Lawyers slam Badoy, call on SC to take action
MANILA, Philippines — A group of lawyers berated on Tuesday a former anti-insurgency task force spokesperson, Lorraine Badoy, for threatening and red-tagging a Manila regional trial court judge.
In a statement, the group said Badoy’s threats and red-tagging “constitute a direct attack against the judiciary,” as well as its officers to “undermine public confidence in the justice system and to harass and intimidate those who choose to act independently to promote the rule of law.”
They then noted that Badoy continued her “brazen and outrageous” attacks through social media, including threats to life and to bomb offices, vicious red-tagging, and wild accusations.
“We call on the Supreme Court not to let this pass and to take immediate, concrete, and firm action to protect justice actors and the rule of law. The Court must hold accountable those who threaten and malign our judges and lawyers,” the lawyers said.
They explained that if these kinds of accusations against judges are left unchecked, the people’s faith in courts and the justice system mighth further “erode.”
“We must not stand idly by while justice actors are attacked by those who work to spread fear and paranoia,” they said.
“Ms. Badoy must be held accountable while those who dare to follow her lead must be warned that there are consequences for violating the law,” they added.
The statement was signed by the following:
- Dean Pacifico Agabin of Lyceum College of Law
- Mae Diane Azores, 2019 bar topnotcher
- J.V. Bautista, Concerned Lawyers for Civil Liberties
- Neri Colmenares, chairperson of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers
- Dean Jose Romeo Dela Cruz of the University of La Salette School of Law Santiago City
- Ade Fajardo, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
- Gwen Pimentel-Gana, former commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights
- Rowena Guanzon, former commissioner of the Commission on Elections
- Angelo Karlo Guillen, NUPL
- Roger N. Baldwin, Medal of Liberty Awardee by Human Rights First
- Dean Antonio La Viña of the Ateneo School of Government, CLCL
- Edre U. Olalia, NUPL president
- Dean Manuel Quibod of the Ateneo de Davao College of Law
- former Rep. Lorenzo Tanada III
- Dean Rodel Taton of the San Sebastian College Graduate School of Law
- Dean Jose Mari Tirol University of the San Agustin College of Law
- Evalyn G. Ursua
- Susan Villanueva
- former Rep. Carlos Zarate
- former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno
Meanwhile, the Free Legal Assistance Group (Flag) also issued a separate statement slamming Badoy for her threats against Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar, as well as her husband UP Cebu Chancellor Leo Malagar.
“Badoy’s threat is not protected speech — it is a felony. Her red-tagging of the spouses Malagar violate their rights under international law and Philippine law,” said Flag chair Chel Diokno.
“Her irresponsible posts against them and others clearly indicate that she will continue to act with impunity unless she is held accountable,” he added.
He then also called on the Supreme Court to order Badoy to show cause on why she should not be cited in contempt of court.
Magdoza-Malagay was the judge of the Manila Regional Trial Court that junked the DOJ’s proscription case to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed group New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as a terrorist group in 2018.
This infuriated Badoy, a known red-tagger, who in a now-deleted Facebook post on Sept. 23, called the judge a “friend” and “true ally” of the communist armed movement, saying that her 135-page decision was a “gift” and “propaganda material” for them.
Badoy even threatened to kill the judge and accused her husband, Chancellor Malagar of being a “communist sympathizer.”
Prior to this, Badoy had already drawn criticism for her remarks that connected individuals to the communist cause. Just last July, Badoy and other NTF-Elcac officials were required to respond to graft accusations for red-tagging and accusing random individuals of being connected to the CPP-NPA.
Meanwhile, in June, after red-tagging a group of healthcare professionals who voiced complaints about their working circumstances during the COVID-19 outbreak, doctors urged the Professional Regulation Commission to suspend or revoke Badoy’s own medical license.
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