Legal Questions

What is the presidential immunity from suit?

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Presidential Immunity From Suit

In the 1973 Constitution, Sec 17, Art 7 thereof provides:

The President shall be immune from suit during his tenure. Thereafter, no suit shall lie for official acts done by him or by others pursuant to his specific orders during his tenure.

The above provision has been omitted in the 1987 Constitution. The logic behind is that there is no need to constitutionally provide such because it is inherent in the president’s position. Note however that there are restrictions and limitations.

In US jurisprudence, the president is immune from suit only in so far as the involved case is civil in nature which is done under the performance of his official functions.

In the case of Estrada vs Desierto, the SC ruled that Estrada cannot cloak himself with presidential immunity to protect himself from criminal liability after his tenure especially so when the acts he committed include the heinous crime of plunder. The SC will not allow such to be used as a license by a president to commit unlawful acts and unlawful omissions.

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