SC to tackle anew Badoy’s ‘threats’ vs Judge Malagar on CPP-NPA ruling

Supreme Court (SC)

The Supreme Court (SC) is set to tackle anew during its full court session on Tuesday, Oct. 4, the administrative case it initiated on its own on “threats” against Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Marlo A. Magdoza-Malagar aired in social media posts by Loraine Marie T. Badoy, former spokesperson of the National Taskforce to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Last Sept. 21, Judge Malagar dismissed the petition for proscription filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and declared that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) are not terrorist organizations.

Judge Malagar’s ruling drew criticisms from the public, one of them in the social media posts of Badoy.

The motu proprio (on its or one’s initiative) case denominated as A.M. No. 22-09-16-SC (Re: Judge Marlo A. Magdoza-Malagar) was first taken up last Sept. 27.

After its full court deliberation, the SC issued a resolution which states: “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, however, did not order Badoy to explain or comment on the motu proprio administrative case. Legal quarters said Badoy may be cited in indirect contempt of court which is punishable with fine or imprisonment of six months, or both at the discretion of the court.

In her Facebook post last 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.

Even before the issuance of the SC resolution last Sept. 27, Hukom, Inc. – a group of trial court judges – condemned the attack against Judge Malagar in a statement issued last Sept. 26.

“We members of Hukom, Inc., an organization of trial court judges, view these acts of red tagging, online vilification, doxxing and others as attacks on the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. We cannot rest easy and accept them as normal and ordinary. These acts must be called out because of their chilling effect on the exercise of our judicial functions and the lasting damage they cause our institutions,” the group said.

Thereafter, various groups issued their statements which were all published on line by Manila Bulletin at

The Philippine Judges Association (PJA) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) also condemned the social media attacks against Judge Malagar.

PJA said that the judiciary is the last bulwark of democracy and that “a judge is such bulwark personified set out to administer justice as best as he/she sees fit and proper in light of the evidence, law and jurisprudence before him/her.”

“Any unfounded assault on a judge in whatever form or manner is an assault on democracy,” it said.

For its part, the IBP – the official organization of lawyers in the country – called for the immediate activation of the Judicial Marshall Service for the protection of judiciary members and personnel.

The Judiciary Marshals Act under Republic Act No. 11691 provides for the creation of an office which will be “primarily responsible for the security, safety, and protection of the members, officials, personnel, and property of the Judiciary, including the integrity of the courts and its proceedings.”

The IBP said it “condemns the abuse, harassment and outright red-tagging of another member of the Judiciary. These capricious and dishonest statements go beyond reasonable discussion. They foment vitriol and hate against our judges.”

“To threaten members of the Judiciary is to ‘sow fear’ at a ‘critical element’ of the legal system. Broadcasts and posts showcasing those who verbally assault judges encourages the public to do the same. If judges can be treated disdainfully without consequence, the Rule of Law becomes a hollow promise,” it said.

In his Facebook post, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre U. Olalia said more than 170 lawyers issued a statement and asked the SC to take “firm action” against Badoy.

“We call on the Supreme Court not to let this pass and to take immediate, concrete, and firm action to protect justice actors and the rule of law. The Court must hold accountable those who threaten and malign our judges and lawyers,” the lawyers said.

Among the other signatories in the statement were former Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Carlos Zarate; former Quezon Fourth District Rep. Lorenzo Tanada III; NUPL chairperson Neri Colmenares; former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) president Ade Fajardo; former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon; Lyceum College of Law Dean Pacifico Agabin; University of La Salle School of Law Dean Jose Romeo S. Dela Cruz; Ateneo de Davao College of Law Dean Manuel Quibod; San Sebastian College Graduate School of Law Dean Rodel Taton; University of San Agustin Dean Jose Mari Tirol; and 2019 Bar topnotcher Mae Diane Azores.

The Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) also asked the SC to cite Badoy in contempt of court.

FLAG Chairperson Manuel “Chel” L. Diokno said: “Considering her propensity to red-tag, her red-tagging of the spouses Malagar, and the threat she hurled at Judge Magdoza-Malagar, FLAG entreats the Court to order Lorraine Badoy to show cause why she should not be cited in contempt of court.”

Diokno also said: “Badoy’s threat is not protected speech--it is felony. Her red-tagging of the spouses Malagar violate their rights under international law and Philippine law. Her irresponsible posts against them and others clearly indicate that she will continue to act with impunity unless she is held accountable.”

Members of the community of the Ateneo de Manila University Law School said the social media attacks against Judge Malagar are “not just irresponsible” but are also “contemptuous.”

“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,” Ateneo Law School said in a statement.

Human rights lawyers, led by NUPL members, also asked the SC to take action on the social media attacks against Malagar.

In a letter to Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo and all SC justices, 485 human rights lawyers – led by Olalia and lawyer Evalyn G. Ursua – said: “We also hope that the Court will address Ms. Badoy’s attacks against human rights lawyers which were part of her attacks against Judge Malagar.”

They expressed their gratitude to the SC for tackling the issue on Badoy’s attacks against Malagar in social media.

“We are heartened by this and the Court’s public statement sternly warning those who incite violence which endangers the lives of judges and their families and informing the public that such constitutes contempt of court,” they said in their letter.

“We look forward to the specific action that the Honorable Court will finally take on the matter to exact accountability from Ms. Badoy and others,” they said.

Lastly, the Philippine Bar Association (PBA) asked the public to heed the SC’s warning against threats to judges even on social media posts.

“We adhere to the Rule of Law because the alternative is the Rule of Force. When we normalize threatening our judges with violence, we invite the same violence to visit us on the streets and in our homes,” PBA said.

It reminded that in an adversarial legal system where “one side wins, the other side loses,” results of judge’s decision will always “favor” one side, and “disfavor” another. However, the losing party is always “entitled to appeal a judge’s decision” where disagreements and questions could be raised, it said.

“But to threaten the judge who rendered the decision is not one of the remedies. When that threat alludes to physical violence, then it becomes even more repugnant,” it stressed.

The SC has expressed its gratitude to the Philippine National Police (PNP) for its assurance to protect members of the judiciary from intimidation and threats even on social media.

In a statement, SC’s Spokesperson and Chief of the public information office (PIO) Brian Keith F. Hosaka said:

“Nagpapasalamat po ang Korte Suprema sa sinabi ng PNP na poprotektahan nila ang mga miyembro ng hudikatura sa anumang klaseng pagbabanta at pananakot, maging sa social media o hindi. (The Supreme Court thanks the PNP for its statement that it will protect members of the judiciary from whatever threats and intimidation even on social media).

“Sana po ay masimulan na at tapusin nila ang pag imbistiga sa mga ganitong pananakot sa ating mga huwes. (The SC expresses hopes that the investigations started by the PNP on threats against judges be terminated).

“Napakahalaga po na malaya ang ating mga huwes sa anumang pagbabanta para siguradong sila’y makakapagdesisyon ng tama, naaayon sa batas, at walang kinikilingan. Maraming salamat po sa ating kapulisan. (It is very important that members of the judiciary are free from threats to assure them that they can hand down decisions according to the laws and without partiality. Thank you to all members of the PNP).”

Chief Justice Gesmundo, in behalf of the SC, has assured members of the judiciary of protection against any form of threat and harassment.

“You can count on us,” Gesmundo declared.

“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,” he said.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla had said the DOJ will no longer appeal the RTC’s ruling on CPP and NPA.

Remulla said a new petition will be filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) which has jurisdiction under Republic Act No. 11479, the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020.

Remulla said the Manila RTC resolved the DOJ’s 2018 petition under the provisions of RA 9372, the Act to Secure the State and Protect Our People from Terrorism or the Human Security Act of 2007 (HSA 2007), which had been repealed by the 2020 ATA.

“Kaya (because of this) appealing the case with the RTC will not serve us anything good. Under the new law (RA 11479), the jurisdiction for proscription of terrorist organizations will lie in the Court of Appeals,” he said.