Gadon faces 3rd disbarment suit

MANILA – A new disbarment complaint has been filed before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) against lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon – complainant in the impeachment case against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

The complaint, which was the third disbarment case filed against him, came after the incident in Baguio City where Gadon locked horns with supporters of Sereno, hurling invectives and flashing a “dirty finger.”

In a 19-page complaint filed by concerned citizens, activists, and community workers, it sought the immediate disbarment of Gadon and the removal of his name from the Roll of Attorneys for violating the Lawyer’s Oath, and for violation of the Rules of Court which states that an attorney should “abstain from all offensive personality”.

The complainants also cited several provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility allegedly violated by Gadon, which includes Rule 7.03 stating that “a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession”.

The complainants also cited Rule 8.01 which states that a “lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper”.

The complainants were in Baguio last April 10 during the oral argument on the quo warranto petition against Sereno where Gadon also attended the oral argument to submit his opinion.

Outside of the hearing venue, police and security officials prohibited Sereno’s supporters from picketing in front of the high court.

The lawyer called them “bobo” (stupid) and hurled invectives at them, at the same time flashing a “dirty finger”.

When sought for comment, Gadon said “it is a nuisance case.”

Gadon said the complainants are all members of a communist group led by a former party-list lawmaker.

Last month, lawyer Wilfredo Garrido Jr., sought the immediate disbarment of Gadon and the removal of his name from the Roll of Attorneys for alleged dishonesty, arrogance and rudeness in the course of the impeachment proceedings at the House justice committee.

Gadon is accused of violating the lawyers’ Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly Canons 7, 8, 19 and Rules 7.03, 8.1 and 19.01 (A).

Garrido said that on Feb. 22, Gadon publicly tried to force Sereno to resign by dangling threats of supposed criminal cases to be filed against Supreme Court officials.

Gadon made this promise true when he filed graft charges against them before the Department of Justice last March 12 after Sereno rejected his resignation call.

Last August, two lawyers asked the Supreme Court (SC) to act on the disbarment case filed against Gadon.

In a five-page letter addressed to Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, chair of Second division where the disbarment case was assigned, Algamar Latiph and Musa Malayang said their complaint seeking to drop Gadon from the country’s roll of attorneys has been unresolved since April 2016.

The two lawyers had sought Gadon’s disbarment for threatening to kill all residents of Mindanao, including women and children.

He issued the controversial remarks in two separate television interviews during the election campaign period last year.

The case stemmed from Gadon’s supposed hateful remarks against the Muslims when he was interviewed by television networks in his capacity as candidate for the 2016 senatorial elections.

In the said interviews, Gadon vowed to pulverize Muslim communities if they will not cooperate in the government’s bid to address the insurgency and rebellion problem in the region.

Gadon, in the same interviews, expressed his readiness to exterminate innocent children, women, men and old folks and burn down houses if they ignore his plea to work together with the government.

“Based on the news accounts, there were other two cases filed against the respondent for the same above facts.

“We respectfully pray for the Honorable Court to favorably act on the complaint,” the letter read.

Gadon ran and lost in the senatorial race in the May 2016 polls under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, the political party founded by the late former President Ferdinand Marcos.