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Baguio mayor asks SC: Probe ‘arrogant display of power’ by Cabanatuan judge

BAGUIO CITY — Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong asked Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to look into the indirect contempt charges filed against Baguio traffic enforcers by Cabanatuan City Judge Nelson V. Largo, after he was fined for illegal parking and violating another traffic ordinance during a visit here in October.

“The unprofessional and arrogant display of judicial power… to bully those implementing the law, if not rectified by the Supreme Court, would certainly have a chilling effect on our traffic law enforcers, not to mention its adverse effects on the public,” Magalong said in his Nov. 15 letter to the Chief Justice.

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Magalong said the Baguio enforcers “were lawfully and regularly performing their duties,” when they issued Largo a traffic citation ticket and confiscated his license plate for parking at a jeepney terminal inside the Baguio market on Oct. 25.

The mayor said Largo also violated Baguio’s traffic color coding scheme.

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Asserting that the act of seizing his license plates violated due process, Largo charged the Baguio enforcers with indirect contempt and summoned them to a Nov. 29 hearing at his municipal trial court in Cabanatuan.

Largo’s order accused the traffic enforcers of delaying him at his hearings. The judge said he attended a legal seminar in Baguio and was driving back to Cabanatuan when he stopped briefly at the market.

The Office of the Court Administrator had directed Largo to explain his legal dispute with the Baguio traffic enforcers./Edited by TSB

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