Sowing the wind
IN A now deleted Facebook post, former NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lorraine Badoy’s red-tagged Manila RTC Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar of “lawyering” for the CPP-NPA after Malagar junked the Philippine government’s petition to declare the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations.
Damning Malagar’s decision a “judgment straight from the bowels of communist hell,” Badoy posited: “So if I kill this judge and I do so out of my political belief that all allies of the CPP NPA NDF must be killed because there is no difference in my mind between a member of the CPP NPA NDF and their friends, then please be lenient with me.”
Reaping the whirlwind
QUICK WAS the denunciation of Badoy’s “threats.” HUKOM Inc., an organization of trial court judges, called online threats such as red-tagging, vilification and doxxing as “attacks on the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary”.
“We cannot rest easy and accept them as normal and ordinary. These acts must be called out because of their chilling effect on the exercise of our judicial functions and the lasting damage they cause to our institution,” the group said. Addressing their fellows in the judiciary, HUKOM said, “Let us not normalize violence against persons as a form of redress by being silent.”
“The Integrated Bar of the Philippines condemns the abuse, harassment and outright red-tagging of another member of the Judiciary. These capricious and dishonest statements go beyond reasonable discussion. They foment vitriol and hatred against our judges,” the IBP said in a statement.
“To threaten members of the Judiciary is to ‘sow fear’ at a ‘critical element’ of the legal system. Broadcast and posts showcasing those who verbally assault judges encourages the public to do the same. If judges can be treated disdainfully without consequence, the Rule of Law becomes a hollow promise,” it added. On Sept. 22, the High Court issued this press briefer:
Today, the Supreme Court En Banc tackled motu proprio possible actions in A.M. No. 22-09-16-SC (Re: Judge Marlo A. Magdoza-Malagar) regarding statements made by a certain Lorraine Badoy containing threats against Judge Marlo A. Magdoza-Malagar of the Manila Regional Trial Court, Branch 19.
In the meantime, the Court issued the following statement:
“The Court STERNLY WARNS those who continue to incite violence through social media and other means which endanger the lives of judges and their families, and that this SHALL LIKEWISE BE CONSIDERED A CONTEMPT OF THIS COURT and will be dealt with accordingly.”