Baguio bans Cabanatuan judge from city; demands apology

BAGUIO CITY — Baguio City is demanding an apology from Cabanatuan City Municipal Trial Court Branch III Judge Nelson Largo, unless he wants to become “unwanted” for life here.

“Unless he accepts what he did is wrong and be humble enough to come to apologize to the people of Baguio, he will remain unwelcome here,” said Baguio City Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan as he officially approved the Baguio City council resolution declaring Judge Largo as “persona non grata” here.

The city council passed Resolution Number 429 against Largo, who issued subpoenas to Baguio traffic enforcers after he was apprehended for a traffic violation in the city. Largo ordered the traffic enforcers to explain why they should not be charged with contempt of court as his functions as a Judge were hindered while he was trying to get back his license plate.

The license plate of Largo’s vehicle was taken by Baguio City traffic enforcers due to illegal parking and violation of number coding along Kayang Street on Oct. 25, 2019. But on Oct. 28, 2019, Largo summoned the enforcers to appear before him on Nov. 29 via a show cause order.

Vice Mayor Olowan said that all the city councilors condemned the apparent arrogance of Largo who summoned the traffic enforcers who were merely implementing the traffic ordinances of Baguio City.

Olowan, a veteran lawyer said, ‘this is not good for a supposed-to-be role model in obeying the law as Largo is out to make the law enforcement pay for doing their duty when he summoned them to his sala where it seems he will be the prosecutor and the executioner.”

The council stressed that Bernard Batnag and his men of the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) under the City Mayor’s Office are doing their mandate to apprehend violators without any consideration to the social status of the person who erred.

The Baguio City lawmakers also condemned the action of Judge Largo for berating the personnel of the Traffic Management Unit (TMU) inside their office in October.

Vice-Mayor Olowan said that the subpoena against Batnag and his men is held in abeyance after the Supreme Court asked an explanation from Largo about his actions against the law enforcers after the news broke out. He said that this only shows that the issuance of subpoenas against the enforcers is questionable.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong also endorsed the “persona non grata” declaration on Largo and even personally wrote the Supreme Court to probe the Cabanatuan judge.