THE SUPREME Court (SC) has ordered a former anti-communist spokesperson of the government to comment on an indirect contempt petition filed against her by several lawyers for allegedly threatening a trial court judge online.
In a statement dated Oct. 18 and sent to reporters on Wednesday, the tribunal gave ex-spokesperson Lorrain Marie T. Badoy 15 days to file her comment on the case.
The court said it gave the order “without giving due course to the petition.”
A person found guilty of indirect contempt faces up to six months of jail time and a fine of as much as P30,000.
Several lawyers on Oct. 4 asked the High Court to cite Ms. Badoy in contempt given the gravity of her “tirades and threats” against Manila trial court Judge Marlo A. Magdoza-Malagar, who had ruled that the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, were not terrorist organizations, the court said in a statement.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla earlier said his department would bring the case against the communist organizations before the Court of Appeals.
“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,” Ms. Badoy said in her Facebook post on Sept. 23 that has since been deleted.
In a separate Facebook post on Sept. 28, Ms. Badoy said she did not wish harm on Ms. Malagar but was speaking hypothetically.
The High Court on Oct. 4 ordered her to explain why she should not be cited in contempt after more than a hundred lawyers last month condemned her statements.
It earlier warned those who threaten judges on social media saying they could be held in contempt.
Last week, Mr. Remulla told the United Nations Rights Committee that the communist groups should not be immune to criticism.
“If a person is able to dish out criticism, they should be able to take criticism as well especially if they are supporting those that are promoting the death of our people,” he said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez