In Re Gonzales; A.M. No. 88-4-5433; 15 Apr 1988; 160 SCRA 771

FACTS:
Special Prosecutor Raul Gonzales forwarded to Justice Marcelo Fernan an anonymous letter-complaint together with a telegram of Miguel Cuenco in relations to the disbarment charges against the justice.

ISSUE(S):
Whether or not a member of the Supreme Court may be disbarred during his term of office.

HELD:
NO. A public officer who under the Constitution is required to be a member of the Philippine bar as a qualification for the office held by him and who may be removed from office only by impeachment, cannot be charged with disbarment during the incumbency of such public officer. Such public officer, during his incumbency, cannot be charged criminally with any offense which carries with it the penalty of removal from office, or any penalty service of which would amount to removal from office.

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Category: Legal Chyme

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