Remember former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez? In March 2011, the House of Representatives voted to impeach her for betrayal of public trust.
Her case was then sent for trial to the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.
But days before her trial, she resigned from office, which the President accepted.
Because of her resignation, the Senate cancelled her trial.
But is it correct for the Senate to cancel an impeachment trial due to the resignation of an impeached public officer?
While there is no prohibition to this effect, it is preferred for the Senate to proceed with the trial.
Why? In order to know the truth, which is important, because, if innocent, she should be acquitted, and, if guilty, she should be convicted.
Above all, if guilty, for her to surely suffer all the penalties fixed for impeachment.
Bear in mind that the penalty for impeachment is not only removal from office.
It also includes disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines.
[References: Section 2 and Section 3(7) of Article XI (Accountability of Public Officers) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution]