An organization of trial court judges called on the public to stop red-tagging and vilifying magistrates.
“As members of the Bench, we call on fellow judges: let us refuse to be victims, let us choose to be enablers of the rule of law,” read a statement issued by Hukom Inc. dated March 18.
“And we appeal to all sectors to help us serve the public better by allowing us the space to do so without threats, pressure and improper interference,” it stated.
Hukom issued the statement in response to the tarpaulins that were put up claiming to be from communist groups and thanking Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio for dismissing the illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges against journalist Lady Ann Salem and unionist Rodrigo Esparago.
“We, members of Hukom, Inc., an organization of trial court judges, view these acts (such as red-tagging or online vilification) as attacks on the rule of law and independence of the judiciary,” the group said.
“These acts must be called out because of their chilling effect on the exercise of our judicial functions and the lasting damage they cause to our institution,” it pointed out.
Hukom said, “we members of the court have often kept silent whenever our decisions came under attack.”
“We have chosen let our decisions speak on our behalf, aware that judicial remedies are available for parties affected,” it said.
However, the group lamented that “social media platforms have exacerbated and intensified the formation of public views, in many cases, without the solid backing of verified facts.”