By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – The Supreme Court has ordered former National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Spokesperson Lorraine Badoy to explain why she should not be cited in contempt after issuing statements against Manila Presiding Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar.
Supreme Court orders former NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lorraine Badoy to show cause within 30-days why she should not be cited for contempt over her statements against Manila Presiding Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar. pic.twitter.com/ULv1ZvfT9y
— Bulatlat (@bulatlat) October 4, 2022
The order came days after the high court issued a stern warning against Badoy.
The SC also ordered Badoy to respond under oath to the following:
1. Whether or not she posted her statements attacking Malagar’s decision junking the Department of Justice petition to proscribe Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army as terrorists in all of her social media accounts;
2. Whether or not her social media post encouraged more violent language against Malagar in all of her social media platform;
3. Whether or not her post, in the context of social media and in the experience of similar incendiary comments here or abroad, was a clear incitement to produce violent actions against a judge and is likely to produce such act;
4. Whether or not her statements on her social media accounts, implying violence in a judge, is part of her protected constitutional speech.
In a statement, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers President Edre Olalia said they are “gratified that the High Court has followed through its motu propio warning to one Lorraine Badoy and for affording her what we value and practice but what she has denied us: due process.”
He added that they also hope that the SC takes good note of its September 26 statement calling for an action against attacks on judicial independence which is signed by more than 600 lawyers. This statement was officially submitted to the SC last Sept. 30.
“We also await at the proper time that relative to the factual and legal issues defined by the Court, the cognate issues of red-tagging not only on Judge Malagar but also against lawyers be necessarily touched upon in the ultimate resolution of the matter,” Olalia added.
Meanwhile, the Movement Against Disinformation (MAD), a group of legal luminaries, law school deans and private law practitioners filed a petition for indirect contempt against Badoy at the SC.
The petitioners also asked the SC for Badoy, if found and declared guilty of indirect contempt, to be penalized with six months of imprisonment and a fine worth of P30,000 ($510).
In its 35-page petition, the petitioners said that Badoy’s “litany of falsehoods could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be categorized as fair and bona fide criticism of a public official’s conduct.”
“It is slanderous, unfair, abusive, criminal. Respondent has threatened the life and security of Judge Malagar and her husband; subjected them to slanderous accusations; and through her actions, called on and encouraged the public to do the same. This is truly detrimental to the independence of the judiciary and grossly violative of the duty of respect to courts,” the petition read.
Badoy’s red-tagging of Judge Malagar came after her decision on the proscription petition of the DOJ against the CPP-NPA was released in public.
In her social media account, Badoy accused Malagar of lawyering for the revolutionary groups and called her an idiot while posing a threat against Malagar. Although Badoy deleted her Facebook post containing the scenario “of killing a judge out of political belief,” many netizens have already made screenshots of the said post.
Petitioners also said that Badoy’s posts against those who expressed support for Malagar such as HUKOM, an organization of court judges, “are all comprised of similar remarks meant to assault the dignity, honor, prestige, and independence of Judge Malagar and of the entire judicial system.”
They added that Badoy’s posts are bordering on hate speech, “amplified by a controversial medium distributed through cyberspace in real-time.”
“This Honorable Court recognizes the right of the public to comment and have critical evaluation of the courts and the judges, including issues pertaining to a concluded litigation. However, such criticism should not spill over the bounds of decency and propriety,” the petition read.
The petitioners include Dean Antonio La Viña, Dean Ma. Soledad Deriquito-Mawis, Dean Anna Maria D. Abad, Dean Rodel A. Tatin, lawyere Artemio P. Calumpong, Christianne Grace F. Salonga, Ray Paolo J. Santiago and Ayn Rith Z. Tolentino-Azarcon. (RTS, RVO)