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[ KNKP RESOLUTION CHR (III) NO. A2005-131, September 20, 2005 ]


WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 18 (1), Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has the powers and functions to, among others, "(1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights," (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violation thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court; xxx (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities; xxx (7) Monitor the Philippine Government's compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights;"

WHEREAS, the implementing laws of the above cited-constitutional provisions are Executive Order 163, s. 1987, wherein Section 3 (2) thereof provides that the Commission has the authority to "Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedures, and cite for contempt  for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court; and Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, wherein Section 2(2), Title II, Subtitle A of Book V likewise specifically provides that the Commission has the power "to adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedures, and cite for contempt violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court";

WHEREAS, pursuant to the above constitutional provision, the Commission adopted Resolution No. A-89-109A dated 19 July 1989, promulgating its Revised Rules in the Conduct of Investigation/Hearing of Complaints for Violation of Human Rights;

WHEREAS, to strengthen the foregoing revised rules, the Commission issued Resolution No. A93-047 dated 11 August 1993, providing guidelines in pursuing complaints for human rights violations;

WHEREAS, to give teeth to its human rights investigation, visitorial and monitoring powers, there is need to promulgate the corresponding rules of procedures relative to the enforcement of the contempt power of the Commission against anyone who commits contumacious acts as defined in the herein rules on contempt of the Commission.

WHEREFORE, the Commission resolved, as it hereby resolves, to adopt and promulgate the following rules of procedures governing its contempt power, to wit:



SECTION 1. Acts Punished As Direct Contempt - Any person who misbehaves in the presence of or so near the Commission or any of its members, as to obstruct, interrupt, frustrate or impede the proceedings before the same, including disrespect thereof or resort to the use of insulting language or derogatory remarks in the pleadings, memoranda and/or position papers, offensive personalities towards others, or refusal to be sworn or to answer as a witness, or to subscribe and affirm under oath an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so, may be summarily adjudged in direct contempt of the Commission.

SECTION 2. Penalty - A person adjudged in direct contempt of the Commission may be publicly reprimanded or censured and/or punished by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00).

SECTION 3. Remedy of Person Adjudged in Direct Contempt - A person adjudged in direct contempt of the Commission may not appeal said judgment or order, but may avail himself/herself of the remedies of certiorari or prohibition pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court.


SECTION 4. Acts Punished as Indirect Contempt - Any person who commits any of the following acts may be cited for indirect contempt:

    a. Disobedience or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, decision, resolution, ruling, summons, subpoena or command of the Commission;

    b. Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with the processes or proceedings of the Commission not constituting direct contempt as previously described in these Rules;

    c. Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, delay, hamper or degrade the implementation of any lawful writ, process, order, decision, resolution, ruling or command of the Commission not constituting direct contempt as set forth in this Rules;

    d. Deliberate failure to obey a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum or subpoena duces tecum ad testificandum duly served without valid justification therefore.

SECTION 5. Complaint - No person shall be cited for indirect contempt without a formal complaint filed by an aggrieved party or by the Commission motu proprio by issuing an order or any other formal charge requiring the respondent to answer within ten (10) days from receipt of such order or summons and to show cause why he/she should not be punished for contempt. The Commission en banc shall calendar for hearing the contempt proceedings within fifteen (15) days from the expiration of the ten (10) days show cause period given to respondent.

SECTION 6. Authority of the Commission to Investigate and Monitor Human Rights Incidents and Situations  - CHR Special Investigator/s or special fact-finding or investigative monitoring team on mission to conduct investigation or fact-finding of human rights violations/incidents, or to pursue investigative monitoring of economic, social and cultural rights situations shall bring with him/her/them an official document addressed to the concerned party clearly showing the Commission's authority to investigate and/or monitor human rights violations/incidents or human rights situations of vulnerable sectors. Such document shall indicate therein the actions expected of the person/s to whom such document is issued.

The said document shall be duly issued and signed by the Commission en banc, or for the Commission: by the Chairperson or any Commissioner; or by authority of the Commission: by the Regional Director, in cases within the area of responsibility or jurisdiction of the regional office concerned.

SECTION 7. Formal Hearing - Indirect contempt shall be imposed only after due proceedings and an opportunity given to the respondent to be heard by himself or by counsel. On the day set for the hearing, the Commission shall proceed to investigate the charge and consider such answer or evidence which the respondent may adduce in his/her behalf.

Nothing in this Section shall be construed as to prevent the Commission from issuing processes or orders, or requiring the respondent to appear or be present before the Commission, or from holding him/her in custody pending such proceedings.

SECTION 8. Penalty - A person adjudged guilty of indirect contempt may be punished by a fine of Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000.00) for every act thereof. Each day of defiance of, or disobedience to, or non-enforcement of a final order, resolution, decision, ruling, or processes, shall constitute an indirect contempt of the Commission. If the contempt consists in the violation of or omission to do an act which is still within the power of the respondent to perform, the respondent may also be held liable for all damages sustained as a consequence thereof by the aggrieved party.

Damages shall refer to the amount of salaries and/or other monetary benefits that shall have accrued to the aggrieved party had the final order, decision, resolution, ruling, or processes of the Commission been enforced or implemented on time.

SECTION 9. Appeals in Indirect Contempt - The decision or order of the Commission declaring the respondent guilty of indirect contempt may be appealed by respondent to the Supreme Court by petition for certiorari within fifteen (15) days from notice or receipt of a copy of the decision or order. Otherwise, the same shall be final and executory.

SECTION 10. Contempt Powers of Regional Directors - In cases of contempt committed by any person/s against any CHR Regional Director or deputized Hearing Officer/s, the Regional Director concerned, shall apply or petition before the Commission en banc to declare a person within their jurisdiction in indirect contempt for any of the acts or omissions set forth in these Rules.

SECTION 11. Publication - These rules shall be published by the filing of three (3) certified copies thereof with the University of the Philippines Law Center.

SECTION 12. Effectivity - These rules shall take effect upon the expiration of fifteen (15) days from the date of receipt of the required copies thereof by the U.P. Law Center.

Adopted: 20 Sept. 2005

Attested by:
Acting Commission Secretary
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