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PAUL JOSEPH WRIGHT vs. CA, G.R. No. 113213 August 15, 1994
Australia and the Government of the Philippines in the suppression of crime, entered into a Treaty of Extradition on the 7th of March 1988. The said treaty was ratified in accordance with the provisions of Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution in a Resolution adopted by the Senate on September 10, 1990 and became effective 30 days after both States notified each other in writing that the respective requirements for the entry into force of the Treaty have been complied with. Petitioner contends that the provision of the Treaty giving retroactive effect to the extradition treaty amounts to an ex post facto law which violates Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution.

ISSUE: Can an extradition treaty be applied retroactively?

HELD: Applying the constitutional principle, the Court has held that the prohibition applies only to criminal legislation which affects the substantial rights of the accused. This being so, there is no absolutely no merit in petitioner's contention that the ruling of the lower court sustaining the Treaty's retroactive application with respect to offenses committed prior to the Treaty's coming into force and effect, violates the Constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws. As the Court of Appeals correctly concluded, the Treaty is neither a piece of criminal legislation nor a criminal procedural statute. It merely provides for the extradition of persons wanted for prosecution of an offense or a crime which offense or crime was already committed or consummated at the time the treaty was ratified.

People vs. Lacson, G.R. 149453, October 7, 2003
Petitioner asserts that pursuant to a long line of jurisprudence and a long-standing judicial practice in applying penal law, Section 8, Rule 117 of the RRCP should be applied prospectively and retroactively without reservations, only and solely on the basis of its being favorable to the accused. He asserts that case law on the retroactive application of penal laws should likewise apply to criminal procedure, it being a branch of criminal law. The respondent insists that Section 8 was purposely crafted and included as a new provision to reinforce the constitutional right of the accused to a speedy disposition of his case. Accordingly, prospective application thereof would in effect give the petitioners more than two years from March 29, 1999 within which to revive the criminal cases, thus violating the respondent’s right to due process and equal protection of the law.
ISSUE: What is the time-bar rule? Being favorable to the accused , can the time-bar rule be applied retroactively?
The time-bar under the new rule was fixed by the Court to excise the malaise that plagued the administration of the criminal justice system for the benefit of the State and the accused; not for the accused only. The Court emphasized in its assailed resolution that: In the new rule in question, it has fixed a time-bar of one year or two years for the revival of criminal cases provisionally dismissed with the express consent of the accused and with a priori notice to the offended party. In fixing the time-bar, the Court balanced the societal interests and those of the accused for the orderly and speedy disposition of criminal cases with minimum prejudice to the State and the accused. It took into account the substantial rights of both the State and of the accused to due process. The Court believed that the time limit is a reasonable period for the State to revive provisionally dismissed cases with the consent of the accused and notice to the offended parties.
The Court agrees with the petitioners that to apply the time-bar retroactively so that the two-year period commenced to run on March 31, 1999 when the public prosecutor received his copy of the resolution of Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissing the criminal cases is inconsistent with the intendment of the new rule. Instead of giving the State two years to revive provisionally dismissed cases, the State had considerably less than two years to do so.

Chavez vs. COMELEC , GR 162777, Aug 31, 2004
Petitioner seeks to enjoin the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from enforcing Section 32 of its Resolution No. 6520. He claims that said section in the nature of an ex post facto law. He urges this Court to believe that the assailed provision makes an individual criminally liable for an election offense for not removing such advertisement, even if at the time the said advertisement was exhibited, the same was clearly legal.

ISSUE: Is Sec. 32 of COMELEC Res. No. 6520 in the nature of an ex post facto law?

HELD: NO. Section 32, although not penal in nature, defines an offense and prescribes a penalty for said offense. Laws of this nature must operate prospectively, except when they are favorable to the accused. It should be noted, however, that the offense defined in the assailed provision is not the putting up of "propaganda materials such as posters, streamers, stickers or paintings on walls and other materials showing the picture, image or name of a person, and all advertisements on print, in radio or on television showing the image or mentioning the name of a person, who subsequent to the placement or display thereof becomes a candidate for public office." Nor does it prohibit or consider an offense the entering of contracts for such propaganda materials by an individual who subsequently becomes a candidate for public office. One definitely does not commit an offense by entering into a contract with private parties to use his name and image to endorse certain products prior to his becoming a candidate for public office. The offense, as expressly prescribed in the assailed provision, is the non-removal of the described propaganda materials three (3) days after the effectivity of COMELEC Resolution No. 6520. If the candidate for public office fails to remove such propaganda materials after the given period, he shall be liable under Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code for premature campaigning. Indeed, nowhere is it indicated in the assailed provision that it shall operate retroactively. There is, therefore, no ex post facto law in this case.

Republic vs. Eugenio, GR 176429, Feb 14, 2008

Lilia Cheng argues that the AMLA, being a substantive penal statute, has no retroactive effect and the bank inquiry order could not apply to deposits or investments opened prior to the effectivity of Rep. Act No. 9164, or on 17 October 2001. Thus, she concludes, her subject bank accounts, opened between 1989 to 1990, could not be the subject of the bank inquiry order lest there be a violation of the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws.

ISSUE: Can the AMLA bank inquiry order be applied into records of transactions entered into prior to the passage of the AMLA?
HELD: No ex post facto law may be enacted, and no law may be construed in such fashion as to permit a criminal prosecution offensive to the ex post facto clause. As applied to the AMLA, it is plain that no person may be prosecuted under the penal provisions of the AMLA for acts committed prior to the enactment of the law on 17 October 2001. As much was understood by the lawmakers since they deliberated upon the AMLA, and indeed there is no serious dispute on that point.


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