Impeachment lawyer blasts 'yellow virus', denies he wants gov't post

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Posted at Oct 24 2017 11:11 AM | Updated as of Oct 24 2017 11:48 AM

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The lawyer who filed the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Tuesday criticized the "yellow virus" - a color associated with the Aquino administration - but denied that there is a plot to remove all officials allegedly identified with former President Aquino. 

Speaking to ANC, lawyer Lorenzo "Larry" Gadon said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and Chief Justice Sereno were appointed by President Benigno Aquino III to protect him. 

"The yellow virus is [a] kind of illness that has ruined the country...It is very obvious they were appointed by [Aquino] to protect him and his minions," he said. 

Gadon, who ran for senator under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan in 2016, criticized Sereno for voting against the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani and for saying that she does not favor the declaration of martial law in the whole of Mindanao. 

Asked if all officials who speak out against policy declarations of the President should be impeached, he said: "Not really...They should realize and accept that it is the President who rules on those matters." 

Gadon, a member of the legal team of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, denied that he is trying to gain favor with the Duterte administration so he could get a government position. 

"I am not applying for anything...That is not the case," he said.

He also denied that the impeachment move against Sereno is revenge after the Senate removed the previous Chief Justice, Renato Corona, after an impeachment trial. 

Asked if he considered Duterte's desire to remove Sereno when he filed the impeachment complaint, he said: "That is not the first consideration..."

"When he said he wanted to file a case against Chief Justice Sereno, then probably I thought: 'well, OK siguro ito.'"

Gadon said he hopes Sereno would take a cue from resigned Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista and submit her own resignation. He claimed he has enough votes in the Lower House to impeach the Chief Justice. 

"I am very, very, very sure she will be impeached. I have more than 200 votes in the plenary alone. I talked to them. I see them. And then I was counting the probable votes I can get from them," he said. 

"The President is not behind these efforts to begin with. The President has nothing to do with this."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment (FATE) urged all parties involved in the impeachment process to practice fairness and not prejudge the case. 

"Dapat may patas na pagbabantay sa ating sistema," FATE spokesperson Jo Perez said in an interview. 

She also noted Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had already said there is enough evidence in the Gadon complaint to impeach Sereno. 

ANC, October 24, 2017