Commission on Human Rights (Philippines)
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The Commission on Human Rights is an independent office created by the Constitution of the Philippines, with the primary function of investigating all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights in the Philippines.
The Commission is composed of a Chairperson and four members. The Constitution requires that a majority of the Commission’s members must be lawyers.
The Commission originated from the Presidential Committee on Human Rights established in 1986 by President Corazon Aquino, which was chaired by former Senator Jose Diokno and former Supreme Court Associate Justice J.B.L. Reyes. A separate Commission on Human Rights was established upon the promulgation of the 1987 Constitution.
Under Section 18, Article XIII of the Philippine Constitution, the Commission is empowered to investigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights, adopt rules of procedure and issue contempt citations, provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all criminals within the Philippines, and several other powers in relation to the protection of human rights.
The Supreme Court of the Philippines, in Cariño v. Commission on Human Rights, 204 SCRA 483 (1991), declared that the Commission did not possess the power of adjudication, and emphasized that its functions were primarily investigatory.The Commission of Human Rights by the 1987 Constitution was envisioned to be, first and foremost, an independent body capable of ensuring that human rights as an inherent part of the right to life guaranteed by the Bill of Rights is protected, pursuant to treaty obligations, in a manner befitting the memory of those who had fallen in their quest to restore democracy to the country.
- "Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines - Official Website". Retrieved 2008-03-23.
- Section 18, Article XIII, Constitution of the Philippines
- Cariño v. Commission on Human Rights, G.R. No. 96681, 2 December 1991, 204 SCRA 483, 492