Gadon eyes disbarment case vs IBP officials opposing Sereno ouster

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2018 05:06 PM

MANILA - Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon has bared plans to file a disbarment case against Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) officials critical of the Supreme Court’s (SC) grant of the quo warranto plea that led to the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice.

Gadon said his team was researching statements that may be used in the case. 

“Pinag-iisipan ng grupo ng legal team na file-an ng disbarment case itong mga ibang officials ng IBP na nagsasalita laban sa desisyon ng SC at laban mismo sa SC sapagkat binibigyan nila ng masamang imahe ang Korte Suprema," Gadon said in a press briefing.

(My legal team is considering filing a disbarment case against some IBP officials who criticize the SC decision because they are giving the high court a negative image.)

The IBP, the country's only compulsory organization of lawyers, had asked the SC to reverse its May 11 ruling granting Solicitor General Jose Calida's plea to invalidate Sereno's 2012 appointment as chief magistrate. 

The SC has upheld its decision. 

Gadon also said he would write the Commission on Audit to ask for a check of allowances the SC has granted the IBP. 

He said the high court has given the organization about P20 million in allowances through the judiciary's budget approved by Congress, but added that the IBP denied this. 

"Mayroong binibigay ang Office of the Chief Justice sa opisyal ng IBP kaya eto ay magpapa-audit ako dito kung saan nila dinadala 'yan, pagkatapos bigay sa kanila 'yan di na nila in-account 'yan sa members."

(The Office of the Chief Justice gives IBP officials allowances so I will seek an audit to check where they use the money because they have not been accounting for it to members.)

Gadon also belittled plans by opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan to file a second motion for reconsideration on the high court decision ousting Sereno, saying it would be excessive. 

The lawyer reminded Pangilinan he is not a party to the case and that the SC already said it would no longer entertain further appeals. 

“Sana naman si Sen. Kiko Pangilinan ay igalang na ang desisyon ng SC dahil wala naman siyang ground para mag-file ng second motion for reconsideration, 'yan ay kalabisan na sa issue na ito," he said.

(I hope Sen. Kiko Pangilinan will respect the SC decision because he has no grounds to file a second motion for reconsideration. That is just too much.)

He also scoffed at the plan of opposition lawmakers to seek the impeachment of 8 justices who granted the quo warranto petition, saying there is no basis to impeach them as they were only doing their jobs. 

Gadon noted that the case of COA chair Rey Villar provided the precedent for the court to remove an impeachable officer by quo warranto.

Sereno's camp and her supporters have been asserting that a Chief Justice may only be removed through impeachment.