SC to Badoy: Answer contempt rap over ‘threat’ to Manila judge
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has ordered the former mouthpiece of the government’s controversial anti-insurgency body to comment on a petition seeking to punish her for social media posts she allegedly made threatening the Manila judge who ruled against labeling communist groups as terrorists.
In a notice, the high tribunal instructed Lorraine Badoy, former spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), to give her side within 15 days on a petition calling on the court to declare her guilty of indirect contempt.
The Supreme Court was acting on the Oct. 4 petition filed and signed by hundreds of lawyers and school deans who asked the high tribunal to take action against Badoy for statements attributed to her attacking Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar.
The petitioners asked the court to slap the highest penalty for indirect contempt on Badoy: six months in prison and a P30,000 fine.
Former Philippine Bar Association head Rico Domingo told reporters earlier this month that their petition was based on Badoy’s social media posts against Malagar after the latter’s Sept. 21 decision dismissing a government petition to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as terrorist organizations.
‘If I kill this judge’
Shortly after Malagar’s ruling went public, a Facebook post made by an account under Badoy’s full name “Lorraine Marie T. Badoy” said: “If I kill this judge and I do so out of my political belief, then please be lenient with me.”
The same account wrote about intending to form an organization that will “start bombing the offices of these corrupt judges who are friends of terrorists.”
Badoy has denied writing the threatening post, which has since been deleted, although she stood by other comments she made against Malagar. In a Sept. 28 post on Facebook, Badoy wrote: “I would like to assure the Justices of the Supreme Court that I did not, in any way, threaten Judge Marlo Malagar. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
“[I] practiced my constitutional right to an opinion by questioning what has enraged the Filipino people: the egregious decision of Judge Malagar when she said that this terrorist organization, the CPP-NPA-NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines, CPP’s political arm) … is not a terrorist organization,” she said.
But an organization of trial court judges, Hukom Inc., reported to the Supreme Court that Badoy called Malagar an “idiot judge,” among other names, for purportedly siding with the communists.
Affront on courts
Among Badoy’s statements cited by the lawyers and schools deans were the posts about Malagar’s “passionate lawyering for the CPP-NPA,” and calling the judge “unprincipled,” a “traitor” and an “idiot,” as well as describing her decision as a “judgment straight from the bowels of hell.”
“This is a continuing affront on the independence of the judiciary… we have to put a stop to this,” Domingo said.
“If we fail to stop this, tomorrow there will be another one who will be gunned down. There will be another one who will be ambushed. More lawyers will be targeted. If we’re Red-tagged they will say we’re Red-tagged because we’re communists. And then we’re killed. That is what’s happening in our country,” he added.
The Supreme Court, on its own volition, issued a resolution on Oct. 4 instructing the former NTF-Elcac spokesperson to explain within 30 days why she should not be cited in contempt for the social media posts.
The court also sternly warned that it would take punitive action against “those who continue to incite violence through social media and other means which endanger the lives of judges and their families.”
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