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JURISDICTION OF CHR

Common crimes are usually committed by private individuals while human rights violations, which the
CHR may take cognizance of, are violations generally committed by the state or its agents (among
others, the law enforcers -PNP, Military (to include CAFGUs), government officials, local
government officials). So murders, kidnapping and other crimes committed by private individuals fall
under the common crime, punishable under the RPC.

General Rule:
- if committed by state or its agents - human rights violation, hence CHR jurisdiction
- if committed by private individuals - common crimes, CHR has no jurisdiction to investigate. CHR
is not however precluded from rendering legal assistance/legal aid

Exceptions:
However ,there are instances where human rights violations may also be committed by private individuals
or non state actors, i such as the following:

a. Organized armed groups, such as the CPP/NPA, MILF, MNLF - although these are not state
agents, under the IHL law, they are prohibited from attacking civilians and civilian objects.

b. members of the private or civilian sector acting upon instruction of or with the acquiescence of
government or State authorities

c.private individuals/entity
- in cases relating to Business and Human rights (ex. mining companies violating the rights of
IPs)
- VAWC cases and Child rights violation cases
- in some instances, hate crimes and discrimination cases

There are instances where the State can be held liable for HRVs although the crimes was committed by
private individuals (vigilante groups), like in the case of DAVAo Death Squad. You may want to read the
Resolutionof the said case. Quoted herein are the findings of the CHR in the said case:

"although there is a derath of evidence to support a finding of direct complicity on the part of
the government officials, the Commission notes that ther has been a systematic failure on the part of
such local officials to conduct any meaningful inbvestigation into said lkillings."

The continuing pattern of killings and the failure to condcut a meaning ful investigation of such
incidents can be construed as tolerance on the part of the authorities of the crimes hereto described,
thereby contributing to the climate of impunity.

The state can be held liable for violations committed by third parties when it can be shown that the
state had knowledge of a real and immediate threat and failed to adopt reasonable measured to prevent
it."