We will protect you, chief justice assures judges

Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo (FILE PHOTO)

The Supreme Court will do everything in its power to protect judges from unwarranted threats and accusations, but the High Court will also crack down on judges who breach the canons of judicial ethics.

“The way we administer justice is a reflection of our judicial system,” Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said Wednesday at the inauguration of the new Makati City Hall of Justice.

“What we’re trying to say now is that we have to change our mentality about how people look at the justice system. In fact, not only the judiciary, but the whole legal profession is part of this call to try to improve or innovate,” he said.

The Chief Justice made the remark after the High Court ordered Lorraine Badoy, a former spokeswoman for the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), to explain her statements against the judge of the Manila Regional Trial Court, Marlo Magdoza-Malagar.

Proscription rejected

On September 21, Magdoza-Malagar dismissed the NTF-Elcac proscription case to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist groups.

Shortly after, a Facebook post by an account by the name of “Lorraine Marie T. Badoy” read, “If I kill this judge and do it out of political conviction, then bear with me. »

The same account also posted an intention to form an organization that “will start bombing the offices of those corrupt judges who are friends of terrorists.”

Badoy has since denied posting the post and deleted them, but an organization of trial court judges, Hukom Inc., reported to the Supreme Court, among others, that Badoy called Magdoza-Malagar a “dumb judge.” who advocate for communists.

The remarks were similar to Badoy’s public remarks since becoming a spokesperson for NTF-Elcac, as well as remarks by other NTF-Elcac officials who have accused beauty queens, showbiz personalities and even members of Congress for being Communists, as if it were a crime.

In an en banc session on Tuesday, the High Court ordered Badoy to answer a number of specific questions and explain why she should not be cited in defiance of social media posts.

The High Court has sternly warned that it will take punitive action against “those who continue to incite violence through social media and other means which endanger the lives of judges and their families”.

Meanwhile, Gesmundo said at the courthouse dedication that the court would also “not let go of any shortcomings or misconduct, or any violations committed by our judges with respect to our constitutional mandate.”

He added that “any violation of our canons of judicial ethics will merit administrative prosecution, and appropriate penalties will be imposed by the court.”

The Chief Justice said the need to strike this balance is to improve the public’s perception of the judiciary.

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Elna M. Lemons