G.R. No.

L-31195 June 5, 1973

PAGCU and RODULFO MUNSOD, petitioners,

L.S. Osorio & P.B. Castillo and J.C. Espinas & Associates for petitioners.

Demetrio B. Salem & Associates for private respondent.


The petitioner Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization (hereinafter referred to as PBMEO) is a legitimate labor union
composed of the employees of the respondent Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc., and petitioners Nicanor Tolentino, Florencio
Padrigano, Rufino Roxas, Mariano de Leon, Asencion Paciente, Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu and Rodulfo Munsod are officers
and members of the petitioner Union.

Petitioners claim that on March 1, 1969, they decided to stage a mass demonstration at Malacañang on March 4, 1969, in protest
against alleged abuses of the Pasig police, to be participated in by the workers in the first shift (from 6 A.M. to 2 P.M.) as well as those
in the regular second and third shifts (from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., respectively); and that they informed the
respondent Company of their proposed demonstration.

The questioned order dated September 15, 1969, of Associate Judge Joaquin M. Salvador of the respondent Court reproduced the
following stipulation of facts of the parties — parties —

3. That on March 2, 1969 complainant company learned of the projected mass demonstration at Malacañang in protest against alleged
abuses of the Pasig Police Department to be participated by the first shift (6:00 AM-2:00 PM) workers as well as those working in the
regular shifts (7:00 A.M. to 4:00 PM and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) in the morning of March 4, 1969;

4. That a meeting was called by the Company on March 3, 1969 at about 11:00 A.M. at the Company's canteen, and those present
were: for the Company: (1) Mr. Arthur L. Ang (2) Atty. S. de Leon, Jr., (3) and all department and section heads. For the PBMEO (1)
Florencio Padrigano, (2) Rufino Roxas, (3) Mariano de Leon, (4) Asencion Paciente, (5) Bonifacio Vacuna and (6) Benjamin Pagcu.

5. That the Company asked the union panel to confirm or deny said projected mass demonstration at Malacañang on March 4, 1969.
PBMEO thru Benjamin Pagcu who acted as spokesman of the union panel, confirmed the planned demonstration and stated that the
demonstration or rally cannot be cancelled because it has already been agreed upon in the meeting. Pagcu explained further that the
demonstration has nothing to do with the Company because the union has no quarrel or dispute with Management;

6. That Management, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon, Company personnel manager, informed PBMEO that the demonstration is an
inalienable right of the union guaranteed by the Constitution but emphasized, however, that any demonstration for that matter should
not unduly prejudice the normal operation of the Company. For which reason, the Company, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon warned the
PBMEO representatives that workers who belong to the first and regular shifts, who without previous leave of absence approved by
the Company, particularly , the officers present who are the organizers of the demonstration, who shall fail to report for work the
following morning (March 4, 1969) shall be dismissed, because such failure is a violation of the existing CBA and, therefore, would
be amounting to an illegal strike;

7. That at about 5:00 P.M. on March 3, 1969, another meeting was convoked Company represented by Atty. C.S. de Leon, Jr. The
Union panel was composed of: Nicanor Tolentino, Rodolfo Munsod, Benjamin Pagcu and Florencio Padrigano. In this afternoon
meeting of March 3, 1969, Company reiterated and appealed to the PBMEO representatives that while all workers may join the

all of Republic Act No. 12 & 76. March 4. and of the CBA providing for 'No Strike and No Lockout. 1969.. rec. (Annex "B".). with the respondent Court. The charge was accompanied by the joint affidavit of Arthur L. 1969. 59. Annex "F". rec. pp. 1969. and that because their motion for reconsideration was two (2) days late. At the bottom of the notice of the order dated October 9.) In their answer. Tirona and Acting Prosecutor Linda P. pp. herein petitioners had five (5) days from September 22. 1969. In a resolution dated October 9. on March 4. 21-24. 1969. appear the requirements of Sections 15. to 2 P. rec. and thus utilize the workers in the 2nd and 3rd shifts in order not to violate the provisions of the CBA. herein petitioners claim that they did not violate the existing CBA because they gave the respondent Company prior notice of the mass demonstration on March 4. 31-34. 42-43. 1969 or until September 27. that under Section 15 of the amended Rules of the Court of Industrial Relations. rec. a motion for reconsideration of said order dated September 15. which was released on October 24. That a certain Mr. herein petitioners filed on October 14.) Because the petitioners and their members numbering about 400 proceeded with the demonstration despite the pleas of the respondent Company that the first shift workers should not be required to participate in the demonstration and that the workers in the second and third shifts should be utilized for the demonstration from 6 A. pp. rec.M. Wilfredo Ariston. by Acting Chief Prosecutor Antonio T. particularly Article XXIV: NO LOCKOUT — NO STRIKE'. 1969 and addressed to the counsels of the parties (pp. rec. 11. All those who will not follow this warning of the Company shall be dismiss. Judge Joaquin M. charging them with a "violation of Section 4(a)-6 in relation to Sections 13 and 14. Salvador.M. Nicanor Tolentino and Rodulfo Munsod as directly responsible for perpetrating the said unfair labor practice and were.). which herein petitioners received on October 28. dated May 9.M. 63. the aforesaid order (p. a corresponding complaint was filed. 1 which held among others. rec. as well as asked for ten (10) days within which to file their arguments pursuant to Sections 15. 1969.) Herein petitioners claim that they received on September 23. Jr. respondent Company averred that herein petitioners received on September 22. and that they filed on September 29. rec. Mariano de Leon. The union panel countered that it was rather too late to change their plans inasmuch as the Malacañang demonstration will be held the following morning. 1969 (p. rec. in an order dated September 15. that a motion for reconsideration shall be filed within five (5) days from receipt of its decision or order and that an appeal . 875. found herein petitioner PBMEO guilty of bargaining in bad faith and herein petitioners Florencio Padrigano. because September 28. rec. Asencion Paciente. the order dated September 17 (should be September 15). 75-76. Benjamin Pagcu. Subsequently. 57-60. 1969. as amended. on the ground that it is contrary to law and the evidence. 1969. filed on October 11. 1969. Ang and Cesareo de Leon. 25- 30.). as well as Section 15. 19-20. adviser of PBMEO sent a cablegram to the Company which was received 9:50 A. the contents of which are as follows: 'REITERATING REQUEST EXCUSE DAY SHIFT EMPLOYEES JOINING DEMONSTRATION MARCH 4. 1969. 16 and 17. 1969. rec. 1969 fell on Sunday (p. 16 and 17 of the Rules of the CIR. 65-73. Castillo. ) In its opposition dated October 7. and 8. it should be accordingly dismissed. Thereafter. that the said mass demonstration was a valid exercise of their constitutional freedom of speech against the alleged abuses of some Pasig policemen. rec. 1969. as a consequence.' (Pars. 196 (pp. as amended (Annex "G". dated April 18. within which to file their motion for reconsideration.' " (Annex "A".). 42-56. pp. in support of their motion for reconsideration (Annex "I". rec. 1969.). rec. 3-8. 1969.). Bonifacio Vacuna. 1969. and that their mass demonstration was not a declaration of strike because it was not directed against the respondent firm (Annex "D".Malacañang demonstration. De Leon reiterated the Company's warning that the officers shall be primarily liable being the organizers of the mass demonstration.) After considering the aforementioned stipulation of facts submitted by the parties. pp. 74-75. pp. respondent Company prior notice of the mass demonstration on March 4. 1969 should be excused from joining the demonstration and should report for work. considered to have lost their status as employees of the respondent Company (Annex "F".). 61-64. 1969. 1969 their written arguments dated October 11. that a motion for extension of the five-day period for the filing of a motion for reconsideration should be filed before the said five-day period elapses (Annex "M". the respondent en banc dismissed the motion for reconsideration of herein petitioners for being pro forma as it was filed beyond the reglementary period prescribed by its Rules (Annex "J". Rufino Roxas. 1969. of the Rules of the Court of Industrial Relations.).).). 1969. pp. the workers for the first and regular shift of March 4. pp. a charge against petitioners and other employees who composed the first shift. pp. rec. invoking Bien vs. pp. Ilagan (Annex "C".

sitting en banc. the primacy of human rights over property rights is recognized.. 1969. attaching thereto the affidavits of the said president and clerk (Annexes "K". was the criterion by which its behaviour was to be judged.). they depend on the outcome of no elections. 1969. of majorities. 7 (4) The rights of free expression. "K-1" and "K-2"." 2 (2) The Bill of Rights is designed to preserve the ideals of liberty. The inviolable character of man as an individual must be "protected to the largest possible extent in his thoughts and in his beliefs as the citadel of his person. (1) In a democracy. set the limits to the authority it was entitled to exercise. Without waiting for any resolution on their petition for relief from the order dated October 9. the liberties of one are the liberties of all. On October 31. to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials. resolution or order of the C. a notice of appeal (Annex "L". not the well-being of the State. I There is need of briefly restating basic concepts and principles which underlie the issues posed by the case at bar. as well as supremely precious in our society" and the "threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as potently as the actual application of sanctions. 1969. liberty and property. rec. Justice Robert Jackson. the expediency of the passing hour. the preservation and enhancement of the dignity and worth of the human personality is the central core as well as the cardinal article of faith of our civilization. but human rights are imprescriptible. the erosion of small encroachments. with the Supreme Court.)." 4 Laski proclaimed that "the happiness of the individual. not only to protect the minority who want to talk.R. equality and security "against the assaults of opportunism. rec. to free speech. His interests. shall be perfected within ten (10) days from receipt thereof (p. . then the Bill of Rights is a useless attempt to limit the power of government and ceases to be an efficacious shield against the tyranny of officials. If human rights are extinguished by the passage of time.). or as Socrates insinuated. and the scorn and derision of those who have no patience with general principles. free assembly and petition. the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to withdraw "certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy. economic or otherwise." permitting government regulation only "with narrow specificity. of the influential and powerful. herein petitioners filed with the respondent court a petition for relief from the order dated October 9. and of oligarchs — political. not its power. and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote. freedom of worship and assembly. Thru these freedoms the citizens can participate not merely in the periodic establishment of the government through their suffrage but also in the administration of public affairs as well as in the discipline of abusive public officers. on the ground that their failure to file their motion for reconsideration on time was due to excusable negligence and honest mistake committed by the president of the petitioner Union and of the office clerk of their counsel. but also to benefit the majority who refuse to listen. One's rights to life. pp." 3 In the pithy language of Mr. to his happiness and to his full and complete fulfillment. 88-89." they "need breathing space to survive.from the decision. 8 Because these freedoms are "delicate and vulnerable.I. herein petitioners filed on November 3." 9 Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription. 1969. are not only civil rights but also political rights essential to man's enjoyment of his life. in the rhetorical aphorism of Justice Holmes. to protect the ideas that we abhor or hate more than the ideas we cherish. The citizen is accorded these rights so that he can appeal to the appropriate governmental officers or agencies for redress and protection as well as for the imposition of the lawful sanctions on erring public officers and employees. (5) While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights. or free press. 6 And as Justice Douglas cogently stresses it. and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. and the liberties of one are not safe unless the liberties of all are protected." 5 (3) The freedoms of expression and of assembly as well as the right to petition are included among the immunities reserved by the sovereign people. 76. rec.

The employees' pathetic situation was a stark reality — abused. 14 believes that the freedoms of speech and of the press as well as of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of grievances are absolute when directed against public officials or "when exercised in relation to our right to choose the men and women by whom we shall be governed. concluded that by their "concerted act and the occurrence temporary stoppage of work. The pretension of their employer that it would suffer loss or damage by reason of the absence of its employees from 6 o'clock in the morning to 2 o'clock in the afternoon." 11 The superiority of these freedoms over property rights is underscored by the fact that a mere reasonable or rational relation between the means employed by the law and its object or purpose — that the law is neither arbitrary nor discriminatory nor oppressive — would suffice to validate a law which restricts or impairs property rights. a constitutional or valid infringement of human rights requires a more stringent criterion. Herein respondent employer did not even offer to intercede for its employees with the local police. vs. the rights of free expression and of assembly occupy a preferred position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and political institutions. Set against and tested by foregoing principles governing a democratic society. denial of which is like rubbing salt on bruised tissues. viz.Y. even as he cries in anguish for retribution. 1969 before Malacañang was against alleged abuses of some Pasig policemen. Material loss can be repaired or adequately compensated. the primacy of human rights — freedom of expression. They exercise their civil and political rights for their mutual aid protection from what they believe were police excesses. Ferrer. vexation or peril and as consequence perform more efficiently their respective tasks enhance its productivity as well as profits. utilizing only the weapons afforded them by the Constitution — the untrammelled enjoyment of their basic human rights.. 17 II The respondent Court of Industrial Relations. harassment and persecuted as they believed they were by the peace officers of the municipality. was a matter that vitally affected their right to individual existence as well as that of their families. As heretofore stated." herein petitioners are guilty bargaining in bad faith and hence violated the collective bargaining agreement with private respondent Philippine Blooming Mills Co. Justice Castro relies on the balancing-of-interests test. is a plea for the preservation merely of their property rights. As above intimated. like Justices Douglas. discounted by its improbability. Sullivan. As matter of fact. Comelec. its employees. 18 Emphatic reiteration of this basic tenet as a coveted boon — at once the shield and armor of the dignity and worth of the human personality. not against their employer. after opining that the mass demonstration was not a declaration of strike. it was the duty of herein private respondent firm to protect herein petitioner Union and its members fro the harassment of local police officers. the Chief Executive. The demonstration held petitioners on March 4. supra. the all-consuming ideal of our enlightened civilization — becomes Our duty. Such apprehended loss or damage would not spell the difference between the life and death of the firm or its owners or its management. 10 and such priority "gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction not permitting dubious intrusions.In the hierarchy of civil liberties. Justice Fernando in Gonzales vs. if freedom and social justice have any meaning at all for him who toils so that capital can produce economic goods that can generate happiness for all. again the police officers of the municipality of Pasig. the employees and laborers of herein private respondent firm were fighting for their very survival. of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of grievances — over property rights has been sustained. In seeking sanctuary behind their freedom of expression well as their right of assembly and of petition against alleged persecution of local officialdom. namely existence of a grave and immediate danger of a substantive evil which the State has the right to prevent. Was it securing peace for itself at the expenses of its workers? Was it also intimidated by the local police or did it encourage the local police to terrorize or vex its workers? Its failure to defend its own employees all the more weakened the position of its laborers the alleged oppressive police who might have been all the more emboldened thereby subject its lowly employees to further indignities. The debasement of the human being broken in morale and brutalized in spirit-can never be fully evaluated in monetary terms. inc. such conclusion cannot be sustained. not against the employer. as evidence of bad . The wounds fester and the scars remain to humiliate him to his dying day.. and take up the cudgels for. herein private respondent firm. said demonstrate was purely and completely an exercise of their freedom expression in general and of their right of assembly and petition for redress of grievances in particular before appropriate governmental agency. To regard the demonstration against police officers. so that they can report to work free from harassment. 12 On the other hand. Comelec and reiterated by the writer of the opinion inImbong vs." 15 even as Mr. So it has been stressed in the main opinion of Mr. the condition in which the employees found themselves vis-a-vis the local police of Pasig. Justice Barredo in Gonzales vs. justifies such invasion of free expression as is necessary to avoid the danger. — whether the gravity of the evil. 16 Chief Justice Vinson is partial to the improbable danger rule formulated by Chief Judge Learned Hand. It was to the interest herein private respondent firm to rally to the defense of. 13 It should be added that Mr. Black and Goldberg in N. Times Co.

supra. The mass demonstration staged by the employees on March 4. Because the refusal on the part of the respondent firm to permit all its employees and workers to join the mass demonstration against alleged police abuses and the subsequent separation of the eight (8) petitioners from the service constituted an unconstitutional restraint on the freedom of expression. 875. rec. mutual aid or protection". to observe regular working hours. The insistence on the part of the respondent firm that the workers for the morning and regular shift should not participate in the mass demonstration. the respondent firm committed an unfair labor practice defined in Section 4(a-1) in relation to Section 3 of Republic Act No. There was a lack of human understanding or compassion on the part of the firm in rejecting the request of the Union for excuse from work for the day shifts in order to carry out its mass demonstration. "a potent means of inhibiting speech. was for their mutual aid and protection against alleged police abuses. 45..M. Section 3 of Republic Act No." 22 Such a concerted action for their mutual help and protection deserves at least equal protection as the concerted action of employees in giving publicity to a letter complaint charging bank president with immorality. 19 The collective bargaining agreement which fixes the working shifts of the employees. Renunciation of the freedom should not be predicated on such a slender ground. under pain of dismissal. p. the more persons can be apprised of the purpose of the rally. 1969 could not have been legally enjoined by any court. that for the employees to . while Section 4(a-1) regards as an unfair labor practice for an employer interfere with. 20 The respondent Court of Industrial Relations in the case at bar concedes that the mass demonstration was not a declaration of a strike "as the same not rooted in any industrial dispute although there is concerted act and the occurrence of a temporary stoppage work.). namely the complete unity of the Union members as well as their total presence at the demonstration site in order to generate the maximum sympathy for the validity of their cause but also immediately action on the part of the corresponding government agencies with jurisdiction over the issues they raised against the local police." We repeat that the obvious purpose of the mass demonstration staged by the workers of the respondent firm on March 4.). 21 If demonstrators are reduced by one-third. denial of which was interference with or restraint on the right of the employees to engage in such common action to better shield themselves against such alleged police indignities. This stand failed appreciate the sine qua non of an effective demonstration especially by a labor union.. the day of the mass demonstration (pp.. of peaceful assembly and of petition. 8 guarantees to the employees the right "to engage in concert activities for . the absence of one-third of their members will be regarded as a substantial indication of disunity in their ranks which will enervate their position and abet continued alleged police persecution. At any rate. should report for work in order that loss or damage to the firm will be averted. was as heretofore stated. which is as unchristian as it is unconstitutional. such an injunction would be trenching upon the freedom expression of the workers. constitutes a virtual tyranny over the mind and life the workers and deserves severe condemnation. to 2 P. 1969. III The respondent company is the one guilty of unfair labor practice. is "a potent means of inhibiting speech" and therefore inflicts a moral as well as mortal wound on the constitutional guarantees of free expression. 1969. 1969 which request the Union reiterated in their telegram received by the company at 9:50 in the morning of March 4. Moreover. Circulation is one of the aspects of freedom of expression. nepotism. restrain or coerce employees in the exercise their rights guaranteed in Section Three. then by that much the circulation of the issues raised by the demonstration is diminished. is gross vindictiveness on the part of the employer. 23 We further ruled in the Republic Savings Bank case. even if it legally appears to be illegal picketing or strike. rec." The strain construction of the Court of Industrial Relations that a stipulated working shifts deny the workers the right to stage mass demonstration against police abuses during working hours. especially in this case when the Union requested it to excuse only the day-shift employees who will join the demonstration on March 4." (Annex "F". The respondent firm claims that there was no need for all its employees to participate in the demonstration and that they suggested to the Union that only the first and regular shift from 6 A.. according to the respondent Court Industrial Relations.M. The more the participants. otherwise known as the Industrial Peace Act.faith in collective bargaining and hence a violation of the collective bargaining agreement and a cause for the dismissal from employment of the demonstrating employees. the Union notified the company two days in advance of their projected demonstration and the company could have made arrangements to counteract or prevent whatever losses it might sustain by reason of the absence of its workers for one day. And to regard as a ground for dismissal the mass demonstration held against the Pasig police. in effect imposes on the workers the "duty . stretches unduly the compass of the collective bargaining agreement. freedom of assembly and freedom petition for redress of grievances. 42-43. favoritism an discrimination in the appointment and promotion of ban employees. not against the company.

However. Yet. On the contrary.. petitioner's brief). or that its own equipment or materials or products were damaged due to absence of its workers on March 4. the company saved a sizable amount in the form of wages for its hundreds of workers. free assembly and the right to petition for redress." It is most unfortunate in the case at bar that respondent Court of Industrial Relations. 1969) shall be dismissed." which guarantee is emphasized by the other directive in Section 6 of Article XIV of the Constitution that "the State shall afford protection to labor . for otherwise these constitutional safeguards would be merely a lot of "meaningless constitutional patter. V It has been likewise established that a violation of a constitutional right divests the court of jurisdiction. It did not present evidence as to whether it lost expected profits for failure to comply with purchase orders on that day. III. were more important to them because they had the courage to proceed with the demonstration. failed to implement this policy and failed to keep faith with its avowed mission — its raison d'etre — as ordained and directed by the Constitution. the very governmental agency designed therefor. "it is not necessary that union activity be involved or that collective bargaining be contemplated. Because the respondent company ostensibly did not find it necessary to demand from the workers proof of the truth of the alleged abuses inflicted on them by the local police. the Court of Industrial Relations is enjoined to effect the policy of the law "to eliminate the causes of industrial unrest by encouraging and protecting the exercise by employees of their right to self-organization for the purpose of collective bargaining and for the promotion of their moral. Thus. or that purchase orders were cancelled by the customers by reason of its failure to deliver the materials ordered. or that penalties were exacted from it by customers whose orders could not be filled that day of the demonstration. 875. therefore. water and electric consumption that day. particularly the officers present who are the organizers of the demonstration. that the demonstration is an inalienable right of the Union guaranteed by the Constitution." as long as the concerted activity is for the furtherance of their interests. IV Apart from violating the constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly as well as the right to petition for redress of grievances of the employees.come within the protective mantle of Section 3 in relation to Section 4(a-1) on Republic Act No. constitutes a denial of social justice likewise assured by the fundamental law to these lowly employees. habeas corpus is the remedy to . Such threat of dismissal tended to coerce the employees from joining the mass demonstration. cost of fuel. social and economic well-being. it thereby concedes that the evidence of such abuses should properly be submitted to the corresponding authorities having jurisdiction over their complaint and to whom such complaint may be referred by the President of the Philippines for proper investigation and action with a view to disciplining the local police officers involved." the respondent Court of Industrial Relations did not make any finding as to the fact of loss actually sustained by the firm. the dismissal of the eight (8) leaders of the workers for proceeding with the demonstration and consequently being absent from work.)" (p. because such failure is a violation of the existing CBA and. 1969. who shall fail to report for work the following morning (March 4. despite such threat of dismissal. while the respondent Court of Industrial Relations found that the demonstration "paralyzed to a large extent the operations of the complainant company. more especially if he has a family to support.". the company." Under the Industrial Peace Act. the issues that the employees raised against the local police. "while expressly acknowledging. Such savings could have amply compensated for unrealized profits or damages it might have sustained by reason of the absence of its workers for only one day.. Relief from a criminal conviction secured at the sacrifice of constitutional liberties. 24 As stated clearly in the stipulation of facts embodied in the questioned order of respondent Court dated September 15. On the other hand. may be obtained through habeas corpus proceedings even long after the finality of the judgment." nonetheless emphasized that "any demonstration for that matter should not unduly prejudice the normal operation of the company" and "warned the PBMEO representatives that workers who belong to the first and regular shifts. Respondent Court of Industrial Relations as an agency of the State is under obligation at all times to give meaning and substance to these constitutional guarantees in favor of the working man. But management was adamant in refusing to recognize the superior legitimacy of their right of free speech. The most that could happen to them was to lose a day's wage by reason of their absence from work on the day of the demonstration. they were willing to forego their one-day salary hoping that their demonstration would bring about the desired relief from police abuses. One day's pay means much to a laborer. 1969. who without previous leave of absence approved by the Company. and as a consequence its judgment is null and void and confers no rights. Section 5 of Article II of the Constitution imposes upon the State "the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all of the people. would be amounting to an illegal strike (. This significant circumstance can only mean that the firm did not sustain any loss or damage.

Sec. but it was a Sunday. is based on the ground that the order sought to be reconsidered "is not in accordance with law. 1969 of the order dated September 15. 1969 or two (2) days late. pp. Said Court of Industrial Relations rule. Does the mere fact that the motion for reconsideration was filed two (2) days late defeat the rights of the petitioning employees? Or more directly and concretely. A period of five (5) days within which to file a motion for reconsideration is too short. Both failed to accord preference to such rights and aggravated the inhumanity to which the aggrieved workers claimed they had been subjected by the municipal police. Revised Rules of Court). 57-60. rec. does the inadvertent omission to comply with a mere Court of Industrial Relations procedural rule governing the period for filing a motion for reconsideration or appeal in labor cases. And in such a contest between an employer and its laborer. the latter eventually loses because he cannot employ the best an dedicated counsel who can defend his interest with the required diligence and zeal. 1969. It is a continuing immunity to be invoked and exercised when exigent and expedient whenever there are errors to be rectified. The dominance and superiority of the constitutional right over the aforesaid Court of Industrial Relations procedural rule of necessity should be affirmed." and likewise prays for an extension of ten (10) days within which to file arguments pursuant to Sections 15. but also does violence to natural reason and logic. Recognition and protection of such freedoms are imperative on all public offices including the courts 28 as well as private citizens and corporations.) . abuses to be denounced. Herein petitioners received only on October 28. Such a Court of Industrial Relations rule as applied in this case does not implement or reinforce or strengthen the constitutional rights affected. 74-75. prevail over constitutional rights? The answer should be obvious in the light of the aforecited cases. a period of fifteen (15) days has been fixed for the filing of the motion for re hearing or reconsideration (See. the Court of Industrial Relations ousted itself of jurisdiction and the questioned orders it issued in the instant case are a nullity. evidence and facts adduced during the hearing. long after the 10-day period required for the filing of such supporting arguments counted from the filing of the motion for reconsideration. the printing of one article or the staging of one demonstration. The battle then would be reduced to a race for time. Rule 52. is unreasonable and therefore is beyond the authority granted by the Constitution and the law. 1969 was not a Sunday. bereft as he is of the financial resources with which to pay for competent legal services. is not only incompatible with the basic tenet of constitutional government that the Constitution is superior to any statute or subordinate rules and regulations.obtain the release of an individual. 27 Both the respondents Court of Industrial Relations and private firm trenched upon these constitutional immunities of petitioners. Petitioners claim that they could have filed it on September 28. who usually do not have the ready funds to meet the necessary expenses therefor. inhumanities to be condemned. Otherwise these guarantees in the Bill of Rights would be vitiated by rule on procedure prescribing the period for appeal. promulgated pursuant to a legislative delegation. 1969. 16). 1969. rec. who is convicted by final judgment through a forced confession. 1969 dismissing the motion for reconsideration for being pro forma since it was filed beyond the reglementary period (Annex "J".' but instead constrict the same to the point of nullifying the enjoyment thereof by the petitioning employees. promulgated as it was pursuant to a mere legislative delegation. Rule 56. 28-a VI The Court of Industrial Relations rule prescribes that motion for reconsideration of its order or writ should filed within five (5) days from notice thereof and that the arguments in support of said motion shall be filed within ten (10) days from the date of filing of such motion for reconsideration (Sec.). 1969 (Annex "I". There is no time limit to the exercise of the freedoms. In case of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. although the arguments were actually filed by the herein petitioners on October 14. 10. To accord supremacy to the foregoing rules of the Court of Industrial Relations over basic human rights sheltered by the Constitution. The right to enjoy them is not exhausted by the delivery of one speech. 16 and 17 of the Rules of the Court of Industrial Relations (Annex "G". pp. It should be stressed here that the motion for reconsideration dated September 27. As above intimated. pp. which violated his constitutional right against self-incrimination. rec. 1. The delay in the filing of the motion for reconsideration could have been only one day if September 28. these rules of procedure were promulgated by the Court of Industrial Relations pursuant to a legislative delegation. Sec.). 1. 25or who is denied the right to present evidence in his defense as a deprivation of his liberty without due process of law. This fact accentuates the unreasonableness of the Court of Industrial are concerned. 26even after the accused has already served sentence for twenty-two years. 1969 the resolution dated October 9. 29 The motion for reconsideration was filed on September 29. Having violated these basic human rights of the laborers. the exercise and enjoyment of which must not be nullified by mere procedural rule promulgated by the Court Industrial Relations exercising a purely delegate legislative power. Rule 51. when even a law enacted by Congress must yield to the untrammelled enjoyment of these human rights. or seven (7) days from notice on September 22. especially for the aggrieved workers. 70-73.

30 It is thus seen that a procedural rule of Congress or of the Supreme Court gives way to a constitutional right. it cannot be beyond the admit of its authority. the procedural rule of the Court of Industrial Relations. to reverse in a certain proceed in any error of judgment of a court a quo which cannot be exactly categorized as a flaw of jurisdiction. et. Domingo.It is true that We ruled in several cases that where a motion to reconsider is filed out of time. al. But in all these cases. 30-e thus: . no actual material damage has be demonstrated as having been inflicted on its property rights.I. when all the material facts are spread in the records before Us. vs. on whether or not the errors this Court has found in the decision of the Court of Appeals are short of being jurisdiction nullities or excesses. including the right to survive. The suspension of the application of Section 15 of the Court of Industrial Relations rules with reference to the case at is also authorized by Section 20 of Commonwealth Act No. Hamilton. Thus. 30-d Insistence on the application of the questioned Court industrial Relations rule in this particular case at bar would an unreasoning adherence to "Procedural niceties" which denies justice to the herein laborers. must likewise yield to the constitutional rights invoked by herein petitioners even before the institution of the unfair labor practice charged against them and in their defense to the said charge. It is a procedural rule that generally all causes of action and defenses presently available must be specifically raised in the complaint or answer.. Is within the contemplation of this doctrine that as it is perfectly legal and within the power of this Court to strike down in an appeal acts without or in excess of jurisdiction or committed with grave abuse of discretion. enforcement of the basic human freedoms sheltered no less by the organic law. it matters little that the error of the court a quo is of judgment or of jurisdiction. (Emphasis supplied). is a most compelling reason to deny application of a Court of Industrial Relations rule which impinges on such human rights. which enjoins the Court of Industrial Relations to "act according to justice and equity and substantial merits of the case. in any case. Justice Barredo. speaking for the Court. even for the first time on appeal. the order or decision subject of 29-a reconsideration becomes final and unappealable. In the case at bar. the constitutional rights of free expression. 30-a It is an accepted principle that the Supreme Court has the inherent power to "suspend its own rules or to except a particular case from its operation. free assembly and petition were not involved. if it appears that the determination of the constitutional issue is necessary to a decision of the case. in the 1970 case of Kapisanan." On several occasions.R. without further loss of time. this Court may treat an appeal as a certiorari and vice-versa. in appropriate cases. 103. this Court would still be on firm legal grounds should it choose to reverse said decision here and now even if such errors can be considered as mere mistakes of judgment or only as faults in the exercise of jurisdiction. etc. obedience to the Constitution renders more imperative the suspension of a Court of Industrial Relations rule that clash with the human rights sanctioned and shielded with resolution concern by the specific guarantees outlined in the organic law.. In the instant case. must be according supremacy over the property rights of their employer firm which has been given a full hearing on this case. However. It should be stressed that the application in the instant case Section 15 of the Court of Industrial Relations rules relied upon by herein respondent firm is unreasonable and therefore such application becomes unconstitutional as it subverts the human rights of petitioning labor union and workers in the light of the peculiar facts and circumstances revealed by the record. especially when. 30-c reiterated this principle and added that Under this authority. a constitutional issue can be raised any time. Justice Barredo in his concurring opinion in Estrada vs. so as to avoid the unnecessary return of this case to the lower court for the sole purpose of pursuing the ordinary course of an appeal. so that any cause of action or defense not raised in such pleadings. whenever the purposes of justice require. We emphasized this doctrine which was re-stated by Mr. this Court is enabled to cove with all situations without concerning itself about procedural niceties that do not square with the need to do justice. provided that the right of the parties to a full day in court is not substantially impaired. If We can disregard our own rules when justice requires it. whose basic human freedoms. is deemed waived. without regard to technicalities or legal forms . or where the arguments in suppf such motion are filed beyond the 10 day reglementary period provided for by the Court of Industrial Relations rules. We can then and there render the appropriate judgment. which I do not entertain. If there can be any doubt. the very lis mota of the case without the resolution of which no final and complete determination of the dispute can be made. etc." 30-b Mr. Sto... the C. as in the case at bar. and all the parties have been duly heard. a creature of Congress. In other words. charter.

Annexes "A". if not all. p. but are intended "to help secure substantial justice. can no longer seek the sanctuary of human freedoms secured to them by the fundamental law. 20-30. since as aforestated the . Manotok. But to dismiss the eight (8) leaders of the petitioner Union is a most cruel penalty. 1962. Villamor.I.. 84 Phil. then many. (63 Phil.. 1969. speaking for a unanimous Court in Palma vs. the firm continued in operation that day and did not sustain any damage. deserves scant consideration from courts. (Alonso v. rules or procedure and shall have such other powers as generally pertain to a court of justice: Provided. Villamor (16 Phil. As succinctly put by Justice Makalintal. Manila Trading & Supply Co. Court of Appeals. 5 SCRA 1016. 1969 and that. pp. 17. 46496. 'they were adopted not as ends themselves for the compliance with which courts have organized and function. ." (Potenciano v. p. for the attainment of which such rules have been devised. 161 [1958]). Oct. Feb.). 104 Phil. Justice Fernando. G. Caltex. were not dismissed and only the Union itself and its thirteen (13) officers were specifically named as respondents in the unfair labor practice charge filed against them by the firm (pp. to "a sacrifice of substantial rights of a litigant in altar of sophisticated technicalities with impairment of the sacred principles of justice. respondent's Brief. 23 SCRA citing McEntee v. C. If that were so. investigation and determination of any question or controversy and in exercising any duties and power under this Act. 103. 16 Phil. 3 SCRA 272.. Nat.). We hold that such criterion is not binding upon the Court of Industrial Relations. 71 Phil. of the morning and regular shifts reported for work on March 4. but as means conducive to the realization the administration of the law and of justice (Ibid.. rec.) Justice Zaldivar was partial to an earlier formulation of Justice Labrador that rules of procedure "are not to be applied in a very rigid. 1969 . 578). 27. 31. Amon. 156. technical sense"." (Ibid. Chua Kiong v. this Court has remained committed. Whitaker.R. 1940. "technicality. Counsel for respondent firm insinuates that not all the 400 or so employee participated in the demonstration. Phil. for which reason only the Union and its thirteen (13) officers were specifically named in the unfair labor practice charge (p.filed his motion for reconsideration September 29.. simply because their counsel — erroneously believing that he received a copy of the decision on September 23. Labor. as a consequence." as such term is understood in the rules of procedure for the ordinary courts. (emphasis supplied. without regard to technicalities or legal forms and shall not be bound by any technical rules of legal evidence but may inform its mind in such manner as it may deem just and equitable.R. 124 [1936]) was of a similar mind. 1969.128). Summarizing the jurisprudence on this score. L-14968. they "should give way to the realities of the situation. L-15379. decided as far back as 1910. We have remained steadfastly opposed. The late Justice Recto in Blanco v.. Uy. June 30. 1961. 20.' By this provision the industrial court is disengaged from the rigidity of the technicalities applicable to ordinary courts. Many a time. 1019). 2 SCRA 675. (Ang Tibay v. Under Section 20 of Commonwealth Act No. The Villamor decision was cited with approval in Register of Deeds v.As to the point that the evidence being offered by the petitioners in the motion for new trial is not "newly discovered. Court of Appeals. 600 [1949]. We believe that this provision is ample enough to have enabled the respondent court to consider whether or not its previous ruling that petitioners constitute a minority was founded on fact. 315. Mr.) To apply Section 15 of the Court of Industrial Relations rules with "pedantic rigor" in the instant case is to rule in effect that the poor workers. No.. respondent's brief). Bank. 1961. 16-20. without regard to the technical meaning of newly discovered evidence. (1968. For him the interpretation of procedural rule should never "sacrifice the ends justice. the dismissal or termination of the employment of the petitioning eight (8) leaders of the Union is harsh for a one-day absence from work. The appropriate penalty — if it deserves any penalty at all — should have been simply to charge said one-day absence against their vacation or sick leave. v. instead of September 22. in the highly rhetorical language Justice Felix. when it deserts its proper-office as an aid to justice and becomes its great hindrance and chief enemy.) To that norm. That in the hearing. Aug. which practically is only one day late considering that September 28. 'The Court of Industrial Relations shall adopt its. 1969 was a Sunday. however. The respondent Court itself recognized the severity of such a sanction when it did not include the dismissal of the other 393 employees who are members of the same Union and who participated in the demonstration against the Pasig police. 315 [1910]. In the latest decision in point promulgated in 1968." (Ibid. "B" and "C". (Udan v. 124.. this Court deviated from procedure technicalities when they ceased to be instruments of justice. Phil. 30-f Stated: As was so aptly expressed by Justice Moreland in Alonso v.." (Urbayan v. 156 [1958] and Uy v. 46 Phil. As a matter of fact. upon the intercession of the Secretary of Labor. 843) . 30-g Even if the questioned Court of Industrial Relations orders and rule were to be given effect. Said court is not even restricted to the specific relief demanded by the parties but may issue such orders as may be deemed necessary or expedient for the purpose of settling the dispute or dispelling any doubts that may give rise to future disputes.) For these reasons. Oreta. Potenciano v." While "procedural laws are no other than technicalities" view them in their entirety. 322. p. the Court shall act according to justice and equity and substantial merits of the case. 104 Phil. the Union members who are not officers. who can ill-afford an alert competent lawyer. Bernabe. 14243.

The liberties of any person are the liberties of all of us.Union leaders depend on their wages for their daily sustenance as well as that of their respective families aside from the fact that it is a lethal blow to unionism. the joining in protests or demands. Management has shown not only lack of good-will or good intention.. Union of Phil. Each surrender of liberty to the demands of the moment makes easier another. as has been aptly stated. Assuming that the latter acted in their individual capacities when they wrote the letter-charge they were nonetheless protected for they were engaged in concerted activity. nepotism in the appointment and favoritism as well as discrimination in the promotion of bank employees. The only protection against misguided zeal is a constant alertness of the infractions of the guarantees of liberty contained in our Constitution. we must recognize that our Bill of Rights is a code of fair play for the less fortunate that we in all honor and good conscience must be observe. thru Mr. is a concerted activity protected by the Industrial Peace Act.R. Mr. but a complete lack of sympathetic understanding of the plight of its laborers who claim that they are being subjected to indignities by the local police. To be sure... in the exercise of their right of self organization that includes concerted activity for mutual aid and protection. if in furtherance of their interests as such.. What we must remember. but from men of goodwill — good men who allow their proper concerns to blind them to the fact that what they propose to accomplish involves an impairment of liberty. In short.. (Section 3 of the Industrial Peace Act . 793 [1945]). For. even by a small group of employees. . . is thatpreservation of liberties does not depend on motives. C... as the right of the employer to discharge for cause (Philippine Education Co.. Employees.... It is not necessary that union activity be involved or that collective bargaining be contemplated. the right of self-organization of employees is not unlimited (Republic Aviation Corp. The Industrial Peace Act does not touch the normal exercise of the right of the employer to select his . 6 A. This is sheer opportunism.. 1960) is undenied. . We ruled: It will avail the Bank none to gloat over this admission of the respondents." Therein. however. the Bank should have allowed the respondents to air their grievances.) This is the view of some members of this Court. The Motives of these men are often commendable. vs. Of happy relevance is the 1967 case of Republic Savings Bank vs. But even if we should sense no danger to our own liberties. while at the same time strengthening the oppressive hand of the petty tyrants in the localities. . Such opportunism and expediency resorted to by the respondent company assaulted the immunities and welfare of its employees. L-13773.S.R. The battle over the Bill of Rights is a never ending one. to the Bank president demanding his resignation on the grounds of immorality. the Liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected.. 2d 416 [1949]). if not greed.L. v.. 31 The case at bar is worse. A suppression of liberty has the same effect whether the suppress or be a reformer or an outlaw. larger surrender. 32 where the petitioner Bank dismissed eight (8) employees for having written and published "a patently libelous letter . Justice Douglas articulated this pointed reminder: The challenge to our liberties comes frequently not from those who consciously seek to destroy our system of Government. Educ.I. xxx xxx xxx The Bank defends its action by invoking its right to discipline for what it calls the respondents' libel in giving undue publicity to their letter-charge. NLRB 324 U. April 29. It was more expedient for the firm to conserve its income or profits than to assist its employees in their fight for their freedoms and security against alleged petty tyrannies of local police officers. Justice Castro. even if we feel secure because we belong to a group that is important and respected. (Annot. xxx xxx xxx Instead of stifling criticism. It was pure and implement selfishness.

concur. the private respondents were informed by petitioner Quimpo that their stalls should be removed to give way to the "People's Park".employees or to discharge them. Fernando and Esguerra. respondents. 1969.. free assembly and right to petition are rendered all the more justifiable and more imperative in the case at bar. led by their President Roque . et al. SIMON. with full back pay from the date of their separation from the service until re instated. AND GENEROSO OCAMPO.R. Zaldivar.) 33 If free expression was accorded recognition and protection to fortify labor unionism in the Republic Savings case. The Solicitor General for public respondent. vs. and/or as a refusal to bargain collectively. Makalintal. In said notice. this Court is in unanimity that the Bank's conduct." dated 9 July 1990. AND OTHERS AS JOHN DOES. CARLOS QUIMPO.J. with prayer for a restraining order and preliminary injunction. 2 On 12 July 1990. constituted an unfair labor practice within the meaning and intendment of section 4(a) of the Industrial Peace Act. COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS. the private respondents (being the officers and members of the North EDSA Vendors Association. signed by Carlos Quimpo (one of the petitioners) in his capacity as an Executive Officer of the Quezon City Integrated Hawkers Management Council under the Office of the City Mayor. identified as an interference with the employees' right of self-organization or as a retaliatory action. ROQUE FERMO. With costs against private respondent Philippine Blooming Company. where the complaint assailed the morality and integrity of the bank president no less. et al. was sent to. supra. minus one day's pay and whatever earnings they might have realized from other sources during their separation from the service. VITUG. (Emphasis supplied. NLRB 313 U. judgement is hereby rendered: (1) setting aside as null and void the orders of the respondent Court of Industrial Relations dated September 15 and October 9. Quimpo. J.. 1994 BRIGIDO R.S. C. The petitioners ask us to prohibit public respondent CHR from further hearing and investigating CHR Case No.1 Prior to their receipt of the demolition notice. vs. such recognition and protection for free speech. G.: The extent of the authority and power of the Commission on Human Rights ("CHR") is again placed into focus in this petition for prohibition. The City Attorney for petitioners. the group.. CARLITO ABELARDO. It is directed solely against the abuse of that right by interfering with the countervailing right of self organization (Phelps Dodge Corp. v. 100150 January 5. Inc. JR. 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. where the mass demonstration was not against the company nor any of its officers." The case all started when a "Demolition Notice. No. petitioners. xxx xxx xxx In the final sum and substance. Incorporated). and received by. and (2) directing the re instatement of the herein eight (8) petitioners. 90-1580. entitled "Fermo. WHEREFORE.. JJ. took no part. 177 [1941]). Castro.

10 In an Order." 9 On 21 September 1990." 6 A motion to dismiss.00 in favor of the private respondents to purchase light housing materials and food under the Commission's supervision and again directed the petitioners to "desist from further demolition. 4 On the basis of the sworn statements submitted by the private respondents on 31 July 1990. ordered the disbursement of financial assistance of not more than P200. 8 During the 12 September 1990 hearing. and it imposed a fine of P500. sari-sari stores and carinderia. particularly the sidewalk of EDSA corner North Avenue. stating that the Commission's authority should be understood as being confined only to the investigation of violations of civil and political rights. 4. 11 dated 25 September 1990. 3 On 23 July 1990.00 on each of them. sari- sari stores and carinderia despite the "order to desist". and that "the rights allegedly violated in this case (were) not civil and political rights. filed a letter-complaint (Pinag-samang Sinumpaang Salaysay) with the CHR against the petitioners. 7 dated 10 September 1990.000. directing the petitioners "to desist from demolishing the stalls and shanties at North EDSA pending resolution of the vendors/squatters' complaint before the Commission" and ordering said petitioners to appear before the CHR. and carinderia along North EDSA. On 1 March 1991. and convinced that on 28 July 1990 the petitioners carried out the demolition of private respondents' stalls. albeit vigorously objected to by petitioners (on the ground that the motion to dismiss was still then unresolved). if already issued.. as well as CHR's own ocular inspection. 12 the CHR issued an Order. in its resolution of 1 August 1990. On 18 September 1990 a supplemental motion to dismiss was filed by the petitioners. 90-1580. sari-sari stores. this case came about due to the alleged violation by the (petitioners) of the Inter-Agency Memorandum of Agreement whereby Metro-Manila Mayors agreed on a moratorium in the demolition of the dwellings of poor dwellers in Metro-Manila. of Quezon City to stop the demolition of the private respondents' stalls. . 5 the CHR. asking the late CHR Chairman Mary Concepcion Bautista for a letter to be addressed to then Mayor Brigido Simon. vendors. in this wise: . upon grounds clearly specified by law and ordinance. The petitioners likewise manifested that they would bring the case to the courts. . along with the contempt charge that had meantime been filed by the private respondents. the CHR cited the petitioners in contempt for carrying out the demolition of the stalls. The motion also averred. Jr. that the complainants in this case (were) not poor dwellers but independent business entrepreneurs even this Honorable Office admitted in its resolution of 1 August 1990 that the complainants are indeed. with the warning that violation of said order would lead to a citation for contempt and arrest. the motion to dismiss was heard and submitted for resolution. xxx xxx xxx 3. . arguing that the motion to dismiss set for 21 September 1990 had yet to be resolved. denying petitioners' motion to dismiss and supplemental motion to dismiss. among other things. . that the complainants (were) occupying government land. questioned CHR's jurisdiction. . that: 1. to revoke or cancel a permit. (but) their privilege to engage in business. and 6. The complaint was docketed as CHR Case No. that the City Mayor of Quezon City (had) the sole and exclusive discretion and authority whether or not a certain business establishment (should) be allowed to operate within the jurisdiction of Quezon City.Fermo. . the petitioners moved for postponement. the CHR issued an Order. . Quezon City. 5. a perusal of the said Agreement (revealed) that the moratorium referred to therein refers to moratorium in the demolition of the structures of poor dwellers.

. . however. thus: to — (1) Investigate. It succeeded. on its own or on complaint by any party. The Commission on Human Rights was created by the 1987 Constitution. (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure. and their health. 163. Samuel Soriano. 19 It was formally constituted by then President Corazon Aquino via Executive Order No." It added: The right to earn a living is a right essential to one's right to development.00 each on the petitioners. requiring such comment.Clearly. The petition was initially dismissed in our resolution 15 of 25 June 1991. the Presidential Committee on Human Rights. The petition has merit. b) to impose the fine of P500. but it (should) be (considered) a quasi-judicial body with the power to provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines . 18 through Hon. the Commission on Human Rights under its constitutional mandate had jurisdiction over the complaint filed by the squatters- vendors who complained of the gross violations of their human and constitutional rights. The motion to dismiss should be and is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. In the Court's resolution of 10 October 1991. one of its Commissioners. . in the exercise of her legislative power at the time. safety and welfare. it was subsequently reinstated. The Court also resolved to dispense with the comment of private respondent Roque Fermo. The latter thus filed its own comment. All these brazenly and violently ignored and trampled upon by respondents with little regard at the same time for the basic rights of women and children. and c) to disburse the amount of P200. directing the CHR to "CEASE and DESIST from further hearing CHR No. 13 The CHR opined that "it was not the intention of the (Constitutional) Commission to create only a paper tiger limited only to investigating civil and political rights. all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights.000. in which we also issued a temporary restraining order. . in our resolution 16 of 18 June 1991. to life and to dignity. 90-1580. and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court. petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied. the Solicitor-General was excused from filing his comment for public respondent CHR. who had since failed to comply with the resolution. this recourse. who were witness and exposed to such a violent demonstration of Man's inhumanity to man. Their actions have psychologically scarred and traumatized the children.00 as financial aid to the vendors affected by the demolition. Hence. dated 18 July 1991. 14 dated 25 April 1991. 20 issued on 5 May 1987. but so superseded as well. 21 The powers and functions 22 of the Commission are defined by the 1987 Constitution. In an Order." 17 The petitioners pose the following: Whether or not the public respondent 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.

or their families. has not heretofore been shared by this Court. to determine the extent of CHR's investigative power. . 24 the Court. . prisons. the CHR theorizes that the intention of the members of the Constitutional Commission is to make CHR a quasi-judicial body. now Chief Justice Andres Narvasa. (9) Request the assistance of any department. through then Associate Justice. has observed that it is "only the first of the enumerated powers and functions that bears any resemblance to adjudication or adjudgment. we now proceed to the other kernel of this controversy and. however. Kenya or Indonesia . (7) Monitor the Philippine Government's compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights. one of the questions that has been propounded is "(w)hat do you understand by "human rights?" The participants. (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. To be considered such. or agency in the performance of its functions. of religion. and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights. or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. Commission on Human Rights. Kenya or the Soviet Union. its is. subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law.e. have given the following varied answers: Human rights are the basic rights which inhere in man by virtue of his humanity. and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice. as well as Filipinos residing abroad. whether the Philippines or England. academic freedom. It can hardly be disputed that the phrase "human rights" is so generic a term that any attempt to define it. office. properly speaking. such as the right to life. the United States or Japan. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function. . such as the right to elect public officials. Let us observe. 23 This view. albeit not a few have tried. . denying petitioners' motion to dismiss. receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political rights. After thus laying down at the outset the above rule. or detention facilities. and the rights of the accused to due process of law. sponsored by the University of the Philippines in 1977. . (T)he Commission on Human Rights ." but that resemblance can in no way be synonymous to the adjudicatory power itself. could at best be described as inconclusive. to repeat. (6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights. In Cariño v. The Court explained: . and property. representing different sectors of the society. . In its Order of 1 March 1991. Human rights include civil rights. (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails. of the press. education. freedom of speech. 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. (5) Establish a continuing program of research. was not meant by the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country.(3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines. The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate. political rights. In a symposium on human rights in the Philippines. the Commission does not have. But fact finding is not adjudication. bureau. and (11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law. (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law. . i. liberty. finally and definitively.. They are the same in all parts of the world. This function. or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter. to be elected to . and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection.

So. and social services. aptly represented perhaps of the sentiments expressed by others. these rights became unavailable upon the proclamation of Martial Law on 21 September 1972. the right against torture. . . and to form political associations and engage in politics.L. Many voices have been heard. as well as the Constitution. specifically the Bill of Rights and subsequent legislation. So were strikes. the primacy of its (CHR) task must be made clear in view of the importance of human rights and also because civil and political rights have been determined by many international covenants and human rights legislations in the Philippines. 25 Human rights are the entitlement that inhere in the individual person from the sheer fact of his humanity. social. since group actions were forbidden. until ordered released by the Commander-in-Chief or this representative. . hence. GARCIA . a respected jurist and an advocate of civil liberties. political. They were required to submit letters of resignation and were dismissed upon the acceptance thereof. Martial law brought with it the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. employment. Torture to extort confessions were practiced as declared by international bodies like Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists. who. 26 (Human rights include all) the civil. entitled "Present State of Human Rights in the Philippines. and social rights. economic. where do we draw the line? MR. Among those voices. That is precisely my difficulty because civil and political rights are very broad. Converging our attention to the records of the Constitutional Commission. Reyes. and judges lost independence and security of tenure. or more specifically. Justice J. it is important to delienate the parameters of its tasks so that the commission can be most effective. 28 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. GARCIA. and so on. encompassing almost all aspects of life. along with what is generally considered to be his inherent and inalienable rights. ." 29 observes: But while the Constitution of 1935 and that of 1973 enshrined in their Bill of Rights most of the human rights expressed in the International Covenant. these civil and political rights have been made clear in the language of human rights advocates. human rights are not granted by the State but can only be recognized and protected by it. and were detained and held for indefinite periods. Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.public office. we can see the following discussions during its 26 August 1986 deliberations: MR. sometimes for years. as well as. . So. Press and other mass media were subjected to censorship and short term licensing. in fact. and cultural rights defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. if we cover such a wide territory in area. They are part of his natural birth. the right to fair and public hearing. Arbitrary action then became the rule. MR.B. without charges. except members of the Supreme Court. BENGZON. Individuals by the thousands became subject to arrest upon suspicion. its effectivity would also be curtailed. and these are precisely what we want to defend here. . 27 Human rights are rights that pertain to man simply because he is human. . economic. These are very specific rights that are considered enshrined in many international documents and legal instruments as constituting civil and political rights. Otherwise. Actually. political and civil relations. cultural. Every single right of an individual involves his civil right or his political right. suggests that the scope of human rights can be understood to include those that relate to an individual's social. as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which addresses a number of articles on the right to life. impelled the inclusions of those provisions in our fundamental law. Have these broad concepts been equally contemplated by the framers of our 1986 Constitutional Commission in adopting the specific provisions on human rights and in creating an independent commission to safeguard these rights? It may of value to look back at the country's experience under the martial law regime which may have. such as the right to an education. right. The right to petition for the redress of grievances became useless. The Article on the Bill of Rights covers civil and political rights. innate and inalienable. in his paper. It thus seems to closely identify the term to the universally accepted traits and attributes of an individual. comes from Mr. the International Covenant on Economic. Because they are inherent. we might diffuse its impact and the precise nature of its task.

they had defended the rights of people to decent living. and. I would like to continue and respond also to repeated points raised by the previous speaker. Is that the sense of the committee. Commissioner Guingona is recognized. BENGZON. . xxx xxx xxx The PRESIDENT. Yes. the Marcos regime came out with the defense that. GARCIA. GARCIA. Madam President. the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights distinguished this right against torture. because the other rights will encompass social and economic rights. 5) salvagings and hamletting.MR. GUINGONA. so as not to confuse the issue? MR. and there are other violations of rights of citizens which can be addressed to the proper courts and authorities. GARCIA. would the commissioner say civil and political rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? MR. decent housing and a life consistent with human dignity. Yes. This particular aspect we have experienced during martial law which we would now like to safeguard. There are actually six areas where this Commission on Human Rights could act effectively: 1) protection of rights of political detainees. 2) treatment of prisoners and the prevention of tortures. In fact. what we are really trying to say is. MR. Therefore. Therefore. xxx xxx xxx MR. So as to distinguish this from the other rights that we have? MR. RAMA. xxx xxx xxx MR. Thank You Madam President. Those are the rights that we envision here? MR. GARCIA. Then. Am I correct? MR. especially of political detainees or prisoners. I think we should really limit the definition of human rights to political rights. They are integral parts of that. No. I go back to that question that I had. and 6) other crimes committed against the religious. No. Yes. is the Gentleman saying that all the rights under the Bill of Rights covered by human rights? MR. We have already mentioned earlier that we would like to define the specific parameters which cover civil and political rights as covered by the international standards governing the behavior of governments regarding the particular political and civil rights of citizens. MR. therefore. perhaps. we will authorize the commission to define its functions. GARCIA. BENGZON. Yes. MR. at the proper time we could specify all those rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and defined as human rights. as a matter of fact. everytime we invoke the violation of human rights. in doing that the commission will be authorized to take under its wings cases which perhaps heretofore or at this moment are under the jurisdiction of the ordinary investigative and prosecutorial agencies of the government. In connection with the discussion on the scope of human rights. SARMIENTO. BENGZON. BENGZON. they are also enshrined in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution. MR. only those that pertain to civil and political rights. 3) fair and public trials. So. MR. GARCIA. 4) cases of disappearances. BENGZON. I would like to state that in the past regime. and as I have mentioned. So. food. So.

I have to repeat the various specific civil and political rights that we felt must be envisioned initially by this provision — freedom from political detention and arrest prevention of torture. I was referring to an international instrument. et cetera. without prejudice to expansion later on. housing. For example. I do not know. shelter. to civil and political rights. So we are just limiting at the moment the sense of the committee to those that the Gentlemen has specified. in order to make the proposed Commission more effective.I would like to start by saying that I agree with Commissioner Garcia that we should. MR. as we understand it in this Commission on Human Rights. GARCIA." rather than specify the rights contained in the convention. It is quite possible that there are rights specified in that other convention which may not be specified here. I was wondering whether it would be wise to link our concept of human rights to general terms like "convention. Madam President. but to give the sense of the Commission as to what human rights would be included. but only to those that pertain to the civil and politically related. GUINGONA. the other one is the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights of which we are signatory. MR. just for the record. MR. GARCIA. Is Commissioner Guingona referring to the Declaration of Torture of 1985? MR. I am not even clear as to the distinction between civil and social rights. When I mentioned earlier the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. MR. without prejudice to future expansion. GUINGONA. Therefore. Commissioner Garcia. after mentioning the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Madam President. MR. Madam President. it is limited to politically related crimes precisely to protect the civil and political rights of a specific group of individuals. GUINGONA. the right to education. GARCIA. could specify to us which of these articles in the Declaration will fall within the concept of civil and political rights. MR. as well as crimes involving disappearance. The only problem is that. Madam President. I see. MR. . before the period of amendments. the Committee. But it does not mean that we will refer to each and every specific article therein. GARCIA. Am I correct? MR. GUINGONA. there was no definite reply to the question of Commissioner Regalado as to whether the right to marry would be considered a civil or a social right. this was qualified to refer to civil and political rights contained therein. GUINGONA. MR. but the commissioner mentioned another. MR. The coverage of the concept and jurisdictional area of the term "human rights". right to fair and public trials. although I have a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights here. MR. There are two international covenants: the International Covenant and Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic. If I remember correctly. salvagings. the Gentlemen is no longer linking his concept or the concept of the Committee on Human Rights with the so-called civil or political rights as contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Correct. although later on. I do not have a copy of the other covenant mentioned. not for the purpose of including these in the proposed constitutional article. So. if the need arises. we are not opening it up to all of the definite areas. GUINGONA. I was actually disturbed this morning when the reference was made without qualification to the rights embodied in the universal Declaration of Human Rights. and therefore. As far as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is concerned. The second covenant contains all the different rights-the rights of labor to organize. hamlettings and collective violations. mentioned or linked the concept of human right with other human rights specified in other convention which I do not remember. GARCIA. GARCIA. It is not a civil right? MR. I know. GARCIA. delimit as much as possible. Social and Cultural Rights. Yes.

The consequent danger to life and limb is not thus to be likewise simply ignored. Or. directly or indirectly. if it is. . salvaging. the delegates did not apparently take comfort in peremptorily making a conclusive delineation of the CHR's scope of investigatorial jurisdiction. and are not connected with the organization or administration of the government. that "Congress may provide for other cases of violations of human rights that should fall within the authority of the Commission. . on its own or on complaint by any party. in general. sari-saristores and carinderia. Delegate Garcia. . the little individual who needs this kind of help and cannot get it. for instance. Article XIII. the right of suffrage. now written as Section 18. And so. nonetheless. or. 1). . equal protection of the laws. mentioned such areas as the "(1) protection of rights of political detainees. It is indeed paradoxical that a right which is claimed to have been violated is one that cannot. . of the 1987 Constitution. 33 on the other hand.MR. we are not prepared to conclude that the order for the demolition of the stalls. more than just expressing a statement of priority. etc. TAN. we will have no place to go again and we will not receive any response. unreasonable searches and seizures. this Court can take judicial notice of. 30 (emphasis supplied) The final outcome. in the first place. men in the military and big shots. aforequoted. all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights" (Sec. and imprisonment for debt. The term "civil rights. . and (6) other crimes committed against the religious. (5) salvagings and hamletting." 35 In the particular case at hand. massacre — and the persons who are allegedly guilty are people in power like politicians. More than that. even be invoked. significant for the tone it has set. the rights appurtenant to citizenship vis-a-vis the management of government. this Human Rights Commission must be independent. erected by private respondents on a land which is planned to be developed into a "People's Park". is a provision empowering the Commission on Human Rights to "investigate. there is no cavil that what are sought to be demolished are the stalls. to rights capable of being enforced or redressed in a civil action. 34 Recalling the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. the land adjoins the North EDSA of Quezon City which. . housing and health. are said to refer to the right to participate. Such term may also refer. extant. in wider sense. they are the ones more abused and oppressed. from the standpoint of the victims of human rights. I cannot stress more on how much we need a Commission on Human Rights. freedom of contract. as well as temporary shanties. picking up without any warrant of arrest. (4) cases of disappearances. marriage. 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. They have thus seen it fit to resolve. Madam President. as otherwise defined civil rights are rights appertaining to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or community. sari-sari stores and carinderia of the private respondents can fall within the compartment of "human rights violations involving civil and political rights" intended by the Constitution. They include the rights of property. instead. (3) fair and public trials. Thank you. it is. . the cases involved are very delicate — torture. They cannot pay and very few lawyers will accept clients who do not pay. xxx xxx xxx SR." 31 has been defined as referring — (t)o those (rights) that belong to every citizen of the state or country. the right of petition and. (2) treatment of prisoners and the prevention of tortures. I would like very much to emphasize how much we need this commission. 32 Political rights. Another reason is. . the right to hold public office. GUINGONA. in the establishment or administration of government. taking into account its recommendation. And I think we should concentrate only on civil and political violations because if we open this to land. In any event. is a busy national highway. in its general sense. . looking at the standards hereinabove discoursed vis-a-vis the circumstances obtaining in this instance. to all its inhabitants. Also quite often mentioned are the guarantees against involuntary servitude. Be that as it may. human rights victims are usually penniless. in fact. religious persecution. especially for the little Filipino. Therefore." While the enumeration has not likely been meant to have any preclusive effect.

00 fine for contempt. the writ prayed for in this petition is GRANTED. It is available only in a pending principal action. explained: The constitutional provision directing the CHR to "provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection" may not be construed to confer jurisdiction on the Commission to issue a restraining order or writ of injunction for. for a writ of preliminary injunction may only be issued "by the judge of any court in which the action is pending [within his district]. Evidently. 90-1580 and from implementing the P500. The "order to desist" (a semantic interplay for a restraining order) in the instance before us. is not investigatorial in character but prescinds from an adjudicative power that it does not possess. its findings and recommendations to any appropriate agency of government.. among other things. No costs. and for no other purpose. 90-1580. Nocon. Narvasa. its power "to cite or hold any person in direct or indirect contempt. Bidin. Commission on Human Rights.000. SO ORDERED. Romero. The temporary restraining order heretofore issued by this Court is made permanent. The Commission on Human Rights is hereby prohibited from further proceeding with CHR Case No. for appropriate action.. C." That power to cite for contempt. Not only is there lack of locus standion the part of the petitioners to question the disbursement but. more importantly. Melo. 37 The challenge on the CHR's disbursement of the amount of P200. or who decline to honor summons. or of the Supreme Court. Bellosillo. . Cruz. Not being a court of justice. however.. and to impose the appropriate penalties in accordance with the procedure and sanctions provided for in the Rules of Court. 90-1580) has already been fully heard. said Commission admittedly has yet to promulgate its resolution in CHR Case No. The public respondent explains that this petition for prohibition filed by the petitioners has become moot and academic since the case before it (CHR Case No.00 by way of financial aid to the vendors affected by the demolition is not an appropriate issue in the instant petition. in pursuing its investigative work. . however. The Commission does have legal standing to indorse. Davide. Regalado.J. The instant petition has been intended. should be understood to apply only to violations of its adopted operational guidelines and rules of procedure essential to carry out its investigatorial powers. To exemplify. Feliciano. It is true that prohibition is a preventive remedy to restrain the doing of an act about to be done." (footnotes omitted). and that the matter is merely awaiting final resolution. 39 WHEREFORE. the CHR is constitutionally authorized to "adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure. It is never derived by implication. speaking through Madame Justice Carolina Griño-Aquino. concur. to also prevent CHR from precisely doing that. and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court. the CHR acted within its authority in providing in its revised rules. In Export Processing Zone Authority vs. the power to cite for contempt could be exercised against persons who refuse to cooperate with the said body. 38 Here. or by a Justice of the Court of Appeals. Quiason and Puno. JJ. the CHR itself has no jurisdiction to issue the writ. or who unduly withhold relevant information. and not intended to provide a remedy for an act already accomplished. and the like. "Jurisdiction is conferred only by the Constitution or by law". it that were the intention. 36 the Court. . Jr. the Constitution would have expressly said so. however. the "preventive measures and legal aid services" mentioned in the Constitution refer to extrajudicial and judicial remedies (including a writ of preliminary injunction) which the CHR may seek from proper courts on behalf of the victims of human rights violations.On its contempt powers. the matter lies with the appropriate administrative agencies concerned to initially consider." Accordingly. . for the preservation or protection of the rights and interests of a party thereto. A writ of preliminary injunction is an ancillary remedy.