SC asked to scrap Lorraine Badoy’s show-cause order
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) was asked to recall the show cause order it issued against Lorraine Marie Badoy, the former spokesperson of the government’s anti-insurgency task force.
Badoy through her counsel, lawyer Harry Roque, filed a 47-page petition before the SC, arguing that the show cause order must be revoked since his client’s remarks constituted a fair comment on an “erroneous decision” by a lower court judge.
Last October, the high court ordered Badoy to explain why she should not be cited for indirect contempt over her statements against Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar, who dismissed the government’s petition to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), a terrorist group.
Specifically, the SC is asking Badoy, who used to be a mouthpiece of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, to explain if she posted statements attacking the resolution; if her social media posts “encouraged more violent language against the judge,” and if her post “was a clear incitement to produce violent actions.”
“The use of contempt powers of the Supreme Court against a fair criticism by Dr. Badoy in her exercise of journalistic comment of an erroneous decision of a lower court judge constitutes punishment and thus infringes on her freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” said Roque, presidential spokesperson during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“For speech to be considered incitement, it must reach a high threshold, which in Philippine jurisprudence is speech that threatens to provoke imminent lawless action,” he also pointed out.
Roque further said Badoy’s “if-then” statement has no intention to incite violence nor provoke imminent harm to Malagar, as he pointed out that the judge was not harmed based on Badoy’s post.
In her social media post, Badoy called Malagar an “idiot judge” who lawyers for the CPP-NPA. She also made a hypothetical situation about her “killing” the judge but she can beg for leniency as it was done because of her political belief. The post has since been deleted and denied by Badoy.
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