If then President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was named a respondent in a Supreme Court (SC) case, his successor, President Rodrigo Duterte, additionally shouldn’t be excluded from any lawsuit below the protect of immunity.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), which represents a gaggle of militant leaders in search of the nullification of martial law over Mindanao, pointed this out in its memorandum submitted Monday (June 19) earlier than the SC.

The NULP stated “recent jurisprudence demonstrates that the High Court is not averse to settling constitutional issues despite the fact that a sitting president is named as respondent.”

It cited the petition filed earlier than the SC towards Disbursement Acceleration Program of Aquino who was additionally named as respondent.

“The Solicitor General then also prayed that Aquino be dropped as respondent, and the Court heard this issue on oral arguments and via memoranda. Ultimately, the case was decided, and the President’s act declared unconstitutional, with Aquino still as respondent,” the NUPL recounted.

The NUPL careworn that presidential immunity is “not a constitutional doctrine and, assuming that it is, it does not apply in a proceeding under Section 18.” Section 18 of the Constitution gives the ability of the President to declare martial law.

“Nowhere in the 1987 Constitution does it say that the President is immune from suit,” it stated.

“While such immunity was expressed in the 1973 Constitution, it was deleted by framers in 1986,” it added.

The petitioners NULP signify are Lumad chief Eufemia Campos Cullamat, KMP peasant chief Virgilio Lincuna, Ateliana Hijos of Gabriela, commerce union Roland Cobrado, Carl Antohny Olalo and Roy Jim Balanghig.

Source: politics.com.ph