People who threaten judges could face contempt charges, the Supreme Court warned Tuesday (September 27).
“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 Supreme Court said in a statement.
The SC Public Information Office (SCPIO) said the tribunal issued the statement at the heels of the statements made by former National Taskforce to End Local Communist Armed Conflict spokesperson Lorraine Badoy on social media against Manila Judge Marlo Magdosa-Malagar.
The magistrate was the one who dismissed the proscription petition of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that sought to declare terrorists the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
A number of organizations including the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has already condemned “the abuse, harassment and outright red-tagging of another member of the Judiciary.”
“These capricious and dishonest statements go beyond reasonable discussion,” it pointed out.
It added that a red-tagging statement also “foment vitriol and hate against our judges.”
The IBP said it is looking into taking action against those who red-tagged the magistrate.
It said that the Supreme Court (SC) has issued a ruling that stated, “False reports about a public official or other person are not shielded from sanction by the cardinal right to free speech enshrined in the Constitution. Even the most liberal view of free speech has never countenanced the publication of falsehoods, specially the persistent and unmitigated dissemination of patent lies.”
“As officers of the court charged with its protection, the IBP reserves the right to resort to these remedies,” the organization said.
“We also call for the immediate activation and utilization of the Judicial Marshal Service recently created by Law,” it added.