G.R. Nos. L-32613-14 December 27, 1972
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
HON. SIMEON. FERRER (in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Tarlac, Branch I), FELICIANO CO alias LEONCIO CO alias "Bob," and NILO S. TAYAG alias Romy Reyes alias "Taba," respondents. Solicitor R. Mutuc for respondent Feliciano Co.
Jose W. Diokno for respondent Nilo Tayag.
I. Statement of the Case
Posed in issue in these two cases is the constitutionality of the Anti-Subversion Act, 1 which outlaws 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. On March 5, 1970 a criminal complaint for violation of section 4 of the Anti-Subversion Act was filed against the respondent Feliciano Co in the Court of First Instance of Tarlac. On March 10 Judge Jose C. de Guzman conducted a preliminary investigation and, finding aprima facie case against Co, directed the Government prosecutors to file the corresponding information. The twice-amended information, docketed as Criminal Case No. 27, recites: That on or about May 1969 to December 5, 1969, in the Municipality of Capas, Province of Tarlac, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, feloniously became an officer and/or ranking leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines, an outlawed and illegal organization aimed to overthrow the Government of the Philippines by means of force, violence, deceit, subversion, or any other illegal means for the purpose of establishing in the Philippines a totalitarian regime and placing the government under the control and domination of an alien power, by being an instructor in the Mao Tse Tung University, the training school of recruits of the New People's Army, the military arm of the said Communist Party of the Philippines. That in the commission of the above offense, the following aggravating circumstances are present, to wit: (a) That the crime has been committed in contempt of or with insult to public authorities; (b) That the crime was committed by a band; and afford impunity. (c) With the aid of armed men or persons who insure or afford impunity. Co moved to quash on the ground that the Anti-Subversion Act is a bill of attainder. Meanwhile, on May 25, 1970, another criminal complaint was filed with the same court, sharing the respondent Nilo Tayag and five others with subversion. After preliminary investigation was had, an information was filed, which, as amended, reads: The undersigned provincial Fiscal of Tarlac and State Prosecutors duly designated by the Secretary of Justice to collaborate with the Provincial Fiscal of Tarlac, pursuant to the Order dated June 5, above entitled case, hereby accuse Nilo S. Tayag, alias Romy Reyes alias TABA, ARTHUR GARCIA, RENATO (REY) CASIPE, ABELARDO GARCIA, MANUEL ALAVADO, BENJAMIN BIE alias COMMANDER MELODY and several JOHN DOES, whose identities are still unknown, for violation of REPUBLIC ACT No. 1700, otherwise known as the Anti-Subversion Law, committed as follows: That in or about March 1969 and for some time prior thereto and thereafter, in the Province of Tarlac, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, and elsewhere in the Philippines, the above-named accused knowingly, willfully and by overt acts organized, joined and/or remained as offices and/or ranking leaders, of the KABATAANG MAKABAYAN, a subversive organization as defined in Republic Act No. 1700; that BENJAMIN BIE and COMMANDER MELODY, in addition thereto, knowingly, willfully and by over acts joined and/or remained as a member and became an officer and/or ranking leader not only of the Communist Party of the Philippines but also of the New People's Army, the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines; and that all the...