A screenshot of the Baguio City Public Information Facebook Page announcement declaring Cabanatuan Branch 3 Judge Nelson V. Largo a persona non grata in the city

A Cabanatuan City judge has been declared ‘persona non grata’ by the Baguio City council after he subpoenaed a city traffic enforcer who issued him a traffic violation ticket and confiscated his car’s license plate.

Judge Nelson V. Largo of Cabanatuan City Branch 3 is barred from entering the city, acclaimed as the summer capital of the country, for “bullying” a local traffic officer. Mayor Benjamin Magalong requested the city council to make the formal pronouncement.

Largo subpoenaed Bernard Batnag, Baguio City’s Peace and Order Safety Division (POSD) officer, after the latter got the ire of the judge for issuing him traffic violation tickets.

Reports show that the judge incurred two traffic infractions in Baguio City on October 25 for violating the city’s number coding ordinance and for illegally parking his vehicle at the city market’s jeepney terminal.

The judge lashed out at Batnag after he was handed over his traffic citations and his plate number confiscated, allegedly according to Largo, without due process.

Largo said he was in the city to attend a security seminar. He claimed that the removal of his plates and settling of fines “evidently caused delay” in his scheduled hearings in Cabanatuan.

Apparently in retaliation, the judge summoned Batnag and the chief of the traffic management of the market for a November 29 hearing, ordering them to explain within 72 hours why they should not be cited for indirect contempt.

On November 15, Magalong sent a letter to Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to seek the Supreme Court’s assistance on the case for what the mayor claims as Largo’s “unprofessional and arrogant display of judicial power”.

“May I respectfully bring to your attention the grievance of our traffic law enforcers who were lawfully and regularly performing their duties and functions but were charged by Judge Nelson Largo for indirect contempt in his own court at the Cabanatuan City Trial Court to be heard on November 29,” Magalong stated in his letter.

Supreme Court (SC) Administrator Midas Marquez Largo to comment on the issue at the SC. (Jojo Mangahis)