Cite Badoy in contempt, SC urged

Law school deans and lawyers yesterday asked the Supreme Court to cite former Palace official Lorraine Badoy for indirect contempt over her social media posts against Manila Judge Marlo

Former Philippine Bar Association president Rico Domingo led the group in filing an Urgent Petition for Indirect Contempt against Badoy before the high bench.

Domingo told reporters the petition is based on several posts by Badoy concerning the decision of Manila Regional Trial Court Judge

Magdoza-Malagar, dismissing a plea of the Department of Justice to judicially declare communist rebels as terrorists.

Badoy was a former spokesperson of the government’s anti-communism task force NTFELCAC.

Law school deans Tony La Viña, Ma. Soledad Deriquito-Mawis, Anna Maria Abad and Rodel Taton signed the petition, along with lawyers Artemio Calumpong, Christianne Grace Salonga, Ray Paolo Santiago and Ayn Ruth Tolentino-Azarcon

The DoJ has said it will still seek proscription of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing the New People’s Army, but under the Anti-Terrorism Act and before the Court of Appeals.

Domingo said that considering the gravity and nature of the statements of former undersecretary Badoy, they believe it would be punishable as indirect contempt under Rule 71, Section 3D.

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

“The SC repeatedly said that you can express your disappointments or disagreements but there is a limit to that. You cannot lambast the court,” the former PBA head said.

“Indeed, the foregoing Facebook posts of respondent Badoy 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,” the petition read in part.

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

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

Badoy 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 threats.

In its warning, the SC said 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.”

In a late-breaking development, the SC has given Badoy 30 days to explain why she should not be cited for contempt.

The SC issued a show cause order directing Badoy to explain after taking note of the statements issued by various lawyers and judges’ groups such as Hukom, the Philippine Judges Association, and the University of the Philippine College of Law Faculty, condemning the red-tagging of Judge Malagar by Badoy.

It also took note of the report submitted by the Office of the Court Administrator on the steps taken to ensure the safety and security of Judge Malagar.

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