MANILA (UPDATED) — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has appointed controversial lawyer Larry Gadon as his adviser on poverty alleviation, Malacañang announced on Monday.
"His appointment reflects the government's commitment to address one of the most pressing challenges faced by our nation," said Press Secretary Cheloy Garafil.
"He will play a pivotal role in advising the President on strategies and policies aimed at combating poverty and improving the lives of the most vulnerable sectors of society," Garafil said in a statement.
As Palace adviser on poverty alleviation, Gadon will coordinate closely with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders "to design and implement comprehensive programs to address the root causes of poverty."
The controversial lawyer has "wealth of experience" as legal counsel in several sectors that include manufacturing, information technology, realty development, healthcare, resorts and hotels, and construction, according to the Palace.
Garafil said this would "contribute to the formulation of innovative and sustainable poverty alleviation strategies."
Gadon is known as the man behind the impeachment complaint against ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
A self-proclaimed crusader against stupidity, he also made headlines for his antics, which include calling Sereno's supporters "bobo" (stupid), and flashing the middle finger at them outside the high court compound in Baguio City.
In 2022, the Supreme Court suspended Gadon over a viral video where he uttered profanities against journalist Raissa Robles.
Gadon, who got his law degree from the Far Eastern University, ran for the Senate for the May 2022 elections under Marcos' UniTeam ticket but placed 20th.
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas slammed Gadon's appointment, saying the move showed the Marcos administration's "clownish approach in addressing hunger and poverty."
She also called Gadon "an extremely poor choice for a public position that requires serious and diligent work."
"A lawyer who once maligned and verbally assaulted a female journalist with misogynist remarks, and who has been suspended twice by the Supreme Court for his foul language has no right to be on the presidential payroll," she said in a statement Tuesday.
"Truly solving poverty requires comprehensively addressing the widespread landlessness and joblessness in the country through genuine land reform and establishment of national industries. Creating a new position at the executive branch and filling it up with the most unqualified person is certainly not a step towards such comprehensive solution," Brosas added.