Public Accountability

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Slide deck on public accountability, with reference to provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Lecture slides were from an undergraduate course I taught on Philippine Politics and Governance circa 2003-2005.

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  • Constitutional Commissions Comelec Civil Service Commission Commission on Audit Other officials may be removed from office through means provided for by law, but not by impeachment.
  • Key word is culpable
  • Note: Only the House of Representatives has the power to initiate an impeachment case.
  • Note: Only the Senate has the power to try and decide all cases of impeachment.
  • Recovery of unlawfully acquired assets cannot be barred by: 1.) Prescription = i.e. Statute of limitations 2.) Laches = failure to make a claim 3.) Estoppel = i.e. stoppage; meaning if a previous case by government would otherwise prevent it from doing so.
  • Public Accountability

    1. 1. PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>What is the rationale behind public accountability? </li></ul><ul><li>What constitutional provisions keep public officials in check? </li></ul><ul><li>What remedies do citizens have against errant public officials? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Public Accountability <ul><li>Stems from the fact that public officials are public servants </li></ul><ul><li>Particularly important in republican systems </li></ul><ul><li>Underlying principle: public office is a public trust </li></ul>
    4. 4. Enforcing Accountability <ul><li>Sandiganbayan </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-Graft Court </li></ul><ul><li>Ombudsman </li></ul><ul><li>Public prosecutor </li></ul>
    5. 5. Ombudsman <ul><li>Similar requirements as a judge </li></ul><ul><li>At least 10 years legal practitioner/judge </li></ul><ul><li>7-Year term (no reappointment) </li></ul><ul><li>May not run for public office immediately following the end of the term </li></ul>
    6. 6. Impeachment <ul><li>Impeachment refers to a political process whereby the activities of public officials are brought under scrutiny </li></ul><ul><li>Consequences (if successful): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Removal from office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ban on holding future office </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Impeachable Officials <ul><li>President </li></ul><ul><li>Vice President </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court Members </li></ul><ul><li>Ombudsman </li></ul><ul><li>Members of the Constitutional Commissions </li></ul>
    8. 8. Impeachment: Grounds <ul><li>Culpable violation of the Constitution </li></ul><ul><li>Treason </li></ul><ul><li>Bribery </li></ul><ul><li>Graft and Corruption </li></ul><ul><li>Betrayal of the Public Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Other high crimes… </li></ul>
    9. 9. Impeachment Process <ul><li>Complaint is filed in the House of Representatives </li></ul><ul><li>Complaint is referred to the appropriate committee </li></ul>
    10. 10. Impeachment Process <ul><li>1/3 of all House members must vote to affirm or override the complaint </li></ul><ul><li>Verified complaint becomes the articles of impeachment; transmitted to Senate for trial </li></ul>
    11. 11. Impeachment Process <ul><li>In cases where the President is being impeached, the Chief Justice (SC) shall preside but cannot vote </li></ul><ul><li>Conviction: 2/3 of all senate members </li></ul>
    12. 12. Other Provisions <ul><li>The state has the right to recover unlawfully acquired property from public officials </li></ul><ul><li>Public officials may not benefit from financial accommodations during their tenure </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosure of assets and liabilities </li></ul>
    13. 13. -end-
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