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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-5527. December 22, 1910. ]

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARTIN OCAMPO, TEODORO M. KALAW, LOPE K. SANTOS, FIDEL A. REYES, and FAUSTINO AGUILAR, Defendants-Appellants.

Felipe Agoncillo, Felix Ferrer, Fernando Salas, Roberto Moreno, and Ramon Diokno for Appellants.

Solicitor-General Harvey for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; "PRELIMINARY EXAMINATIONS," CITY OF MANILA; PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION SUBSTITUTED. — Under the procedure adopted by law for the city of Manila, the defendant procedure adopted by law for the city of Manila, the defendant in a criminal action is not entitled, as a matter of right, to the preliminary examination provided for in General Orders, no. 58, its place being taken by the preliminary investigation required to be made by the persecuting attorney for the city.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; DUTY AND AUTHORITY OF THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY. — The prosecuting attorney for the city of Manila is presumed to be as competent to conduct a preliminary investigation as the average person designated by law to conduct a "preliminary examination" under the provisions of General Orders, No. 58. He is a sworn officer of the court, and the law imposes upon him the duty of making such investigations. For such purpose the legislature may designate whom it pleases within the judicial department.

3. ID.; ID.; WARRANTS OF ARREST; CONSTITUTIONALITY OF ACT NO. 612. — The Philippine Bill (Act of Congress of July 1, 1902) does not expressly require a "preliminary examination is a necessary step in the due process of law, or for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, Act No. 612, which provides that a defendant, in the city of Manila, shall not, as a matter of right, be entitled to this particular kind of an examination, can not be regarded as unconstitutional.

4. ID.; DUE PROCESS OF LAW. — "Due process of law" is not ironclad in its meaning. It does not necessarily mean a particular procedure. The National Government may adopt a procedure entirely different from that, but each State may adopt a procedure entirely different from that adopted by either the National Government or by sister States, provided always that the procedure adopted in each jurisdiction fully furnishes protection to life, liberty, and property. Hence, due process of law simply requires that the procedure adopted shall be followed. If the life, liberty, and property of the citizen is thereby fully protected, it will be held to be due process of law.

5. ID.; ID.; THEORY OF ISSUE OF WARRANTS OF ARREST; "PRIMA FACIE" EVIDENCE. — The Philippine Bill provides that no warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation. The question whether probable cause exists or not must depend upon the judgment and discretion of the magistrate issuing the warrant. It means that sufficient facts must be presented to the judge or magistrate to convince him, not that a particular person has committed the crime, but that there is probable cause for believing that the person whose arrest is sought committed the crime charged. The issuance of a warrant of arrest if prima facie evidence that there existed probable cause for believing that the person against whom the warrant is issued is guilty of the crime charged.

6. LIBEL AND SLANDER; LIABILITY OF PUBLISHERS OF BOOKS AND PERIODICALS. — Every author, or proprietor of any books, newspaper, or serial publication is chargeable with the publication of any words contained in any part of such book or number of each newspaper or serial as fully as if he were the author of the same. (Sec. 6, Act No. 277.)

7. ID.; TRUTH IN EVIDENCE; TRUTH, GOOD MOTIVES, AND JUSTIFIABLE ENDS MUST BE PROVEN. — The truth, in criminal prosecution for libel, may be given in evidence to the court, and if it appears that the matter charged as libelous is true and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends the defendant must be acquitted. But the truth, good motives, and justifiable ends must all be proven. (Sec. 4, Act No. 277.)

8. ID.; ID.; ATTEMPT TO PROVE TRUTH AND FAILURE TO DO SO; PENALTY. — An attempt to prove the truth of a libel and failure to do so is practically a repetition and republication of the libel, and justifies the imposition of a penalty higher than that imposed for the original libel.


D E C I S I O N


JOHNSON, J.:


On the 5th day of November, 1908, the Hon. L.M. Southworth, then acting prosecuting attorney for the city of Manila, presented in the Court of First Instance the following complaint:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The undersigned accuses Martin Ocampo, Teodoro M. Kalaw, Lope K. Santos, Fidel A. Reyes, and Faustino Aguilar of the crime of libel, committed as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"That on or about the 30th day of October, 1908, the said Martin Ocampo, Teodoro M. Kalaw, Lope K. Santos, Fidel A. Reyes, and Faustino Aguilar, and each of them, were the editors, proprietors, owners, directors, writers, managers, administrators, printers, and publishers, in the city of Manila, Philippine Islands, of a certain daily newspaper, known as ’El Renacimiento;’ that said newspaper was, on and about the 30th day of October, 1908, printed, edited, published, and circulated daily said defendants and each of them, in both the Spanish and Tagalog languages in the city of Manila, Philippine Islands; that on and about the 30th day of October, 1908, in the city of Manila, Philippine Islands, the said Martin Ocampo, Teodoro M. Kalaw, Lope K. Santos, Fidel A. Reyes, and Faustino Aguilar, and each of them, as editors, proprietors, owners, directors, administrators, writers, managers, printed, and publisher of the said newspaper, ’El Renacimiento,’ in the city of Manila, Philippine Island, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, feloniously, and with malicious intent to injure one Dean C. Worcester, who was at that time, and still is, a member of the Philippine Commission, and Secretary of the Interior of the Philippine Island, and with the malicious intent to impeach the honest, virtue, and reputation of the said Dean C. Worcester, both as a man and as an official of the Government of the Philippine Islands, and to expose the said Dean C. Worcester to public hatred, contempt, and ridicule, write, edit, print, and publish and circulate, and cause to be written, edited, printed, published, and circulated in a regular daily issue of said newspaper ’El Renacimiento,’ of the date of October 30, 1908, of and concerning the said Dean C. Worcester, a certain false, injurious, and malicious defamation and libel, tending to impeach the honesty, virtue, and reputation of the said Dean C. Worcester, and expose him, the said Dean C. Worcester, to public hatred, contempt, and ridicule; that the said libel was printed, published, and circulated in the Spanish language; that the said publication in the Spanish language was as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"‘Manila, 30 de Octubre de 1908.

[Editorial. ]

"‘AVES DE RAPIÑA.

"‘En la extension del globo, unos han nacido para comer y devorar, otros para ser comidos y devorados.

"‘Una y otra vez, estos ultimos se han agitado, tratando de rebelarse contra un orden de cosas en que son presa y pasto para la voracidad insaciable de los primeros. Alguna vez han tenido suerte ahuyentado lejos a los comedores y devoradores, pero en la mayor parte de las veces no se ha conseguido mas que un cambio de nombre o de plumaje.

"‘En todas las esferas de la creacion, la situacion es la misma, la relacion entre unos y otros es la que dictan el apetito y la fuerza para saciarlo a costa del projimo.

"‘Entre los hombres, es facilisimo observar el desarrollo de este fenomeno diario. Y por alguna razon psicologica los pueblos que se creen poderosos han tomado por emblema las criaturas mas fieras y mas dañidas: ora es le leon, ora el aguila o la serpiente. Unos lo han hecho por un secreto impulso de afinidad, otros por efecto de una simulacion, de vanidades infatuadas aparentando lo que no son ni pueden ser jamas.

"‘El aguila, simbolizando libertad y fuerza, es el ave que ha encontrado mas adeptos. Y los hombres, colectiva e individualmente, han querido copiar e imitar al ave mas rapaz, para triunfar en el saqueo de sus semejantes.

"‘Hay hombres que, ademas de ser aguilas, reunen en si las caracteristicas del buitre, del buho y del vampiro.

"‘Subiendo a las montañas de Benguet para clasificar y medir craneos de igorrotes y estudiarlos y civilizarlos y sorprender al vuelo, con ojo de ave de rapiña, dende se encuentran los grandes yacimientos del oro, la presa oculta entre los montes solitarios, para apropiarselos despues gracias afacilidades legales hechas y deshechas al antojo, pero siempre en beneficio propio.

"‘Autorizando a despecho de leyes y ordenanzas una mantanza ilegal de ganado enfermo, para sacar beneficio de la carne infecta y podrida que el mismo estaba obligado a condenar en virtud de su posicion oficial.

"‘Presentandose en todas las ocasiones con el ceño fruncido del sabio que consume su vida en los misterios del laboratorio de ciencia, cuando toda su labor cientifica se reduce a desecar insectos e importar huevas de peces como si los peces de este pais fueran menos nutritivos y menos ricos, de tal modo que valiera la pena de sustituirlos con especies venidas de otros climas.

"‘Dando un impulso admirable al descubrimiento de veneros de riqueza en Mindoro, en Mindanaw y demas puntos virgenes del Archipielago con el dinero del pueblo y con el pretexto de bien publico, cuando en rigor se trata de poseer todos los datos y la clave de la riqueza nacional en provecho personalisimo como se demuestra por la adquisicion de inmensas propiedades registradas con nombres ajenos.

"‘Promoviendo por medio de agentes y consocios secretos la venta a la ciudad de terrenos sin valor por cantidades fabulosas que los pardes de la ciudad no se atreven a rehusar por el temor de disgustar a quien va detras de la mocion, y que no rehusan por lo que les conviene.

"‘Patrocinando la concesion de hoteles en sitios terraplenados con la perspectiva de enormes utilidades, a expensas de la sangre del pais.

"‘Tales son las caracteristicas del hombre que es a la vez aguila que sorprende y devora, buitre que se solaza en las carnes muertas y putrefactas, buho que aparenta una omnisciencia petulante y vampiro que chupa en silencio la sangre de la victima hasta dejarle exangue.

"‘Estas aves de rapiña son las que triunfan. Su vuelo y su direccion jamas se ven detenidos.

"‘
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