MANILA - President Duterte has appointed to the Sandiganbayan the judge who stopped the airing of a political advertisement against him during the May 2016 presidential campaign.
Duterte has named Taguig Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Lorifel Pahimna to the post vacated by Associate Justice Napoleon Inoturan at the anti-graft court. Inoturan had opted for early retirement in August 2016.
Pahimna's appointment papers were dated March 1, 2017, but the office of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno received the documents just on Tuesday.
Pahimna was the judge who issued a 72-hour temporary restraining order on May 6, 2016, or three days before the national polls, prohibiting ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation from further airing the controversial political ad paid for by then vice-presidential candidate, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
The ad showed children reacting to several of Duterte's controversial remarks and acts.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte's running mate, at the time filed a petition for injunction with the RTC, alleging that the ad was “malicious” and part of “black propaganda” against Duterte, who was then leading all surveys.
In issuing the restraining order, Pahimna said the Trillanes ad “shows minors being used in black propaganda.”
“Thus, it must be suppressed at once, as repeated broadcasting of the same will be irreparably inimical to the children’s welfare and interest,” Pahimna’s May 6, 2016 resolution read.
Citing Section 2, Article 8 of the 2007 Broadcast Code, which states "no program or sponsor shall be allowed to manifestly favor or oppose any candidate or political party,” Pahimna’s order stressed that “[t]hese advertisements do manifestly oppose a candidate, and thus, the court cannot allow minor children to be used in such black propaganda.”