Crimes Against Popular Representations
Crimes Against Legislative Bodies
1. Acts tending to prevent the meeting of Congress, constitutional commissions and local legislative bodies under Article 143.
A).The act punished is the prevention of the meeting by force or fraud. If the force results to physical injuries or damage to property, or if the fraud consists of falsification of documents, these are complexed with violation of Article 143.
B). The meeting includes the committees or sub committees or divisions of the legislative bodies. If it is a meeting of congress, the accused may further be subjected to Congressional Contempt. Local legislative bodies do not have the inherent right to punish for contempt. This right must be expressly given by law.
C). The offenders are any persons.
D). Examples: barricading the entrance to Congress; or sending letters to the committee members that the meeting is postponed by falsifying the signature of the committee chairman.
E). If by the use of force, these must be no public uprising else the crime is sedition
2. Disturbance of Proceedings Under Article 144. This includes:
A. Actual disturbance of the meetings of congress, local legislative bodies and their committees or sub committees. Example: cutting off the electric power; noise barrage
B. Behaving in any manner as to disturb the proceedings: such as singing, farthing; loud laughter; (what about sending of a shut-up note?)
3. Violation of Parliamentary Immunity under Article 145.
A). This is the crime committed by an person who arrests a member of congress while congress is in session unless it is for an offense punishable by more than 6 years of imprisonment.
B. Members of congress enjoy immunity form arrest while congress is in session. Presumably this is to enable them to attend to their legislative duties. They cannot therefore be arrested unless it is for a crime punishable by more than 6 years imprisonment.
C).This privilege attaches to the legislator by virtue of his office and is enjoyed by him even if he is not actually joining the sessions of congress.
D). The immunity form arrest covers both warrantless arrest and arrest by virtue of a warrant. They include offenses committed prior to his election.
E). Session refers to the year long regular session or special session and not the day-to-day session.