THE fundamental laws of the Philippines on impeachment are found in Article XI of its Constitution. Since the provisions of Article XI on Impeachment are essentially patterned after the US Constitution, reference on the latter's text and practice would be helpful in the proper construction of the former.
In the American context, "impeachment" technically refers to the House of Representative's action of stating charges against a public official, and not the actual act of removal. A public official is "impeached", strictly speaking, once the House of Representatives approves an Article of Impeachment, thereby making him subject to Senate trial. In its broad sense, however, the term would refer to the entire process of impeachment, trial and removal. The process roughly resembles a grand jury inquest, conducted by the House, followed by a fullblown trial conducted by the Senate with the Chief Justice presiding.
Impeachment represents the most powerful check and balance constitutionally granted to the legislative branch.
The process of impeachment is …