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Expost Facto Notes

Expost Facto Notes

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Published by Boom Manuel-Bayani

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Published by: Boom Manuel-Bayani on Mar 02, 2013
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Ch 15.

“No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.”

Ex post facto laws – operates retroactively to affect antecedent facts by making a previous act criminal although it was not so at the time it was committed Kinds of Ex Post Facto Laws 1. Every law that MAKES CRIMINAL an act done before the passage of the law and w/c was innocent when done, and punishes such an act;  Law passed in 2012 raising the age of seduction from 18 to 25yrs, effective 2011 2. Every law that AGGRAVATES a crime, or makes it greater that it was when committed;  Law passed in 2012 designating the crime of homicide through reckless imprudence as murder, effective 2011 3. Every law that CHANGES PUNISHMENT and inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime when committed;  Law passed in 2012 increasing the penalty for libel from PC to PM effective 2011 4. Every law that alters the legal RULES OF EVIDENCE, and receives less or different testimony than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense, in order to convict the offender;  Law passed in 2012 requiring for conviction mere preponderance of evidence instead of proof beyond reasonable doubt, effective 2011 5. Every law w/c, assuming to regulate civil rights and remedies only, in effect imposes a PENALTY or the DEPRIVATION OF A RIGHT for something w/c when done was lawful;  law passed in 2012 depriving professionals the R to practice for failure/refusal to vote, effective 2011 6. Every law w/c DEPRIVES persons accused of crime some LAWFUL PROTECTION to w/c they have become entitled, such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of amnesty  Law passed in 2012 lengthening the period for prescription of blackmail from 5 to 10 yrs effective 2011 Characteristics: An ex post facto law must: 1. Refer to CRIMINAL matters; 2. Be RETROACTIVE in its application; 3. To the PREJUDICE of the accused - Even if the law be penal and retroactive, it will still not be ex post facto if it does not operate to the disadvantage of the accused  Suspending the privilege of the writ of HCnot expost facto; not a statute w/in the contemplation of the ex post facto provision

Bayot v Sandiganbayan: a law amending RA3019 provided for the suspension pendente lite of any public officer/ee accused of offenses involving fraudulent use of public funds/property, including those charged earlier is NOT ex post facto even if applied retroactively because the suspension was NOT punitive but merely preventive.  US v Gomez Coronel: an information for adultery filed by the prosecutor was dismissed by the SC on the ground that at the time of the commission of the offense, prosecution could be commenced ONLY on complaint of the offended spouse. The amendatory law permitting the prosecutor to initiate the charge was ex post facto.  P v Vilo: SC sustained the retroactive application to the accused of an amendatory law allowing affirmation of the death sentence by only 8 justices although unanimity was required when the crime was committed by the defendant. not ex post facto, merely procedural  P v Ferrer: the SC rejected the argument that the AntiSubversion Act was unconsti on the ground that it punished past membership in the Communist Party and other similarly-oriented orgs. It declared that the prohibition applied only “to acts committed ‘after the approval of this Act.’ Only those who ‘knowingly, willfully and by overt acts affiliate themselves with, become or remain members of the Communist Party of the PH and/or its successors or of any subversive assoc.’ after June 20,1957, are punished. Those who were members of the Party or of any other subversive assoc at the time of the enactment of the law were given the opportunity of purging themselves of liability by renouncing in writing and under oath their membership in the Party. The law expressly provides that such renunciation shall operate to exempt such persons from penal liability. Rodriguez v Sandiganbayan: PD 1606 creating Sandiganbayan is not ex post facto notwithstanding the petitioner’s claim that he and his witnesses, who were living in CDO, would be incurring tremendous expenses in coming to and from his trial in Manila. The disadv or inconvenience was only “limited and unsubstantial” Bill of Attainder – doubly objectionable because of its ex post facto feature. If a statute is a bill of attainder, it is also an ex post facto law. But if it is an ex post facto law, the reasons that establish that is not are persuasive that it cannot be a bill of attainder. Characteristics of a Bill of Attainder - It is a legislative act that inflicts punishment without trial. - It necessarily applies to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such way as to inflict punishment on them w/o a judicial trial.

 P v Ferrer: the lower court had declared the Anti-

Subversion Act as a bill of attainder because it pronounced “the guilt of the Communist Party of the PH w/o any of the forms or safeguards of judicial trial.” BUT

the SC reversed, holding that “when the Act is viewed in its actual operation, it will be seen that it does not specify the Communist Party of the PH or the members thereof for the purpose of punishment. What it does is simply to declare the Party to be an organized conspiracy for the overthrow of the govt. the term “CPP” is used solely for definitional purposes. In fact, the Act applies not only to the Communist Party of the PH but also to “any other org having the same purpose and their successors.” The focus is not on individuals but on conduct.” Their guilt still has to be judicially established. The Govt has yet to prove at the trial that the accused joined the Party knowingly, willfully and by overt acts, and that they joined the Party, knowing its subversive character and w/ specific intent to further its basic objective of overthrowing the Govt by force, deceit and other illegal means and place the country under the control and domination of a foreign power. Garner v Board of Pub Works of Los Angeles: an ordinace prohibited the employment by the City of LA of any person who during the past 5 yrs had been affiliated w/ the Communist Party. 17 people who were discharged for refusal to execute an affidavit relating to their affiliation/non-affiliation w/ the Party, challenged said ordinance. SC: Punishment is a requisite of a bill of attainder. In this case, there is no punishment imposed by a general regulation w/c merely provides standards of qualification and eligibility for employment.

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