Late Sen. Miriam Santiago: "An omission in good faith in SALN carries light penalty, not impeachable"

The Constitution provides that the impeachable offenses are “culpable violation of the Constitution,treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes or betrayal of public trust."

An omission in good faith in the SALN carries a light penalty. It is even allowed by law to be corrected by the person who submitted it. Thus, it is not impeachable because it is not in the same class as the offenses enumerated in the Constitution. If we disregard this rule of ejusdem generis ,then we can interpret the law to mean anything as long as the enumeration of specific words is followed by a general word.
The Constitution simply provides that the public officer shall submit a declaration under oath of hisassets, liabilities, and net worth. I am quoting the Constitution. That is all. There are no details. TheConstitution is a brief declaration of fundamental principles. Many constitutional provisions are onlycommands to the Congress to enact laws, to carry out the purpose of the Charter. As a general rule,constitutional provisions are not self-executory. Hindi naman puwede na basahin mo ang Constitution na para ka bang nagbasa ng diyaryo, tapos kanya-kanya kayo ng interpretasyon. Hindi ganuoniyon. Kaya nga mayroon tayong constitutional law, which is said to be the most difficult subject topass in the entire College of Law.


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