ROLE AND RIGHTS OF PEOPLE ORGANIZATIONS
Section 15. The state shall respect the role of independence people’s organizations to enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic framework, their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means.
Peoples organizations are bona fide associations of citizens with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest and identifiable leadership, membership, and structure.
Section 16. The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. The state shall, by law facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms.
Section 17. (1) There is hereby created an independent office called the commission on human rights.
(2) The commission shall be composed of a chairman and four members who must be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and a majority of whom shall be members of the bar. The term of office and other qualifications and disabilities of the members of the commission shall be provided by law.
(3) Until this commission is constituted, the exiting presidential committee on human rights shall continue to exercise its present functions and powers.
(4) The approved annual appropriation of the commission shall be automatically and regularly released.
Section 18. The commission on human rights shall have the following powers and functions:
- Investigate, on its or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights;
- adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violation thereof in accordance with the rules of court;
- Provide appropriate legal measure for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measure and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection;
- Exercise vistorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities;
- Establish a continuing program of research, education, and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights;
- Recommend to the congress effective measure to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families;
- Monitor the Philippine governments compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights;
- Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or others evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority;
- Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office ,or agency in the performance of its functions;
- Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and
- Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.
Section 19. The congress may provide for other cases of violations of human rights that should fall within the authority of the commission, taking into account its recommendations.