Political Law

Isidro Cariño vs The Commission on Human Rights

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G.R. No. 96681 – 204 SCRA 483 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – The Constitutional Commissions – Commission on Human Rights – Adjudicatory Power of the CHR

On September 17, 1990, some 800 public school teachers in Manila did not attend work and decided to stage rallies in order to air grievances. As a result thereof, eight teachers were suspended from work for 90 days. The matter was then investigated, and on December 17, 1990, DECS Secretary Isidro Cariño ordered the dismissal from the service of one teacher and the suspension of three others. The case was brought to the Commission on Human Rights. In the meantime, the Solicitor General filed an action for certiorari regarding the case and prohibiting the CHR from continuing the case. Nevertheless, CHR continued trial and issued a subpoena to Secretary Cariño.

ISSUE: Whether or not CHR has the power to try and decide and determine certain specific cases such as the alleged human rights violation involving civil and political rights.

HELD: No. The CHR is not competent to try such case. It has no judicial power. It can only investigate all forms of human rights violation involving civil and political rights but it cannot and should not try and decide on the merits and matters involved therein. The CHR is hence then barred from proceeding with the trial.

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