MANILA - Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said Wednesday the Supreme Court "will always be there to protect" judges, justices, court employees, and everyone in the judiciary.
Gesmundo gave the assurance when he was asked to respond to a press briefer released Tuesday, in which Supreme Court magistrates discussed possible actions on threats against Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar made by former NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lorraine Badoy.
Gesmundo said he was not present during the discussion, as he came back from foreign travel only last night.
"Just like before, when there's a necessity for the court to make a statement, warranted under the circumstances, the Supreme Court will not take it sitting down and express its view, of course, avoiding pre-judging, in case a case should reach the court," he said.
Gesmundo said he has not yet read the statement of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), asking the Supreme Court to cite Badoy in contempt.
SC spokesman Brian Hosaka said the high court thanks the Philippine National Police for also guaranteeing the protection of members of the judiciary from any forms of threat, including those made on social media.
"Sana po ay masimulan na at tapusin nila ang pag imbistiga sa mga ganitong pananakot sa ating mga huwes," he said in a statement.
"Napakahalaga po na malaya ang ating mga huwes sa anumang pagbabanta para siguradong sila’y makakapagdesisyon ng tama, naaayon sa batas, at walang kinikilingan," he added.
In a Facebook post last Friday, Badoy accused Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar of "lawyering" for the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.
This, after Malagar junked the Philippine government’s petition to declare the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations.
Calling Malagar’s resolution a “judgment straight from the bowels of communist hell,” Badoy posed a hypothetical scenario: “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.”
Badoy has denied making a hypothetical statement on killing the judge, calling it “fake news.”
Several people though were able to screen record her post and posted the video on Twitter.
"We are concerned in a sense if there are those who would like to make such statement, which we considered to be, hopefully, not intended to harm anyone," Court Administrator Raul Villanueva told ANC's "Rundown" on Monday when asked about Badoy's red-tagging and threat against a judge.
On Tuesday, the SC Public Information Office 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.”
In a separate post early Wednesday morning on her verified Facebook account, Badoy did not make any reference to the statement of the court even as she thanked people throwing their support behind her.
Meanwhile, Gesmundo declined to comment on the International Criminal Court's (ICC) rejection of the Philippine government's arguments to shelve its probe, saying "it is not in the Philippine jurisdiction."
- with report from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News