“Attacks against Judge Malagar not only irresponsible, but also contemptuous” – Manila Bulletin

Ateneo de Manila University

The social media attacks on a Manila Magistrate’s Court judge are “not only irresponsible”, but also “contemptuous”.

Attacks on judges are seen as attacks on a free judiciary, the Ateneo de Manila University Faculty of Law Community (Ateneo Law School) said in a statement released on Friday, September 30.

“We, the members of the Ateneo Law School community, strongly condemn the red flagging and incitement to violence against members of the legal profession and the judiciary, the most recent being the serious online attacks on the Branch 19 of the Manila Regional Magistrate’s Court, Judge Marlo Magdoza.-Malagar, he said.

“This statement goes beyond standing with and for one of our own. (Judge Malagar is a member of the Ateneo Law School Batch 1997). It too reminds us that an attack on a dedicated member of the court is an attack on a free judiciary mandated to protect our inherent rights through the rule of law,” he also said.

Earlier, the Supreme Court (SC) warned that a fine or jail time or both would be imposed on “those who continue to incite violence through social media and other means that put endangering the lives of judges and their families”.

“The Court STRONGLY WARNS those who continue to incite violence through social media and other means that endanger the lives of judges and their families, and that it WILL ALSO BE CONSIDERED A CONTEMPT TO THIS COURT and will be dealt with accordingly,” the SC said. in its resolution of 27 September.

The September 27 resolution contained a stern warning after the SC addressed social media posts by Loraine Marie T. Badoy, a former spokesperson for the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict, against Judge Malagar .

On September 21, Judge Malagar issued her decision denying the interdict petition filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). .

Judge Malagar’s statement that the CPP and NPA are not terrorist organizations has drawn criticism from the public, including Badoy’s social media posts.

In her Facbook article last Friday, September 23, Badoy accused Judge Malagar of “acting as a lawyer” for the CPP-NPA.

“So if I kill this judge and I do it out of political conviction that all allies of the CPP NPA NDF (National Democratic Front) must be killed because there is no difference in my mind between a member of the CPP NPA NDF and their friends, so bear with me,” Badoy also said in his Facebook post which was deleted last Saturday, September 24.

Several lawyers’ associations have condemned the attacks on Judge Malagar. Almost all of the associations pleaded with the CS to cite Badoy for contempt of court.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), on the other hand, has assured that it will continuously extend protection to all members of the judiciary and its personnel throughout the country.

In his address to members of the Metropolitan and City Trial Judges Association of the Philippines (METCJAP) on September 29 in Boracay, Aklan, Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo assured the SC’s protection of judges, judges, civil servants and judicial personnel.

“While it is our constitutional duty to oversee our lower courts, it is our moral duty to protect each of you and to ensure that you can perform your duties free from threat, harassment, undue influence, coercion and, certainly, any form of violence,” Gesmundo told the judges.

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Jon J. Epps