G.R. No. 96681 December 2, 1991 HON. ISIDRO CARIÑO, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Education, Culture & Sports, DR.

ERLINDA LOLARGA, in her capacity as Superintendent of City Schools of Manila, petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, GRACIANO BUDOY, JULIETA BABARAN, ELSA IBABAO, HELEN LUPO, AMPARO GONZALES, LUZ DEL CASTILLO, ELSA REYES and APOLINARIO ESBER, respondents. NARVASA, J.:p The issue raised in the special civil action of certiorari and prohibition at bar, instituted by the Solicitor General, may be formulated as follows: where the relief sought from the Commission on Human Rights by a party in a case consists of the review and reversal or modification of a decision or order issued by a court of justice or government agency or official exercising quasi-judicial functions, may the Commission take cognizance of the case and grant that relief? Stated otherwise, where a particular subject-matter is placed by law within the jurisdiction of a court or other government agency or official for purposes of trial and adjudgment, may the Commission on Human Rights take cognizance of the same subject-matter for the same purposes of hearing and adjudication? The facts narrated in the petition are not denied by the respondents and are hence taken as substantially correct for purposes of ruling on the legal questions posed in the present action. These facts, 1 together with others involved in related cases recently resolved by this Court 2 or otherwise undisputed on the record, are hereunder set forth. 1. On September 17, 1990, a Monday and a class day, some 800 public school teachers, among them members of the Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) undertook what they described as "mass concerted actions" to "dramatize and highlight" their plight resulting from the alleged failure of the public authorities to act upon grievances that had time and again been brought to the latter's attention. According to them they had decided to undertake said "mass concerted actions" after the protest rally staged at the DECS premises on September 14, 1990 without disrupting classes as a last call for the government to negotiate the granting of demands had elicited no response from the Secretary of Education. The "mass actions" consisted in staying away from their classes, converging at the Liwasang Bonifacio, gathering in peaceable assemblies, etc. Through their representatives, the teachers participating in the mass actions were served with an order of the Secretary of Education to return to work in 24 hours or face dismissal, and a memorandum directing the DECS officials concerned to initiate dismissal proceedings against those who did not comply and to hire their replacements. Those directives notwithstanding, the mass actions continued into the week, with more teachers joining in the days that followed. 3

Among those who took part in the "concerted mass actions" were the eight (8) private respondents herein, teachers at the Ramon Magsaysay High School, Manila, who had agreed to support the non-political demands of the MPSTA. 4 2. For failure to heed the return-to-work order, the CHR complainants (private respondents) were administratively charged on the basis of the principal's report and given five (5) days to answer the charges. They were also preventively suspended for ninety (90) days "pursuant to Section 41 of P.D. 807" and temporarily replaced (unmarked CHR Exhibits, Annexes F, G, H). An investigation committee was consequently formed to hear the charges in accordance with P.D. 807. 5 3. In the administrative case docketed as Case No. DECS 90082 in which CHR complainants Graciano Budoy, Jr., Julieta Babaran, Luz del Castillo, Apolinario Esber were, among others, named respondents, 6 the latter filed separate answers, opted for a formal investigation, and also moved "for suspension of the administrative proceedings pending resolution by . . (the Supreme) Court of their application for issuance of an injunctive writ/temporary restraining order." But when their motion for suspension was denied by Order dated November 8, 1990 of the Investigating Committee, which later also denied their motion for reconsideration orally made at the hearing of November 14, 1990, "the respondents led by their counsel staged a walkout signifying their intent to boycott the entire proceedings." 7 The case eventually resulted in a Decision of Secretary Cariño dated December 17, 1990, rendered after evaluation of the evidence as well as the answers, affidavits and documents submitted by the respondents, decreeing dismissal from the service of Apolinario Esber and the suspension for nine (9) months of Babaran, Budoy and del Castillo. 8 4. In the meantime, the "MPSTA filed a petition for certiorari before the Regional Trial Court of Manila against petitioner (Cariño), which was dismissed (unmarked CHR Exhibit, Annex I). Later, the MPSTA went to the Supreme Court (on certiorari, in an attempt to nullify said dismissal, grounded on the) alleged violation of the striking teachers" right to due process and peaceable assembly docketed as G.R. No. 95445, supra. The ACT also filed a similar petition before the Supreme Court . . . docketed as G.R. No. 95590." 9 Both petitions in this Court were filed in behalf of the teacher associations, a few named individuals, and "other teacher-members so numerous similarly situated" or "other similarly situated public school teachers too numerous to be impleaded." 5. In the meantime, too, the respondent teachers submitted sworn statements dated September 27, 1990 to the Commission on Human Rights to complain that while they were participating in peaceful mass actions, they suddenly learned of their replacements as teachers, allegedly without notice and consequently for reasons completely unknown to them. 10 6. Their complaints — and those of other teachers also "ordered suspended by the . . . (DECS)," all numbering forty-

are hereby enjoined to appear and enlighten the Commission en banc on October 19. Otherwise. Nos. His motion to dismiss was submitted on November 14." It intends. and to bring with them any and all documents relevant to the allegations aforestated herein to assist the Commission in this matter. Culture and Sports." there had been a violation of their civil and political rights which the Commission was empowered to investigate. DECS 90-082. exercise jurisdiction over the following general issues: 1) whether or not the striking teachers were denied due process." it heard the complainants' counsel (a) explain that his clients had been "denied due process and suspended without formal notice.e. Through the Office of the Solicitor General. 95445 and 95590." 12 The Commission thereafter issued an Order 13 reciting these facts and making the following disposition: To be properly apprised of the real facts of the case and be accordingly guided in its investigation and resolution of the matter. . 7. The Court declares the Commission on Human Rights to have no such power. 1990. Striking Teachers HRC Case No. considering that these forty two teachers are now suspended and deprived of their wages. and sent a subpoena to Secretary Cariño requiring his attendance therein. the same issues which have been passed upon and decided by the Secretary of Education." 17 9. Nos. ." 16 and inter alia "ruling that it was prima facie lawful for petitioner Cariño to issue return-towork orders. 1990 at 11:00 A. Monteiro. certain specific type of cases." 14 8. . and unjustly. which they need very badly. The Commission on Human Rights has made clear its position that it does not feel bound by this Court's joint Resolution in G. whether or not. Cariño) received the subpoena which was served at his office. . Culture & Sports. 19 or even a quasijudicial agency.R. has commenced the present action of certiorari and prohibition. decreeing dismissal from the service of Apolinario Esber and the suspension for nine (9) months of Babaran. (the) Commission.e. viz." although it said that it was "not certain whether he (Sec. (it) are different from those in the case decided by the Supreme Court" (the reference being unmistakably to this Court's joint Resolution of August 6. in other words. school superintendent of Manila and the Principal of Ramon Magsaysay High School. preventively suspend them.M. i. Secretary Cariño sought and was granted leave to file a motion to dismiss the case. The threshold question is whether or not the Commission on Human Rights has the power under the Constitution to do so. . if still timely. if still timely. or the power to try and decide. supra). Dr. 90775. (and) with which causes they (CHR complainants) sympathize. It is to invalidate and set aside this Order of December 28. 1990 of Education Secretary Cariño in Case No. Erlinda Lolarga. Budoy and del Castillo. .R. "that the complaint states no cause of action and that the CHR has no jurisdiction over the case. (and) with which causes they (CHR complainants) sympathize. . they should not have been replaced without a chance to reply to the administrative charges. 95445 and 95590 dismissing the petitions "without prejudice to any appeals. 95445 and 95590. 1990. like a court of justice. Pending determination by the Commission of the motion to dismiss. this Court having in fact." In connection therewith the Commission scheduled a "dialogue" on October 11. proceeded to hear the case. to try and decide or hear and determine. or hear and determine. subject to appeal to the Civil Service Commission. supra. . of the Department of Education. 1991 in G. 1990 that the Solicitor General. and while expressing its "utmost respect to the Supreme Court ." 18 It held that the "striking teachers" "were denied due process of law. (after which) the Commission shall proceed to hear and resolve the case on the merits with or without respondents counter affidavit. determine with character of finality and definiteness. and Commissioners Hesiquio R." and (b) expatiate on the grievances which were "the cause of the mass leave of MPSTA teachers. The Commission evidently intends to itself adjudicate. . that the individual petitioners may take to the Civil Service Commission on the matters complained of. as aforestated.R. since they did not join the mass leave. 1991 in G. and 2) whether or not the grievances which were "the cause of the mass leave of MPSTA teachers.. and that it was not meant by the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this . file administrative charges against recalcitrants. declared that the teachers affected may take appeals to the Civil Service Commission on said matters. . as aforementioned.two (42) — were docketed as "Striking Teachers CHR Case No. the facts before .: a) The Decision dated December l7. and just cause exists for the imposition of administrative disciplinary sanctions on them by their superiors. that is to say. and issue decision on those charges. judgments affecting the "striking teachers" were promulgated in two (2) cases. Nos. In an Order dated December 28. Cariño's motion to dismiss and required him and Superintendent Lolarga "to submit their counter-affidavits within ten (10) days . in behalf of petitioner Cariño.. 1990 alleging as grounds therefor. Secretary Isidro Cariño. . the Commission will resolve the complaint on the basis of complainants' evidence. ." justify their mass action or strike. 20 it has jurisdiction or adjudicatory powers over. respondent Commission denied Sec. Mallilin and Narciso C. 90-775) on the merits. Manila. like alleged human rights violations involving civil or political rights. It has also made plain its intention "to hear and resolve the case (i. with the Chairman presiding. 15 and b) The joint Resolution of this Court dated August 6. 11 On the day of the "dialogue.

deciding or resolving a controversy involved in the facts inquired into by application of the law to the facts established by the inquiry. these terms have well understood and quite distinct meanings.country. As should at once be observed. receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political rights. to find out by careful inquisition." "investigation" being in turn describe as "(a)n administrative function. and (11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law. (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure. . research on. to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy. to learn.: to conduct an official inquiry. But fact finding is not adjudication. (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority. 22 The proposition is made clear by the constitutional provisions specifying the powers of the Commission on Human Rights. and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection. and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice. or even a quasijudicial agency or official. office. explore. to search into. judicial or otherwise. on its own or on complaint by any party. 26 But it cannot try and decide cases (or hear and determine causes) as courts of justice. . 24 Its powers and functions are the following 25 (1) Investigate." 28 "to inquire. and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court. cite for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court. The Constitution clearly and categorically grants to the Commission the power toinvestigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. or agency in the performance of its functions. a legal inquiry. (7) Monitor the Philippine Government's compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights. 23 Upon its constitution. To be considered such. . to make an investigation. of course. and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights. The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or observation. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function. it may grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth. It can exercise that power on its own initiative or on complaint of any person. education. in the conduct of its investigation or in extending such remedy as may be required by its findings. . or even quasi-judicial bodies do. means to examine. (5) Establish a continuing program of research. in cases of violations of said rules. The dictionary definition of "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire into systematically. the exercise of which ordinarily does not require a hearing. i. prisons. It may also request the assistance of any department. "Investigate. the taking of evidence. study. an inquiry. office. subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. as well as Filipinos residing abroad. . . or detention facilities. to repeat. The Commission was created by the 1987 Constitution as an independent office. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. properly speaking.. or their families. (9) Request the assistance of any department. It may exercise that power pursuant to such rules of procedure as it may adopt and." 29 . Whether in the popular or the technical sense. is to discover. To trace or track. inquire or delve or probe into. examination. to subject to an official probe . (6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights.e." commonly understood. 257. The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate. (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails. the faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively. or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter. or agency in the performance of its functions. finally and definitively. all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. for the discovery and collection of facts concerning a certain matter or matters. (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law. (3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines. to find out. "to search or inquire into: . . only the first of the enumerated powers and functions bears any resemblance to adjudication or adjudgment. bureau. it succeeded and superseded the Presidential Committee on Human Rights existing at the time of the effectivity of the Constitution." 27 The purpose of investigation. obtain information. To investigate is not to adjudicate or adjudge. 21 This function. bureau. In the course of any investigation conducted by it or under its authority. the Commission does not have. Nowhere included or intimated is the notion of settling.

if any. The dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights and duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: . In any event. It has no business intruding into the jurisdiction and functions of the Education Secretary or the Civil Service Commission. and also. Implies a judicial determination of a fact. converging at the Liwasang Bonifacio. or the power to try and decide. or civil or political rights had been transgressed. as it has announced it means to do." commonly or popularly understood. constitute infractions of relevant rules and regulations warranting administrative disciplinary sanctions.. To determine finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense. that would be the Civil Service Commission. No. like alleged human rights violations involving civil or political rights On September 17. . the petition is granted. 90-775) on the merits." SO ORDERED. some 800public school teachers. it would have no power anyway to reverse the Secretary's conclusions. a Monday and a class day. arbitrate. "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. . Reversal thereof can only by done by the Civil Service Commission and lastly by this Court. and (c) what where the particular acts done by each individual teacher and what sanctions. . the Order of December 29.e. 96681 Dec 2. and it cannot do so even if there be a claim that in the administrative disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in question.R. determine. and in the event of an adverse verdict. 1990 is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE."Adjudicate. 1991) Commission on Human Rights has no jurisdiction or adjudicatory powers over. The only thing the Commission can do." are matters which may be passed upon and determined through a motion for reconsideration addressed to the Secretary Education himself. having merely the power "to investigate. act as judge. settle or decree. . The Commission on Human Rights simply has no place in this scheme of things." and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially. . the Secretary of Education has. 90-775. or to sentence or condemn. . . rule on. among them members of the Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) undertook what they described as “mass concerted actions" to "dramatize and highlight"theirl i g h t r e s u l t i n g f r o m t h e a l l e g e d f a i l u r e o f t h e p u b l i c authorities to act upon grievances that had time and again been brought to the latter's attention. and return to their classes despite the order to this effect by the Secretary of Education. These are matters undoubtedly and clearly within the original jurisdiction of the Secretary of Education. certain specific type of cases. it is quite obvious that whether or not the conclusions reached by the Secretary of Education in disciplinary cases are correct and are adequately based on substantial evidence. and the respondent Commission on Human Rights and the Chairman and Members thereof are prohibited "to hear and resolve the case (i.e t c . means to adjudge. is to refer the matter to the appropriate Government agency or tribunal for assistance. may be reviewed by the Civil Service Commission and eventually the Supreme Court. resolve. More particularly. . gathering in peaceable assemblies. This would accord success to what may well have been the complaining teachers' strategy to abort. settle. This cannot be done." cannot and should not "try and resolve on the merits" (adjudicate) the matters involved in Striking Teachers HRC Case No. . 35 It cannot arrogate unto itself the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. and the entry of a judgment. and the failure of the teachers to discontinue those actions. Indeed. 34 Now. ." 32 Hence it is that the Commission on Human Rights. It has no business going over the same ground traversed by the latter and making its own judgment on the questions involved. . the Commission has no power to "resolve on the merits" the question of (a) whether or not the mass concerted actions engaged in by the teachers constitute and are prohibited or otherwise restricted by law. t h e t e a c h e r s participating in the mass actions were served with an order of the Secretary of Education to return to work in 24 hours or face dismissal. If its investigation should result in conclusions contrary to those reached by Secretary Cariño." 30 And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers: . frustrate or negate the judgment of the Education Secretary in the administrative cases against them which they anticipated would be adverse to them. to pass judgment on: settle judicially: . and even this Court itself has had occasion to pass upon said issues. their human rights. (b) whether or not the act of carrying on and taking part in those actions." 31 In the legal sense. It will not be permitted to be done. initiated and conducted by the DECS. if it concludes that Secretary Cariño was in error. and a memorandum directing t . within the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. T h r o u g h t h e i r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . the investigation by the Commission on Human Rights would serve no useful purpose. as above narrated. may properly be imposed for said acts or omissions. WHEREFORE. and whether or not the Secretary of Education had in truth committed "human rights violations involving civil and political rights. whether or not the proceedings themselves are void or defective in not having accorded the respondents due process. Cariño vs CHR (G. . decide. to award or grant judicially in a case of controversy . or hear and determine. or are justified by the grievances complained of by them. 1990. already taken cognizance of the issues and resolved them. being within the scope of the disciplinary powers granted to him under the Civil Service Law. The "mass actions “consisted in staying away from their classes. to decide. Striking Teachers HRC Case No. judge. 33 and it appears that appeals have been seasonably taken by the aggrieved parties to the Civil Service Commission.

or civil or political rights had been transgressed. Forf a i l u r e t o h e e d t h e r e t u r n t o w o r k o r d e r . No. initiated and conducted by the DECS. I n any event. It has no business going over the same ground traversed by the latter and making its own judgment on the questions involved. like alleged human rights violations involving civil or political rights Held: No. t h e C H R complainants (private r espondents) were administrativelycharged on the basis of the principal's report and given five(5) days to answer the charges.D.e. receive evidenceandm a k e f i n d i n g s o f f a c t a s r e g a r d s c l a i m e d h u m a n r i g h t s violations involving civil and political rights. or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. Reversal thereof can only be done by the Civil Service Commission and lastly by this Court. if it concludes that Secretary Cariño was in error. This function. 35 It cannot arrogate untoi t s e l f t h e a p p e l l a t e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h e C i v i l S e r v i c e Commission Simon vs. 807" and temporarily replaced. It has no business intruding into the jurisdiction and functions of the Education Secretary or the Civil Service Commission. and received by. and the failure of the teachers to discontinue those actions. of Quezon City to stop the demolition of the private respondents' stalls. The case eventually resulted in a Decision of Secretary Cariño dated December17. They were also preventively suspended for ninety (90) days "pursuant to Section 41 of P. and also. and (c) what where the particular acts done by each individual teacher and what sanctions. the group.. Hence itis that the Commission on Human Rights. i. On 12 July 1990. The only thing the Commission can do. Budoy and del Castillo. the respondents were given a grace-period of three (3) days (up to 12 July 1990) within which to vacate the questioned premises of North EDSA. 1994) CHR’s power to cite for contempt should be understood to apply only to violations of its adopted operational guidelines and rules of procedure essential to carry out its investigatory powers A "Demolition Notice. properly speaking. having merely the power "to investigate. or are justified by the grievances complained of by them. frustrate or negate the judgment of the Education Secretary in the administrative cases against them whic h t h e y anticipated would be adverse to them. and return to their classes despite the order tot h i s e f f e c t b y t h e S e c r e t a r y o f E d u c a t i o n . signed by Carlos Q u i m p o ( o n e o f t h e p e t i t i o n e r s ) i n h i s capacity as an Executive Officer of the Quezon City Integrated Hawkers Management Council under the Office of the City Mayor. To be considered such. Issue: WoN the Commission on Human Rights has jurisdiction or adjudicatory powers over. certain specific type of cases. if any.h e D E C S officials concerned to initiate dismissal proceedings against those who did not comply and to hire their replacements. to repeat. and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice. filed a letter-complaint (Pinag-samang SinumpaangSalaysay) with the CHR against the petitioners. Jr. is to refer the matter to the a p p r o p r i a t e Government agency or tribunal for assistance. that would be the Civil Service Commission. The Commission on Human Rights simply has no place in t h i s s c h e m e o f things. More particularly. rendered after evaluation of the evidence as well as the answers.s a r i - . CHR (G. 90-775. the private respondents were informed by petitioner Quimpo that their stalls should be removed to give way to the "People's Park". Incorporated). and it cannot do so even if there be a claim that in the administrative disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in question. I t w i l l n o t b e p e r m i t t e d t o b e d o n e . But fact finding is not adjudication. the Commission has no power to "resolve on the merits" the question of (a) whether or not the mass concerted actions engaged in by the teachers constitute and are prohibited or otherwise restricted by law. was sent to. the private respondents (being the officers and members of the North EDSA Vendors Association.. as it has announced it means to do. Prior to their receipt of the demolition notice. CHR have no power to do so.t h e f a c u l t y o f r e c e i v i n g e v i d e n c e a n d m a k i n g f a c t u a l conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or determinedauthoritatively.R. may properly be imposed for said acts or omissions. The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate. This would accord success to what may well have been the complaining teachers' strategy to abort.(b) whether or not the act of carrying on and taking part in those actions. These are matters undoubtedly and clearly within the original jurisdiction of the Secretary of Education. finally and definitively. This cannot be done. or hear and determine. affidavits and documents submitted by ther e s p o n d e n t s . it would have no power anyway to reverse the Secretary’s conclusions." cannot and should not " t r y a n d resolve on the merits" (adjudicate) the matters involved in Striking Teachers HRC Case No. asking the late CHR Chairman Mary Concepcion Bautista for a letter to be addressed to then Mayor Brigido Simon. 1990. In said notice. c o n s t i t u t e infractions of relevant rules and regulations warranting administrative disciplinary sanctions. within the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. their human rights." dated 9 July 1990. 100150 Jan 5. being within the scope of the disciplinary powers granted to him under the Civil Service Law. The function of receiving ev i d e n c e a n d ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function. led by their President Roque Fermo. d e c r e e i n g d i s m i s s a l f r o m t h e s e r v i c e o f Apolinario Esber and the suspension for nine (9) months of Babaran. or the power to try and decide. su bject to suchappeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. the investigation by the Commission on Human Rights would serve no useful purpose. If its investigation should result in conclusions contrary to those reached by Secretary Cariño. the Commission does not have.

sari stores. we are not prepared to conclude that the order for the demolition of thes t a l l s . and (6) otherc r i m e s c o m m i t t e d a g a i n s t t h e r e l i g i o u s . Held: a) Recalling the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. erected by private respondents on a land which is planned to be developed into a "People's Park". t a k i n g i n t o a c c o u n t i t s recommendation. there is no cavil that what are sought to be demolished are the stalls. more than just expressing a statement of priority. if it is. Delegate Garcia. ( 4 ) c a s e s o f disappearances. that "Congress may provide for other cases of violations of human rights that should fall within thea u t h o r i t y o f t h e C o m m i s s i o n . s a r i s a r i s t o r e s a n d c a r i n d e r i a o f t h e p r i v a t e respon dents can fall within the compartment of "human rights violations involving civil and political rights" intended by the Constitution) No. ( 3 ) f a i r a n d p u b l i c t r i a l s . and it imposed a fine of P500. Issue: Whether or not the CHR has jurisdiction: a) to investigate the alleged violations of the "business rights" of the private respondents whose stalls were demolished by the petitioners at the instance and authority given by the Mayor of Quezon City. its power "to cite or hold any person in direct or indirectcontempt." That power to cite for contempt. the delegates did not apparently take comfort in peremptorily making a conclusive delineation of the CHR's scope of investigatory jurisdiction. the land adjoins the North EDSA of Quezon City which. the CHR cited the petitioners in contempt for carryingo u t t h e d e m o l i t i o n o f t h e s t a l l s . the power to cite for contempt could be exercised against persons who refuse to cooperate with the said body. instead. the CHR is constitutionally authorized to "adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure. Be that as it may. or who decline to honor summons. is noti n v e s t i g a t o r i a l i n c h a r a c t e r b u t p r e s c i n d s f r o m a n adjudicative power that it does not possess . extant. it is readily apparent that the delegates envisioned a Commission on Human Rights that would focus its attention to the more severe cases of human rights violations. mentioned such areas as the "(1) protection of rights o f p o l i t i c a l detainees. on its contempt powers. " W h i l e t h e enumeration has not l i k e l y b e e n m e a n t t o h a v e a n y preclusive effect. looking at the standards hereinabove discoursed vis-a-vis the circumstances obtaining in this instance. T h e complaint was docketed as CHR Case No. this Court can take judicial notice of. directing the petitioners "to desist from demolishing the stalls and shanties at North EDSApending resolution of the vendors/squatters' co mplaint before the Commission" and ordering said petitioners to appear before the CHR. aforequoted. and carinderia along North EDSA." In the particular case at hand. and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court. (5) salvagings and hamletting. sari-sari stores and carinderia. in the first place. It is indeed paradoxical that a right which is claimed to have been violated is one that cannot. significant for the tone it has set. is a busy national highway. 90-1580. More than that. The consequent danger to life and limb is not thus to be likewise simply ignored. even be invoked. should be understood to apply only to violations of its adopted operational guidelines and rules of proceduree s s e n t i a l t o c a r r y o u t i t s i n v e s t i g a t o r i a l p o w e r s . the CHR issued an Order. On 23 July1990. however. the CHR acted within its authority in providing in its revised rules. in pursuing its investigative work." Accordingly. and the like. dated 25 September1990. and to impose the a p p r o p r i a t e p e n a l t i e s i n accordance with the procedure and sanctions provided for in t h e R u l e s of Court. nonetheless.00 each on the petitioners for contempt. or who unduly withhold relevant information. In an Order. (2) treatment of prisoners and the preventionof t o r t u r e s . in fact. The " o r d e r t o d e s i s t " ( a s e m a n t i c i n t e r p l a y f o r r est raining order) in the instance before us. In any event. They have thus seen it fit to resolve.00 on each of them. s a r i s a r i s t o r e s a n d carinderia despite the "order to desist". T o exemplify. as well as temporary shanties. for instance. however. b) to impose the fine of P500. it is.

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