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Lawyers ask SC to cite Badoy in indirect contempt over rants vs Manila judge

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Lawyers ask SC to cite Badoy in indirect contempt over rants vs Manila judge
Lawyers and law deans file an Urgent Petition for Indirect Contempt against former Palace official Lorraine Badoy-Partosa over her posts against Manila Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar.
JUCRA pool photo

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:30 a.m.) — Lawyers and law school deans on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to cite former Palace official Lorraine Badoy-Partosa in indirect contempt for her posts against Manila Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar.

Led by former Philippine Bar Association president Rico Domingo, the lawyers filed an Urgent Petition for Indirect Contempt against Badoy-Partosa before the SC.

Speaking to reporters after the filing, Domingo said the petition is based on several posts by Badoy-Partosa concerning the decision of Judge Magdoza-Malagar, who recently dismissed the Philippine government’s plea to judicially declare communist rebels as terrorists.

Joining Domingo in the petition are law school deans Tony La Viña, Ma. Soledad Deriquito-Mawis, Anna Maria Abad, Rodel Taton; and lawyers Artemio Calumpong, Christianne Grace Salonga, Ray Paolo Santiago and Ayn Ruth Tolentino-Azarcon.

The Department of Justice has said it will still seek proscription of the communist party and its armed wing but under the Anti-Terrorism Act and before the Court of Appeals. The Palace also said there was no need to react to Judge Magdoza-Malagar's decision.

“We believe that considering the gravity and nature of statements of former [Unersecretary] Badoy, we believe that it would be punishable of indirect contempt, Rule 71 Section 3D,” Domingo said.

This refers to “any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct or degrade the administration of justice.”

Domingo continued: “The SC repeatedly said that you can express your disappointments or disagreements but there is a limit to that. You cannot lambast the court.”

In their petition, the lawyers told the court: “Indeed, the foregoing Facebook posts of Respondent Badoy-Partosa are nothing less than contumacious as they directly besmirch and tear down the reputation and credibility of Judge Malagar and likewise impair the respect due, not only to Judge Malagar, but also to all members of the Philippine Bench and Bar.”

“Respondent Badoy-Partosa’s misconduct and misbehavior call on the public to lose trust and confidence on the authority of the judiciary and to disregard the dignity and integrity of the authority of the court magistrates, as we well as the entire administration of justice.”

The SC en banc on September 27 started its motu proprio proceedings against Badoy in a case docketed as A.M. 22-09-16.

Badoy-Partosa initially claimed reports about her posts were "fake news" despite screenshots documenting them. She has since said that her comments about killing Judge Magdoza-Malagar and bombing judges' offices were hypothetical and not thereats.

Justices, traditionally silent, said in a statement last week: “The Court sternly warns those who continue to incite violence through social media and other means which endanger the lives of judges and their families, and that this is likewise can be considered a contempt of this court and will be dealt with accordingly.”

Badoy-Partosa, a former Palace official, has posted online rants against Judge Magdoza-Malagar over a decision junking the government petition to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People' Army terrorist groups. Magdoza-Malagar said crimes alleged in the government petition were against the law but did not fall under terrorism as defined in the Human Security Act. 

Part of Badoy-Partosa's screed on Facebook reads: "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."

LORRAINE BADOY

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