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Philosophy of Law

1) a. What is R.A.1700 all about?
b. What is the status of this RA 1700.
c. Are you in favor of it?
Explain and give example.
a. Republic Act 1700 is known as the Anti-Subversion Act. It was enacted in the Philippines on June
20, 1957. Its primary objective was to combat and suppress activities perceived as subversive or
rebellious against the government, especially those associated with the Communist Party of the
Philippines (CPP) and related organizations. This law declares them illegal and outlawed, and mere
membership in these organizations is prohibited. Penalties, including imprisonment and fines,
were established for individuals found guilty of violating the law, targeting both leaders and
members of the proscribed organizations. Additionally, the government was empowered to ban
publications, documents, or materials associated with subversive organizations. The law also
introduced a presumption of guilt for individuals found in possession of such materials, placing
the burden of proof on the accused to demonstrate their innocence.
This law was expanded through Presidential Decree (PD) 885 in 1976 and PD 1835 in 1981. These
decrees criminalized affiliation with a group and participation in activities aimed at overthrowing
the government with foreign support. However, during President Corazon Aquino's
administration, Executive Order 167 in 1987 was issued, repealing PDs 1835 and 1975, and
reviving RA 1700.
b. Republic Act 1700 was repealed by Republic Act 7636 in 1992. Subversion is no longer considered
a criminal offense under the current legal framework. The focus has shifted towards addressing
related concerns through different approaches, including rehabilitation for former rebels and a
whole-of-nation approach that is implemented through National Task Force to End Local
Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to achieve inclusive and sustainable peace, as outlined in
Executive Order 70 signed by President Duterte in 2018.
c. No, I am not in favor of Republic Act 1700 because first, it infringes upon the basic right to freedom
of association. We individuals should have the right to join or support political or social
organizations of our choice without fear of criminalization. Second, is that this law restricts our
freedom of expression by allowing the government to ban publications and materials associated
with such organizations. I believe that healthy democracy requires open discourse and the free
exchange of ideas. Third, is that historically this law was used to suppress political dissent and
there are instances where individuals advocating for political or social change were targeted and
prosecuted under the guise of combating subversion. Fourth, the presumption of guilt this law has
introduced placed an undue burden on individuals found in possession of materials linked to
subversive organizations to prove their innocence, wherein in fact it should have been
prosecution’s duty to prove the guilt and individuals must enjoy the presumption of innocence in
the face of law. Finally, this law is very much outdated and has already been repealed and as you
can see, the repeal reflects a recognition of changing political landscapes of our country and it
acknowledges that such legislation may not be conducive to a democratic and open society.
2. Why was it said that "the failure of Marxism in solving Tyranny and poverty was largely due to its theory
that a state must be governed only by a single unified party?
It is said "the failure of Marxism in solving tyranny and poverty was largely due to its theory that a state
must be governed only by a single unified party" stems from the inherent characteristics of MarxistLeninist political systems, where a single party holds monopoly power. For example, in Philippine context,
reflected in our historical events, particularly during the martial law period under President Ferdinand
Marcos. While Marcos did not strictly adhere to Marxist principles, his regime centralized power within a
single-party system, which is the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement), the ruling political
organization. This concentration of power led to limited political pluralism, with opposition parties
suppressed or marginalized. The authoritarian rule during martial law was marked by human rights abuses,
political repression, and economic challenges. Therefore, the lack of political diversity and the
concentration of power to single authority hindered our country's ability to address issues such as poverty
and eventually led to a period of authoritarian governance which became the darkest era of our history.