Estrada v. Desierto

Facts: In the trial of former President Estrada for plunder, he claimed presidential immunity from suit, since he was not convicted in the impeachment proceedings.

Issue: WON Estrada is immune from suit.

Ruling: Negative. The impeachment trial of Estrada was aborted by events which led to his loss of the presidency. Senate had already declared the trial in functus officio. If impeachment proceedings have become moot because of the resignation of the president, he can already be sued.

From the ruling: "What is held here is that he will be protected from personal liability for damages not only when he acts within his authority, but also when he is without authority, provided he actually used discretion and judgement, that is, the judicial faculty, in determining whether he had authority to act or not. In other words, he is entitled to protection in determining the question of his authority."