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Carino v. Commission on Human Rights (1991) replaced.

An investigation committee was formed

Narvasa, J. to hear the charges in accordance with PD 807.
Plaintiff: Casidro Carino in his capacity as Secretary of 6. In the administrative case, private respondents
Department of Educations, Culture, and Sports; Dr. filed separate answers, opted for formal
Erlinda Lolarga in her capacity as Superintendent of investigation, and also moved for suspension of the
City Schools of Manila administrative proceedings pending resolution by
Respondent: Commission on Human Rights, Graciano the SC of their application for writ of
Budoy, Julieta Babaran, Elsa Ibabao, Helen Lupo, injunction/TRO.
Amparo Gonzales, Luz del Castillo, Elsa Reyes, and o When their motion for suspension was
Apoinario Esber denied, they staged a walkout signifying
Concept: Jurisdiction their intent to boycott the entire
Brief facts: Public school teachers engaged in 7. The case eventually resulted in a decision of
peaceful ad concerted activities due to the Secretary Carino, decreeing dismissal of Apolinario
governments inaction towards their requests. They Esber and the suspension for 9 months of Babaran,
were administratively charged for failure to return to Budoy, and del Castillo.
work and were preventively suspended. They also filed 8. In the meantime, MPSTA filed a petition for
a complaint with the CHR, alleging that their human certiorari before the RTC against Carino
rights were violated. SC issued a joint resolution (dismissed). Later on, MPSTA went to the SC on
declaring that Secretary Carinos decision of dismissing certiorari in an attempt to nullify the dismissal,
them was valid. CHR interposed that it isnt bound by grounded on the alleged violation of the striking
SCs resolution and proceeded to declare its intention teachers right to due process and peaceable
to hear the case. assembly. ACT also filed similar petition.
9. Meanwhile, respondent teachers submitted sworn
Doctrine: The most that may be conceded to the statements to the Commission on Human Rights to
Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it complain that while they were participating in the
may investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make peaceful mass actions, they suddenly learned of
findings of fact as regards claimed human rights their replacements as teachers without notice and
violations involving civil and political rights. But it for reasons unknown to them.
cannot try and decide cases as courts of justice, or o CHR scheduled a dialogue and sent a
even quasi-judicial bodied do. To investigate is not to subpoena to Secretary Carino, requiring his
adjudicate or adjudge. attendance.
10. Through the OSG, Sec Carino was granted leave to
file a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds
FACTS: that the complaint states no cause of action and
1. On September 17, 1990, 800 public school the CHR has no jurisdiction over the case.
teachers, among them members of the Manila 11. Pending determination by the Commission of the
Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) and motion to dismiss, judgments affecting the striking
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) undertook teachers were promulgated in 2 cases of the SC
mass concerted actions to highlight their plight ruling that it was lawful for Sec Carino to issue
resulting from alleged failure of the public return-to-work orders, file administrative charges
authorities to act upon grievances that had time against them, prevenetively suspend them, and
and again been brought to the latter's attention. issue decision on those charges.
Apparently, there was no response from the 12. CHR denied Sec Carinos motion to dismiss. It held
Secretary of Education regarding their demands. that the teachers were denied due process and
2. The mass concerted actions consisted of staying that there had been a violation of their civil and
away from their classes and gathering in peaceful political rights which it was empowered to
assemblies. investigate.
3. The teachers who participated were served with an 13. SOLGEN, in behalf of Sec Carino, commenced
order by the Secretary of Education to return to present action for certiorari and prohibition to set
work in 24 hours or face dismissal, and a aside the order of the CHR.
memorandum directing the DECS officials 14. The CHR argues that is doesnt feel bound by the
concerned to initiate dismissal proceedings against SCs joint resolution. It also made plain its intention
those who did not comply and to hire their to hear and resolve the case on the merits over the
replacements. following issues:
4. Despite the directives, the mass actions continued 1) whether or not the striking teachers were
into the week. Among those who participated were denied due process, and just cause exists for
the 8 private respondents who are teachers at the the imposition of administrative disciplinary
Ramon Magsaysay High School. sanctions on them by their superiors; and
5. For failure to heed the return-to-work order, private 2) whether or not the grievances which were
respondents were administratively charged on the "the cause of the mass leave of MPSTA
basis of the principals report and were also teachers, (and) with which causes they (CHR
preventively suspended for 90 days pursuant to complainants) sympathize," justify their mass
Sec 41 of PD 807. They were also temporarily action or strike.


15. CHR intends to self-adjudicate the same issues (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person
which have been decided by the Secretary of whose testimony or whose possession of
Education, subject to appeal to the CSC. documents or other evidence is necessary or
convenient to determine the truth in any
ISSUE: WON the CHR has jurisdiction or adjudicatory investigation conducted by it or under its authority;
powers, or the power to try and decide, or hear and (9) Bequest the assistance of any department,
determine certain types of cases, like alleged human bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its
rights violations involving civil or political rights (NO) functions;
(10) Appoint its officers and employees in
RATIO: accordance with law; and
The Court declares the Commission on Human (11) Perform such other duties and functions as
Rights to have no such power; and that it was may be provided by law."
not meant by the fundamental law to be another - It is only the first of the enumerated powers that
court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or bears any resemblance to adjudication or
duplicate much less take over the functions of adjudgment.
the latter. - The Constitution grants the CHR the power to
- The most that may be conceded to the Commission investigate all forms of human rights violations
in the way of adjudicative power is that it may involving civil and political rights.
investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make - In the course of any investigation conducted by it
findings of fact as regards claimed human rights or under its authority, it may grant immunity from
violations involving civil and political rights. prosecution to any person whose testimony or
- But fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be whose possession of documents or other evidence
likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, is necessary to determine the truth.
or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. The - It may also request assistance of any department
function of receiving evidence and ascertaining in the performance of its functions in the conduct
therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial of its investigation.
function, properly speaking. To be considered such, - But it cannot try and decide cases as courts of
the faculty of receiving evidence and making justice, or even quasi-judicial bodied do. To
factual conclusions in a controversy must be investigate is not to adjudicate or adjudge.
accompanied by the authority of applying the law - "Investigate," commonly understood, means to
to those factual conclusions to the end that the examine, explore, inquire or delve or probe into,
controversy may be decided or determined research on, study. The dictionary definition of
authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire
such appeals or modes of review as may be into systematically: to search or inquire into; to
provided by law . subject to an official probe; to conduct an official
- This function, to repeat, the Commission does not inquiry."
have. - The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially: to
- Under Art, XIII, Sec. 17, the CHRs powers and follow up step by step by patient inquiry or
functions are the following: observation. To trace or track; to search into; to
(1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any examine and inquire into with care and accuracy;
party, all forms of human rights violations involving to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the
civil and political rights; taking of evidence; a legal inquiry; to inquire; to
(2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of make an investigation, "investigation" being in turn
procedure, and cite for contempt for violations described as "an administrative function, the
thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court; exercise of which ordinarily does not require a
(3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the hearing.
protection of human rights of all persons within the - The purpose of investigation, of course, is to
Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and discover, to find out, to learn, obtain information.
provide for preventive measures and legal aid Nowhere included or intimated is the notion of
services to the underprivileged whose human settling, deciding or resolving a controversy
rights have been violated or need protection; involved in the facts inquired into by application of
(4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or the law to the facts established by the inquiry.
detention facilities; - "Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood,
(5) Establish a continuing program of research, means to adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide,
education, and information to enhance respect for determine, resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary
the primacy of human rights; defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights and
(6) Recommend to the Congress effective duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits
measures to promote human rights and to provide of issues raised: to pass judgment on: settle
for compensation to victims of violations of human judicially: act as judge."
rights, or their families; - And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a
(7) Monitor the Philippine Government's judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers: to
compliance with international treaty obligations on award or grant judicially in a case of controversy "
human rights;


- In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in The defense of human rights is not a monopoly of a
the exercise of judicial authority. Implies a judicial government agency (such as the Commission on
determination of a fact, and the entry of a Human Rights) nor the monopoly of a group of lawyers
judgment." defending so-called "human rights" but the
- Hence it is that the Commission on Human Rights, responsibility of ALL AGENCIES
having merely the power "to investigate," cannot (governmental or private) and of ALL LAWYERS,
and should not "try and resolve on the merits" JUDGES, and JUSTICES. LFinally, the Commission should
(adjudicate) the matters involved in Striking realize that while there are "human rights", there are
Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775, as it has also corresponding "human obligations."
announced it means to do; and it cannot do so Padilla, dissenting:
even if there be a claim that in the administrative I dissent. I vote to dismiss the petition for the same
disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in reasons stated in my earlier separate opinion filed in
question, initiated and conducted by the DECS, this case.
their human rights, or civil or political rights had
been transgressed. Simon, Jr. v. Commission on Human Rights (1994)
- These are matters within the original jurisdiction of Vitug, J.
the Secretary of Education, being within the scope Plaintiff: Brigido Simon, Jr., Carlos Quimpo, Carlito
of disciplinary powers granted to him under the Abelardo, Generoso Ocampo
Civil Service Law, and also within the appellate Respondent: Commission on Human Rights, Roque
jurisdiction of the CSC. Fermo, and others as John Does
- Whether or not the conclusions reached by the Concept: Jurisdiction
Secretary in disciplinary cases are correct and
whether or not the proceedings are void or Brief Facts: Vendors in North EDSA received a
defective are matters which may be passed upon demolition notice. They filed a complaint with the CHR,
and determined through a motion for asking the latter to address Mayor Simon to stop the
reconsideration addressed to the Secretary himself. demolition of their stalls. CHR issued an order,
In case of an adverse verdict, it may be reviewed directing the Mayor to desist from demolishing their
by the CSC and eventually the SC. stalls. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss, questioning
- The Commission on Human Rights has no business CHRs jurisdiction.
intruding into the jurisdiction and functions of the
Education Secretary or the Civil Service Doctrine: Court is not prepared to conclude that the
Commission. It has no business going over the order for the demolition of the stalls can fall within the
same ground traversed by the latter and making its compartment of human rights violations involving civil
own judgment on the questions involved. and political rights intended by the Constitution.
- The investigation of the CHR would serve no useful CHRs power to cite for contempt should be understood
to apply only to violations of its adopted operational
purpose. If it should result in conclusions contrary
guidelines and rules of procedure essential to carry out
to those reached by the Secretary, it would have
its investigatorial powers.
no power to reverse such conclusions anyway.
Reversal thereof can only be done by the CSC and
- The only thing it can do is to refer the matter to the 1. Carlos Quimpo, in his capacity as an Executive
appropriate agency. Officer of the QC Integrated Hawkers Management
Council under the Office of the City Mayor, signed a
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. Order of CHR is Demolition Notice which was received by private
annulled and set aside. respondents who are members of the North EDSA
Vendors Association, Inc.
Paras, Concurring: 2. In the said notice, respondents were given a grace
I wish to add however that the Commission on Human period of 3 days to vacate the premises of North
Rights should concern itself in this case and in many EDSA. Prior to the receipt of the demolition notice,
other similar cases: private respondents were informed that their stall
(1) not only with the human rights of striking teachers should be removed to give way to the Peoples
but also the human rights of students and their Park.
parents; 3. On July 12, 1990, the group led by their President
(2) not only with the human rights of the accused but Roque Fermo, filed a letter-complaint with the CHR
also the human rights of the victims and the latter's against the petitioners, asking the CHR for a letter
families; to be addressed to Mayor Brigido Simon Jr to stop
(3) not only with the human rights of those who rise the demolition of their stalls, sari-sari stores, and
against the government but also those who defend the carinderia along North Edsa.
same; 4. The CHR issued an order, directing the petitioners
(4) not only the human rights of striking laborers but to desist from demolishing the stalls and shanties
also those who as a consequence of strikes may be laid at North EDSA pending resolution of the
off because of financial repercussions. vendors/squatters complaint before the


Commission and ordering the petitioners to petitioners at the instance and authority given by the
appear before the CHR. Mayor of Quezon City (NO)
5. On the basis of respondents sworn statements and 2. WON the CHR has jurisdiction to disburse the
CHRs own ocular inspection, the CHR was amount of P200,000.00 as financial aid to the vendors
convinced that petitioners carried out the affected by the demolition (not the proper forum to
demolition. The CHR ordered the disbursement of raise this issue: petitioner doesnt have locus standi to
financial assistance of not more than P200k in question the disbursements; must be resolved by the
favor of respondents to purchase light housing proper agency)
materials and food and directed petitioners to
desist from further demolition, with a warning that RATIO:
violation of said order would lead to a citation for 1. The CHRs jurisdiction is limited to the
contempt and arrest. investigation of violations of civil and political
6. A motion to dismiss questioned CHRs jurisdiction. rights.
o this case came about due to the alleged - Cited the earlier case of Carino v CHR: The
violation by the petitioners of the Inter- Commission on Human Rights was not meant by
Agency Memorandum of Agreement the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-
whereby Metro-Manila Mayors agreed on a judicial agency in this country, or duplicate much
moratorium in the demolition of the less take over the functions of the latter. The most
dwellings of poor dwellers in Metro-Manila; that may be conceded to the Commission in the
o a perusal of the said Agreement revealed way of adjudicative power is that it may
that the moratorium referred to therein investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make
refers to moratorium in the demolition of findings of fact as regards claimed human rights
the structures of poor dwellers; violations involving civil and political rights.
o that the complainants in this case were not - It can hardly be disputed that the phrase "human
poor dwellers but independent business rights" is so generic a term that any attempt to
entrepreneurs; define it, albeit not a few have tried, could be at
o that the complainants were occupying best be described as inconclusive.
government land, particularly the sidewalk - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well
of EDSA corner North Avenue, Quezon City; as, more specifically, the International Covenant on
o that the City Mayor of Quezon City had the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and
sole and exclusive discretion and authority International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
whether or not a certain business suggests that the scope of human rights can be
establishment should be allowed to operate understood to include those that relate to an
within the jurisdiction of Quezon City. individual's social, economic, cultural, political and
7. A supplemental motion to dismiss was filed by civil relations. It thus seems to closely identify the
petitioners, stating that the CHRs authority should term to the universally accepted traits and
be understood as being confined only to attributes of an individual, along with what is
investigation of violation of civil and political rights, generally considered to be his inherent and
and that the rights allegedly violated in this case inalienable rights, encompassing almost all aspects
were not civil or political, but their privilege to of life.
engage in business. - Are these broad concepts contemplated by the
8. The motion to dismiss and the contempt charge framers of the Constitutional Commission in
were heard and submitted for resolution. The CHR adopting the provisions on human rights? Court
cited petitioners in contempt for carrying out the looked at experience of Martial Law and the
demolition, and imposed a P500 fine on each of records of the Constitutional Commission.
them. The CHR denied the motion to dismiss and o Only limited to civil and political rights.
the supplemental motion to dismiss for lack of o Civil Rights- those rights that belong to
merit. every citizen of the state or country, or, in
o CHR opined that it wasnt the intention of wider sense, to all its inhabitants, and are
the Constitutional Commission to create not connected with the organization or
only a paper tiger limited to investigating administration of government. They include
civil and political rights, but is should be the rights of property, marriage, equal
considered a quasi-judicial body with the protection of the laws, freedom of contract,
power to provide appropriate legal etc. Or, as otherwise defined civil rights are
measures for the protection of human rights appertaining to a person by virtue of
rights. his citizenship in a state or community.
9. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied, Such term may also refer, in its general
hence this petition. sense, to rights capable of being enforced
or redressed in a civil action
ISSUES: o Political Rights- refer to the right to
1. WON the CHR has jurisdiction to investigate the participate, directly or indirectly, in the
alleged violations of the "business rights" of the private establishment or administration of
respondents whose stalls were demolished by the government, the right of suffrage, the right
to hold public office, the right of petition
and, in general, the rights appurtenant to or by a Justice of the Court of Appeals, or of the
citizenship vis-a-vis the management of Supreme Court.
government - The CHR has legal standing to indorse, for
o The delegates envisioned a Commission on appropriate action, its findings and
Human Rights that would focus its recommendations to any appropriate government
attention to the more severe cases of agency.
human rights violations. Delegate Garcia,
for instance, mentioned such areas as the
"(1) protection of rights of political DISPOSITIVE: Petition GRANTED.
detainees, (2) treatment of prisoners and
the prevention of tortures, (3) fair and Dissenting Opinion, Padilla, J.
public trials, (4) cases of disappearances, - I am of the most considered view that the CHR can
(5) salvagings and hamletting, and (6) issue a cease and desist order to maintain a status
other crimes committed against the quo pending its investigation of a case involving an
religious alleged human rights violation; that such cease
- Court is not prepared to conclude that the order for and desist order may be necessary in situations
the demolition of the stalls can fall within the involving a threatened violation of human rights,
compartment of human rights violations involving which the CHR intents to investigate.
civil and political rights intended by the - In the case at bench, I would consider the
Constitution. threatened demolition of the stalls, sarisari stores
- CHRs power to cite for contempt should be and carinderias as well as the temporary shanties
understood to apply only to violations of its owned by the private respondents as posing prima
adopted operational guidelines and rules of facie a case of human rights violation because it
procedure essential to carry out its investigatorial involves an impairment of the civil rights of said
powers. private respondents, under the definition of civil
- The order to desist in the instance before the rights cited by the majority opinion and which the
court is not investigatorial in character but CHR has unquestioned authority to investigate.
prescinds from an adjudicative power that it - Human rights demand more than lip service and
doesnt possess. extend beyond impressive displays of placards at
- Export Processing Zone Authority vs CHR: The street corners. Positive action and results are what
constitutional provision directing the CHR to count. Certainly, the cause of human rights is not
'provide for preventive measures and legal aid enhanced when the very constitutional agency
services to the underprivileged whose human tasked to protect and vindicate human rights is
rights have been violated or need protection' may transformed by us, from the start, into a tiger
not be construed to confer jurisdiction on the without dentures but with maimed legs to boot. I
Commission to issue a restraining order or writ of submit the CHR should be given a wide latitude to
injunction for, it that were the intention, the look into and investigate situations which may or
Constitution would have expressly said so Not may not ultimately) involve human rights
being a court of justice, the CHR itself has no violations.
jurisdiction to issue the writ, for a writ of
preliminary injunction may only be issued `by the
judge of any court in which the action is pending,