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OCAMPO V. UNITED STATES, 234 U. S. 91 (1914)

U.S. Supreme Court

Ocampo v. United States, 234 U.S. 91 (1914)

Ocampo v. United States

No. 270

Argued March 12, 13, 1914

Decided May 25, 1914

234 U.S. 91


Section 2 of Act No. 612 of the Philippine Commission of February 3, 1903, providing that in cases triable before the Court of First Instance in the City of Manila the accused should not be entitled as of right to a preliminary examination in any case in which the prosecuting attorney after due investigation shall have presented an information against him, necessarily operated to repeal inconsistent provisions previously in force in the City of Manila.

The Philippine Bill of Rights, as contained in § 5 of the Act of July 1, 1902, contains no specific requirement, such as is contained in the Fifth Amendment, of a presentment or indictment by grand jury, nor is such a requirement included within the guaranty of due process of law.

The guaranty of equal protection of the law in the Philippine Bill of Rights does not require territorial uniformity. It is not violated if all persons within the territorial limits of their respective jurisdictions are treated equally.

Section 2 of Act No. 612 is not in conflict with that paragraph of § 5 of the Act of July 1, 1902, which provides that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation; a preliminary

Page 234 U. S. 92

investigation by the prosecuting attorney upon which he files a sworn information is a compliance with such provision.

A finding of probable cause for arrest by a prosecuting attorney is only quasi-judicial, and a statute, otherwise valid, is not invalidated by delegating the duty of investigation to a prosecuting attorney.

On the evidence in this case, the trial court properly held that the defendant was, under the law of the Philippine Islands, the responsible proprietor of the newspaper which published the libel on which the prosecution was based.

The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands is not confined to errors of law, but extends to a review of the whole case. It has power to reverse the judgment of the Court of First Instance in a criminal case and find the accused guilty of a higher crime and increase the sentence. Trono v. United States, 19 U. S. 521.

18 Phil. 1 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the validity of a judgment of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands in a prosecution for criminal libel and the validity of Act No. 612 of the Philippine Commission, are stated in the opinion.

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