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SC urged to take stern action vs red-tagging

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
SC urged to take stern action vs red-tagging
They urged the SC to “consider going beyond its action on the matter and initiate actions to hold accountable Badoy and others” who may consider similar attacks against those in the legal profession.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Law professors have joined the call for the Supreme Court (SC) to take more action against the red-tagging of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar.

Over 100 faculty members of the University of the Philippines College of Law, including its dean Edgardo Carlo Vistan II, issued a joint statement condemning the threats made by former anti-insurgency task force spokesperson Lorraine Badoy against Malagar and her husband, UP Cebu chancellor Leo Malagar.

The Malagar couple had been members of the UP law faculty as lecturers.

Saying red-tagging violates the basic principles on the role of lawyers, the law professors said Badoy’s statement should not be allowed to remain unaddressed.

“The threat to kill another is a felony punished under our criminal laws,” read the statement.

They urged the SC to “consider going beyond its action on the matter and initiate actions to hold accountable Badoy and others” who may consider similar attacks against those in the legal profession.

“We further ask the (Supreme) Court to consider issuing the appropriate rules to ensure that lawyers, prosecutors, and judges who may find themselves similarly attacked may have a meaningful remedy under law. The issuance of such rules would be the best way to end what the Court today started,” it added.

Following its deliberations on Badoy’s social media posts, the SC on Tuesday issued a stern warning against “those who continue to incite violence through social media and other means which endanger the lives of judges and their families.”

Badoy, who denied threatening Magdoza-Malagar, accused the judge of lawyering for the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) after denying the government’s petition to proclaim the groups as terrorist organizations.

“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 said in a now-deleted post.

She claimed, without providing evidence, that the judge’s husband was affiliated with the CPP-NPA-NDF.

Responding to the SC statement, Badoy claimed that she never threatened the judge and was merely presenting a hypothetical scenario.

Several lawyers, led by P3PWD party-list Rep. Rowena Guanzon, also held an indignation rally at the UP College of Law on Wednesday to ask the SC to cite Badoy in contempt.

In a separate statement, law professors at the Far Eastern University Institute of Law condemned Badoy for her statements against Magdoza-Malagar.

“We likewise condemn the personal attacks, criticisms laden with threats of violence, those that misrepresent and distort the nature and context of judicial decisions, and those that are misleading with nary any factual or legal basis. All of these undermine and damage the integrity of the judiciary and threaten judicial independence,” they added.

Overstepped

UP officials led by its president Danilo Concepcion also denounced Badoy’s remarks, saying she has “overstepped the bounds of human decency with her rabid and reckless assaults on free speech, human rights and now, the judicial process itself, one of our last democratic recourses.”

“While she may seek to evade legal action by resorting to seemingly hypothetical questions in her posts, the malice and moral depravity in her intent is evident, particularly her chilling statement about killing ‘this judge,’ knowing full well that she is associated with the country’s military and intelligence establishment,” read the statement from the UP President’s Advisory Council.

SC

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