Baguio City declares judge persona non grata for snafu surrounding parking infraction

Mayor Benjamin Magalong. Photo: ABS-CBN News
Mayor Benjamin Magalong. Photo: ABS-CBN News

The Baguio City Council has declared a Cabanatuan judge persona non grata after he subpoenaed the traffic enforcers who allegedly caught him parking illegally, the city’s Mayor Benjie Magalong announced today.

A statement on Magalong’s Facebook page said that, upon his request, Baguio’s council passed Resolution No. 429-2019, which declared Judge Nelson V. Largo of Cabanatuan City persona non grata. This means Largo is prohibited from entering Baguio City.

It was in late October when Largo, who went to Baguio to attend a seminar, was issued a ticket for illegally parking at the city’s market. Largo alleged that Baguio traffic enforcer officer Bernard Batnag seized his license plate without due process.

In retaliation, Largo ordered Batnag to appear on Nov. 29 in his court to explain why he should not be cited by the judge for indirect contempt, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports. Largo said that by taking his plate, Batnag and his men made him late for his court hearings.

This led Mayor Magalong to send a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to complain about Largo’s behavior, according to Rappler. Magalong also alleged that the judge castigated the traffic enforcers inside the police station.

“This unprofessional and arrogant display of judicial power by a judge to bully those implementing the law, if not rectified by the Supreme Court, would certainly have a chilling effect on our traffic enforcers, not to mention its other adverse effects to the public,” Magalong said.

Largo has yet to publicly respond to Baguio City’s decision to ban him.

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