People v Ferrer; G.R. Nos. L-32613-14; 27 Dec 1972; 43 SCRA 381

FACTS:
Private respondents were among those charged with violations of the Anti-Subversion Act which outlawed the Communist Party of the Philippines and other “subversive associations,” and punishes any person who “knowingly, willfully and by overt acts affiliates himself with, becomes or remains a member” of the Party or of any other similar “subversive” organization. Respondent judge ruled that Act as unconstitutional for being a bill of attainder.

ISSUE(S):
Whether or not the Act is indeed a bill of attainder.

RULING:
NO. It is only when a statute applies either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial does it become a bill of attainder. It is also necessary that the statute must apply retroactively and reach past conduct in order that it may fall within the ambit of the prohibition against bills of attainder.

Questioned resolution is SET ASIDE. The two cases are REMANDED to the court a quo for trial on the merits.

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Category: Legal Chyme

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