Ateneo Law School: ‘Attacks vs Judge Malagar not only irresponsible, but also contemptuous'

Ateneo de Manila University

The social media attacks against a Manila trial court judge are “not just irresponsible” but are also “contemptuous.”

The attacks against judges are considered attacks against a free judiciary, the Ateneo De Manila University’s Law School (Ateneo Law School) community said in a statement issued on Friday, Sept. 30.

“We, the members of the Ateneo Law School community, strongly condemn the red-tagging and inciting of violence against members of the legal profession and the Judiciary, the most recent being the grave online attacks against Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar,” it said.

“This statement goes beyond standing with and for one of our own. (Judge Malagar is a member of Ateneo Law School Batch 1997). 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 also said.

Earlier, the Supreme Court (SC) had warned that fine or imprisonment or both will be imposed on “those who continue to incite violence through social media and other means which endanger the lives of judges and their families.”

"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 SHALL LIKEWISE BE CONSIDERED A CONTEMPT OF THIS COURT and will be dealt with accordingly," the SC said in its Sept. 27 resolution.

The Sept. 27 resolution the contained a stern warning was issued after the SC tackled the social media posts of Loraine Marie T. Badoy, former spokesperson of the National Taskforce to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, against Judge Malagar.

Last Sept. 21, Judge Malagar promulgated her ruling which denied the petition for proscription 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 declaration that the CPP and NPA are not terrorist organizations drew criticisms from the public, one of them the social media posts of Badoy.

In her Facbook post last Friday, Sept. 23, Badoy accused Judge Malagar of "lawyering" for the CPP-NPA.

"So if I kill this judge and I do so out of my political belief 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, then please be lenient with me," Badoy also stated in her Facebook post that was deleted last Saturday, Sept. 24.

Several associations of lawyers have condemned the attacks against Judge Malagar. Almost all of the associations pleaded the SC to cite Badoy in contempt of court.

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

In his speech before the members of the Metropolitan and City Trial Judges Association of the Philippines (METCJAP) last Sept. 29 in Boracay, Aklan, Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo assured the SC’s protection of judges, justices, and officials and personnel of the judiciary.

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