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Case Digest: Estrada vs Arroyo
ISSUE: Whether or not Estrada permanently unable to act as President.
FACTS: Petitioner sought to enjoin the respondent Ombudsman from conducting any further proceedings in any criminal complaint that may be filed in his office, until after the term of petitioner as President is over and only if legally warranted. Erap also filed a Quo Warranto case, praying for judgment “confirming petitioner to be the lawful and incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office, and declaring respondent to have taken her oath as and to be holding the Office of the President, only in an acting capacity pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution.”
RATIO DECIDENDI: Yes, Section 11 of Article VII provides that “Congress has the ultimate authority under the Constitution to determine whether the President is incapable of performing his functions.” Both houses of Congress have recognized respondent Arroyo as the President. Implicitly clear in that recognition is the premise that the inability of petitioner Estrada is no longer temporary. Congress has clearly rejected petitioner’s claim of inability. Even if petitioner can prove that he did not resign, still, he cannot successfully claim that he is a President on leave on the ground that he is merely unable to govern temporarily. That claim has been laid to rest by Congress and the decision that respondent Arroyo is the de jure President made by a co-equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
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