Karapatan welcomes SC’s guilty verdict vs notorious red-/terrorist-tagger Lorraine Badoy-Partosa

Karapatan welcomes the guilty verdict handed down by the Supreme Court (SC) on notorious red- and terrorist-tagger Lorraine Badoy-Partosa for indirect contempt.

The charge stemmed from Badoy-Partosa’s incendiary comments on social media where she insulted and hurled death threats against Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar for having dismissed the Department of Justice’s proscription case against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) under the Human Security Act. The SC fined Badoy-Partosa PhP 30,000 with a warning that “repeating the same or similar acts will lead to a more severe penalty.”

In a 52-page decision penned by Senior Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, the SC shot down Badoy-Partosa’s claim that her terrorist-tagging of, and other vitriolic attacks against, Judge Magdoza-Malagar were within her constitutional rights to freedom of expression by saying that “the ferocity with which (Badoy-Partosa) responded to (Judge Malagar’s) ruling can in no way be considered as a legitimate exercise of her constitutional right.”

The court noted how Badoy-Partosa’s explosive statements directed toward her social media followers were “clearly made to incite and produce imminent lawless action and are likely capable of attaining this objective, as evidenced by the multiple comments made on the posts dated September 22, 2022, September 23, 2022, and September 25, 2022 openly supporting the statements and even offering assistance. Some have even gone as far as asking for Judge Magdoza-Malagar’s address, a clear sign that they intended to execute (Badoy-Partosa’s) call. One need not imagine how these responses would have caused Judge Magdoza-Malagar to fear for her life and seek shelter.” Instead of pacifying her followers, however, Badoy “continued to post scores of statements, further stoking the fire.”

The Supreme Court ruling brings to the fore the very real dangers posed by the terrorist- and red-tagging being done by Badoy-Partosa, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and their ilk. At the minimum, victims of red- and terrorist-tagging suffer mental and psychological torture. Some are forced to relocate to avoid further persecution, as red- and terrorist-tagging is often accompanied by more serious forms of harassment and has led to the illegal arrest and detention, enforced disappearance or even the extrajudicial killing of victims. As UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor has rightly stated in a report, red-tagging is a “context-specific death threat in the Philippines.”

We thank lawyers of the Movement Against Disinformation (MAD) in pursuing this case. The Supreme Court ruling is one legal victory earned in the people’s continuing struggle to expose and oppose human rights violators like Badoy-Partosa and her coterie of fascists and liars in the NTF-ELCAC.