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Judges condemn labeling of colleague by ex-gov’t official 

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

PHILIPPINE judges on Monday collectively condemned the labeling of one of their own as a communist by a former government task force official, citing the potential dangers posed by such arbitrary tagging.   

“The Philippine Judges Association (PJA) deplores in no uncertain term the undeserved vilification, red-tagging and life-endangerment of a member of the judiciary,” the group said in a statement.   

Last week, Manila Court Judge Marlo A. Magdoza-Malagar ruled that the Communist Party of the Philippines and it’s armed wing, the New People’s Army, were not formed to engage in terrorist acts based on their platform.   

She was tagged as a Red supporter over the weekend by former anti-communist task force spokesperson Lorraine Marie T. Badoy.  

The association called on President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to declare that “in no time under the (administration’s) watch, will democracy be imperiled by an irresponsible and unfounded assault on a trial judge.”   

“The PJA upholds the rule of law and not the rule of men. We remind everyone that individuals, including judges, have protected constitutional rights, and personal attacks and threats against them and the judiciary should never be tolerated,” it said.   

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the official organization of the country’s lawyers, also issued a statement on the red-tagging of Ms. Malagar.   

“These capricious and dishonest statements go beyond reasonable discussion. They ferment vitriol and hate against our judges,” the IBP said. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo 

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