SC urged to cite Badoy in contempt; Badoy denies threatening judge

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2022 12:14 AM | Updated as of Sep 29 2022 09:00 AM

Lawyers call for action to address attacks against judicial independence during a program at the University of the Philippines College of Law in Quezon City on September 28, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Lawyers call for action to address attacks against judicial independence during a program at the University of the Philippines College of Law in Quezon City on September 28, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

PNP assures judges of their safety

MANILA — Some lawyers on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to cite former anti-insurgency task force spokesperson Lorraine Badoy in contempt, following statements she made against Manila Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar through a series of Facebook posts.

Lawyers, led by P3PWD Party-list representative and former Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, and some law students gathered in Malcolm Hall at the UP College of Law to call for sanctions against Badoy, chanting “Si Lorraine Badoy, i-contempt, i-contempt, i-contempt.”

“We can’t tell the Supreme Court what to do pero sa aming mga abugado, ito na yata ang pinaka-attack on the independence of the judiciary and our democratic ideals. Sana po, yun ang wish ko, ipa-show cause na ‘yan si Lorraine Badoy at kung may ebidensya, i-contempt na siya,” Guanzon told the media.

An indirect contempt charge for certain cases committed outside the court is punishable by a fine of up to 30,000 pesos or jail time of up to 6 months, under the Rules of Court.

Among the contemptible acts is any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice.

In a Facebook post Friday, Badoy accused Magdoza-Malagar of lawyering for the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) when she dismissed the proscription case filed by the Department of Justice which sought to declare the CPP-NPA terrorist organizations.

Aside from calling Magdoza-Malagar a “friend” of the CPP-NPA, Badoy also posed a hypothetical scenario.

“So 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,” she said.

For Guanzon, Badoy’s statement is a clear threat and is intended to intimidate judges.

“Itong lahat ng ito, mga pasakalye ‘to ni Lorraine Badoy, lahat yun is to create a climate of fear. To create a chilling effect on the lawyers and judges na hindi rightist kagaya niya…to create a culture of right-wing fanatics,” she said.

“‘Yan ang problema dito dahil hindi ito isolated case na si Lorraine Badoy lang. Siya ang spokeswoman nila pero ibig sabihin may mga tao sa likuran nila. Biro mo ba naman, sasabihin nila, e kung bombahin namin kayo? Maging lenient din kayo sa amin, sabi niya?,” she added.

Guanzon is among the more than 200 lawyers who signed a joint statement Tuesday calling Badoy’s statements “a direct attack against the judiciary and its officers that is intended to undermine public confidence in the justice system and to harass and intimidate those who choose to act independently to promote the rule of law.”

The others who signed are former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo, former House representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate, several deans of various law schools, and members of different lawyers’ groups like the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers.

The Supreme Court, in a statement Tuesday, issued a stern warning against those who “incite violence through social media and other means which endanger the lives of judges and their families,” which, according to the high court, could constitute contempt.

It said Supreme Court magistrates acted on their own in deliberating possible actions on statements made by Badoy.

On the sidelines of an event Wednesday, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo explained why the high court was compelled to issue a statement.

“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. 

“Basically, the Supreme Court will always be there to protect its judges, justices, court employees, and everyone in judiciary,” he added.

BADOY’S DENIAL 

Badoy, on her television show Wednesday, said she respects the Supreme Court but denied threatening the life of a judge.

“I would like to assure the Justices of the Supreme Court that I did not, in any way, threaten Judge Marlo Malagar. Nothing could be further from the truth,” she said in a lengthy Facebook post Wednesday night.

“A threat is a statement of an intention to inflict pain or damage. An ‘if-then’ statement, on the other hand, is merely a hypothetical syllogism that are workhorses of deductive logic that I needed to use to make a point,” she explained.

She blamed instead the “CPP-infiltrated” media for twisting her words.

“That my words were manipulated by CPP NPA NDF operatives to make it mean whatever it is they want it to mean in order to silence me about the horrific crimes they have committed against the Filipino people for over 5 decades means little to me,” she said.

“Or that their operatives in media have blown it out of proportion then make it seem like there is a multitude of voices speaking when it’s most likely just a handful of urban operatives in some dingy backroom in Quezon City staging all these to once again hoodwink the Filipino people are things I shrug off because these are methods of the terrorist CPP NPA NDF that I and the vast majority of the Filipinos have grown wise to,” she continued.

She did not however mention which media have been infiltrated by the CPP nor did she cite any proof.

The Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) had earlier rejected Badoy’s denial.

“While she tried to hide her threat behind the word ‘if’, her words, construed with the rest of the post describing Judge Magdoza-Malagar as an ‘unprincipled judge’ who ‘lawyered’ for them [the CPP NPA NDF]’ and is ‘a true ally…of this terrorist organization’ — are clearly a threat,” it said.

“Badoy’s threat is not protected speech—it is a felony. Her red-tagging of the spouses Malagar violate their rights under international law and Philippine law. Her irresponsible posts against them and others clearly indicate that she will continue to act with impunity unless she is held accountable,” the group added, calling on the SC to order Badoy to “show cause why she should not be cited in contempt of court.”

Lawyer Ma. Kristina Conti, said it’s not the media’s fault that Badoy’s statements led to Supreme Court action.

“Hindi ‘yung media ang may problema kasi siya lang naman ‘yung nagpost. The post was unedited. Siguro natakot siya kasi na-screenshot,” she said.

“Usec Badoy seems to be acting under a malicious interpretation and malicious objective of vilifying everybody who comes into contact with CPP-NPA or any communist belief,” she added, when asked why Badoy would go to the extent of red-tagging judges.

PNP PROBE

Compelled by Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel, the Philippine National Police on Tuesday promised to investigate Badoy’s post, including a subsequent post where she said she will form an organization that will “start bombing the offices of these corrupt judges…”

In statement Wednesday, PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Roderick Augustus Alba assured the Supreme Court and the public that “the PNP will always be on the side of the law and ensures the safety and security of the honorable members of the court to enable them to promulgate decisions without fear of reprisal or retribution.”

He promised members of different PNP units would visit judges and prosecutor for lectures on cyber awareness.

In response, Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka thanked the PNP.

“Nagpapasalamat po ang Korte Suprema sa sinabi ng PNP na poprotektahan nila ang mga miyembro ng hudikatura sa anumang klaseng pagbabanta at pananakot, maging sa social media o hindi. 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. Maraming salamat po sa ating kapulisan,” he added.

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