Cabanatuan judge declared 'persona non grata' in Baguio City for 'arrogance'

Michelle Soriano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2019 01:53 AM | Updated as of Nov 20 2019 08:58 AM

BAGUIO CITY - A Cabanatuan City judge is now “unwelcome” in Baguio City after he summoned traffic enforcers who confiscated his license plate for illegal parking.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod passed on Monday a resolution “declaring Judge Nelson Largo of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch III of Cabanatuan City as persona non grata in the City of Baguio.”

An official copy has yet to be released to the public but Mayor Benjamin Magalong confirmed to ABS-CBN News that he already signed the said resolution which was written upon his request.

The local government’s move stemmed from an incident which occurred on October 25, 2019 when traffic enforcer Bernard Batnag took the judge’s license plate and issued the former a traffic citation ticket for violating City Ordinance No. 01 Series of 2003 or the Baguio City Number Coding Scheme.

Head of Public Order and Safety Division Cyr Bagayao said the car was parked in a jeepney terminal.

Batnag received a subpoena from the sala of Largo days after the incident, citing the enforcer for indirect contempt.

The said document indicates that the confiscation of the license plate of the judge’s vehicle “evidently caused delay in the scheduled hearings.”

Magalong called the court official’s act a “blatant display of arrogance and unprofessionalism.”

“Saan ka nakakita ng judge...siya mismo ang nagva-violate ng batas? Tapos ayaw niyang i-recognize 'yung batas natin dito sa Baguio. Tapos kung sino pa 'yung nagpapatupad ng batas, tama ang ginawa, kino-contempt pa niya. So, he does not deserve to be a visitor in Baguio City,” Magalong explained.

Had the local government not stood up against the judge, Magalong said it would have set an impression to tourists that the city is selective in enforcing laws.

The mayor added he will discourage business establishments from accommodating the judge when he again sets foot in Baguio City.