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Case Digest on People v. Jalosjos

November 10, 2010


324 SCRA 689

FACTS:  While his appeal from a conviction of rape is pending, the accused, a Congressman was confined at the national penitentiary.  Since he was reelected to his position, he argued that he should be allowed to attend the legislative sessions and committee hearings, because his confinement was depriving his constituents of their voice in Congress.

HELD:  Election to high government office does free accused from the common restraints of general law.  Under Section II, Article VI of the Constitution, a member of the House of Rep is privileged from arrest only if offense is punishable by not more than 6 years imprisonment.  Confinement of a congressman charged with a crime punishable by more than 6 years has constitutional foundations.  If allowed to attend the congressional sessions, the accused would be virtually made a free man.  When he was elected into office, the voters were aware of his limitations on his freedom of action.  Congress can continue to function even without all its members being present.  Election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement.

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