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Lawyers, universities condemn ex-Palace official's threats vs judge

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Lawyers, universities condemn ex-Palace official's threats vs judge
This file photo shows Lorraine Badoy-Partosa attending a congressional hearing.
The STAR, file

MANILA, Philippines — Lawyers and universities condemned the threats made by former anti-insurgency spokesperson Lorraine Badoy-Partosa against a Manila Regional Trial Court judge who dismissed the government’s case to judically declare communist rebels as terrorists.

Some 485 lawyers signed a statement deploring the “grave and disturbing threats and scurrilous statements” that Badoy made against Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar. 

Badoy-Partosa insinuated that Malagar, whom she called communist cadre, as well as her husband University of the Philippines Cebu Chancellor Leo Malagar, and members of the National Union of People’s Lawyers are connected to the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.

She also posted a hypothetical scenario where she said: "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." 

“These baseless allegations against Judge Malagar and members of the Philippine Bar are beyond the bounds of fair and reasonable criticism,” the lawyers said in a statement sent to the Supreme Court on Friday.

The lawyers called on the Supreme Court to take concrete and firm action to protect judges and lawyers, and hold those who threaten and malign justice actors accountable.

“Lies, spins, and libelous accusations amounting to criminal contempt against judges, if left unchecked, erode the people’s faith in our courts and justice system. We must not stand idly by while justice actors are attacked by those who work to spread fear and paranoia,” they said.

The SC en banc has earlier discussed “possible actions” over statements made by Badoy against Malagar. It also issued a “stern” warning that it will consider attempts on social media and elsewhere to incite violence against judges a contempt of the court.

READ: Integrated Bar, PJA: Don't tolerate personal attacks and threats vs judges

Academe joins in condemning Badoy's threat

In a separate statement, the Ateneo Law School community said the call for violence in response to Malagar’s dismissal of the petition not just irresponsible, but also “contemptuous for instigating repugnance on a judge’s faithfulness to her sworn duty to uphold the law.”

“This statement goes beyond standing with and for one of our own. This, too, is a reminder that an attack against a dutiful member of the court is an attack against a free judiciary mandated to safeguard our inherent rights through the rule of law,” it said.

The UP President’s Advisory Council also condemned the threats against Malagar and her husband.

“This is not the first time — nor, we believe, will it be the last — that Ms. Badoy 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,” the UP PAC said.

The UP PAC is composed of the president, the vice presidents, and the secretary of the university, the chancellors of the eight UP constituent units, the director of the UP Philippine General Hospital, and the executive director of the UP Bonifacio Global City campus. — Gaea Katreena Cabico 

LORRAINE BADOY

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