Bongbong, Duterte backing Sereno impeachment? Lawyer says no

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Posted at Sep 14 2017 10:05 AM | Updated as of Sep 14 2017 10:32 AM

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MANILA - A lawyer who filed the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno denied Wednesday that the impeachment move has the blessing of ex-senator Bongbong Marcos or President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an interview, lawyer Larry Gadon confirmed that he ran for senator under the banner of Lakas and the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), a party affiliated with the Marcoses, in the 2016 election. Bongbong Marcos is protesting the vice-presidential win of Leni Robredo in the 2016 polls.

"No, [Marcos] has nothing to do with this complaint. In fact he was also surprised that I am the one filing it," he told ANC.

He also denied that President Duterte is behind the complaint. "I have met President Duerte in person about 5 times and we never talked. Just a shake hand and 'kumusta, sir' and thank you. Ganun lang. He has nothing to do with this."

Gadon also denied that former President and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is behind the complaint after her previous appointee, Chief Justice Renato Corona, was impeached and removed from the High Court. Gadon is a member of Arroyo's legal team.

Gadon said he previously tried to convince Mrs. Arroyo to file a complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales for malicious persecution but Mrs. Arroyo rejected the proposal.

He later got a scolding from the former President when he told reporters that Mrs. Arroyo was contemplating on filing a case.

"She scolded me from head to toe, telling me - I did not ask you to tell the media that I am planning to file a case because there is no plan at all," he said.

He said Mrs. Arroyo did not endorse the impeachment complaint against Sereno. "I did not ask her," he said.

The House of Representatives justice committee on Wednesday said the Gadon complaint is sufficient in form and substance.

Among the Supreme Court documents Gadon used were official lists of Sereno's travel expenses and appointment letters.

Cited were the Supreme Court's purchase of a P5.1 million luxury vehicle for the chief justice, and Sereno's discrepancies on her statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN), arising from her attorney's fees in the Piatco Case.

ANC, September 14, 2017