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IN RE CUNANAN

94 PHIL. 534

FACTS:

Congress passed Rep. Act No. 972, or what is known as the Bar Flunkers Act, in 1952. The title of the
law was, An Act to Fix the Passing Marks for Bar Examinations from 1946 up to and including 1955.

Section 1 provided the following passing marks:

1946-195170%

1952 .71%

1953..72%

1954..73%

1955..74%

Provided however, that the examinee shall have no grade lower than 50%.

Section 2 of the Act provided that A bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75% in any subject shall
be deemed to have already passed that subject and the grade/grades shall be included in the
computation of the general average in subsequent bar examinations.

ISSUE:

Whether of not, R.A. No. 972 is constitutional.

RULING:

Section 2 was declared unconstitutional due to the fatal defect of not being embraced in the
title of the Act. As per its title, the Act should affect only the bar flunkers of 1946 to 1955 Bar
examinations. Section2 establishes a permanent system for an indefinite time. It was also struck
down for allowing partial passing, thus failing to take account of the fact that laws and jurisprudence
are not stationary.

As to Section1, the portion for 1946-1951 was declared unconstitutional, while that for 1953 to
1955 was declared in force and effect. The portion that was stricken down was based under the
following reasons:

The law itself admits that the candidates for admission who flunked the bar from 1946 to 1952
had inadequate preparation due to the fact that this was very close to the end of World War II;

The law is, in effect, a judgment revoking the resolution of the court on the petitions of the
said candidates;
The law is an encroachment on the Courts primary prerogative to determine who may be
admitted to practice of law and, therefore, in excess of legislative power to repeal, alter and
supplement the Rules of Court. The rules laid down by Congress under this power are only minimum
norms, not designed to substitute the judgment of the court on who can practice law; and

The pretended classification is arbitrary and amounts to class legislation.

As to the portion declared in force and effect, the Court could not muster enough votes to
declare it void. Moreover, the law was passed in 1952, to take effect in 1953. Hence, it will not
revoke existing Supreme Court resolutions denying admission to the bar of an petitioner. The same
may also rationally fall within the power to Congress to alter, supplement or modify rules of
admission to the practice of law.