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Soliven v Makasiar, 167 SCRA 393 (1988) FACTS: Beltran is among the petitioners in this case.

He together with others was charged for libel by the president. Cory herself filed a complaintaffidavit against him and others. Makasiar averred that Cory cannot file a complaint affidavit because this would defeat her immunity from suit. He grounded his contention on the principle that a president cannot be sued. However, if a president would sue then the president would allow herself to be placed under the courts jurisdiction and conversely she would be consenting to be sued back. Also, considering the functions of a president, the president may not be able to appear in court to be a witness for herself thus she may be liable for contempt. ISSUE: Whether or not the President, under the Constitution, may initiate criminal proceedings against the petitioners through the filing of a complaint-affidavit? HELD: The rationale for the grant to the President of the privilege of immunity from suit is to assure the exercise of Presidential duties and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holders time, also demands undivided attention. But this privilege of immunity from suit, pertains to the President by virtue of the office and may be invoked only by the holder of the office; not by any other person in the Presidents behalf. Thus, an accused like Beltran et al, in a criminal case in which the President is complainant cannot raise the presidential privilege as a defense to prevent the case from proceeding against such accused. Moreover, there is nothing in our laws that would prevent the President from waiving the privilege. Thus, if so minded the President may shed the protection afforded by the privilege and submit to the courts jurisdiction. The choice of whether to exercise the privilege or to waive it is solely the Presidents prerogative. It is a decision that cannot be assumed and imposed by any other person.

WHEREFORE finding no grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction on the part of the public respondents, the court resolved to DISMISS the petitions.