was penned by retired Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin.
In De Lima’s petition, she asked the High Court to stop the President and his subordinates from gathering personal information about her private life and delete illegally-obtained pieces of private information.
The senator filed the petition in 2016 after Duterte, in retaliation to her criticisms, “issued a number of public statements against Sen. De LIma, including denunciations of her corruption and immorality.”


In disagreeing with De Lima’s argument the Supreme Court said that presidential immunity can’t apply to Duterte since his statements were made not as part of his discharge of his presidential duties and also because because the proceedings for the writ of habeas data do not involve the determination of administrative, civil, or criminal liabilities.
The SC pointed out that “immunity applies regardless the personal or official nature of the acts complained of have rendered their disagreement moot or academic.”
“Again, we remind that immunity does not hinge on the nature of the suit. In short, presidential immunity is not intended to immunize the President from liability or accountability,” the high tribunal added.





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