Supreme Court junks Gadon plea questioning NAIA name

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2020 10:43 AM | Updated as of Sep 09 2020 12:22 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) – The Supreme Court has denied a petition seeking to nullify the renaming of Manila International Airport to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the high court's spokesman said Wednesday.

The magistrates voted unanimously during their en banc session Tuesday to deny “for lack of merit” lawyer Larrdy Gadon’s petition to declare null Republic Act 6639, which renamed the MIA after former Sen. Beningo "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.

Gadon filed the petition in late August citing guidelines from the National Historical Commission passed in 2007 or 20 years after the law took effect that only allows, among others, to name a public place after a person at least 10 years after his/her death.

In his petition, he took a swipe at Aquino, whom he said was never declared a national hero.

The outright dismissal comes 2 weeks after the petition was filed without requiring any comment. Gadon did not name any respondent to his petition but tagged the Office of the Solicitor General as another party.

Reacting to the dismissal of his petition, Gadon said he was “saddened” by the decision but said he respects it as a lawyer. 

He insisted SC justices should have been “bolder” in looking into a 42-word law without any explanation or justification.

In June, the Supreme Court also promptly dismissed Gadon’s petition to stop the National Telecommunications Commission from issuing a provisional authority to allow ABS-CBN to operate beyond the lapse of its franchise.

The ground for dismissal: Gadon’s lack of legal standing. 

SC magistrates took the occasion to remind Gadon to be “more circumspect.”

“He will benefit more from restraint and huge dose of humility,” said the SC resolution.

Gadon became notorious for filing an impeachment complaint against ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and for calling the then top magistrate's supporters "mga bobo" (stupid) and flashing the middle finger at them outside the high court compound in Baguio City. 

He ran for senator in 2019 under an “anti-bobo” crusade but lost.

He also represented Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy, the hooded figure in the Ang Totoong Narco-list videos who initially linked the President and his family to illegal drugs, only to turn around and accuse opposition figures of organizing a plot to oust the President. 

A DOJ panel of prosecutors junked the complaint against Robredo but filed conspiracy to commit sedition charges against Trillanes and 10 others.

Gadon also served as lawyer for Guillermina Barrido alias Guillermina Arcillas, the Davao-based businesswoman who accused Trillanes and 3 others of kidnapping with serious illegal detention.

At the time he represented Bikoy and Barrido, the Supreme Court had suspended Gadon for abusive language against a doctor and a fellow lawyer. 

He voluntarily served his 3-month suspension starting October last year. But he is still facing 4 disbarment complaints. 

These include one filed in 2016 after he allegedly said Muslims should be killed to attain peace in Mindanao. Another was filed by Wilfredo Garrido, Jr. over his supposed arrogance at the House of Representatives during the committee hearing on the impeachment complaint he filed against Sereno. 

Two other cases were filed against him after he cursed and raised the middle finger at pro-Sereno protesters in Baguio City at the height of quo warranto proceedings in April 2018.

He has brushed aside the allegations as baseless.

ABS-CBN also reported in October last year that Gadon had not been attending mandatory seminars for lawyers over the past 10 years.