The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has cited the Supreme Court (SC) for denouncing those who “incite violence through social media and other means which endanger the lives of judges and their families.”
The CHR specifically referred to Lorraine Badoy, former spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, for purportedly threatening Manila City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Marlo Magdoza Malagar who dismissed the government’s proscription case against the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.
The High Court in an en banc tackled motu proprio possible actions against Badoy for issuing threats against Malagar, saying citing violence against judges could be considered contempt of court to be dealt with accordingly.
“CHR, likewise, welcomes the assurance from Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo that courts and judges “are able to perform their duties free from any threat, harassment, undue influence, coercion, and, certainly, any form of violence,” the Commission said.
“We note that these recent actions of the Supreme Court are in consonance with the United Nations’ recognition of the indispensable role of the members of the legal profession in the administration of justice,” it added.
As the country’s independent national human rights institution, CHR relies on the wisdom of our courts in adjudicating cases of alleged human rights violations so that perpetrators may be held to account and victims and their families receive the justice they deserve, the CHR stressed.
“CHR has been vocal in calling out and investigating threats and other forms of violence, including incidences of red-tagging, committed against lawyers, prosecutors, and judges who were responding to their duty to uphold the rule of law. We cannot further stress the importance of protecting the independent work of the judiciary and the legal profession as a whole.”
“Judges and lawyers are important actors in the effective dispensation of justice. To threaten judges and lawyers is to threaten the rule of law and the protection of human rights,” the Commission said.