Gadon to Sereno: Resign by March 1 or face raps


MANILA — Lawyer Larry Gadon on Thursday threatened to file charges against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and other court officials if the top magistrate does not resign by March 1.

“I’m urging you to resign by March 1, because if you will not resign by March 1, I will file cases against Supreme Court officials,” Gadon said in a press conference.

Gadon, the complainant in the impeachment case against Sereno, was referring to SC officials involved in the chief justice’s questionable acts. These include:

– Retired Deputy Court Administrator Thelma Bahia; Office of Administrative Services Assistant Chief Atty. Ma. Carina Cunanan; Fiscal Management and Budget Office Chief Atty. Corazon Ferrer-Flores; Office of the Chief Justice court lawyer Michael Ocampo for the supposed illegal purchase of a Toyota Land Cruiser;

– Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva; Chief Justice Staff Head Atty. Ma. Lourdes Oliveros; and former IT consultant Helen Macasaet for the alleged illegal hiring of an IT consultant;

-Deputy Clerk of Court en banc Atty. Anna-Li Papa-Gombio; Office of the Chief Justice court lawyer Jocelyn Fabian; and Office of the Chief Justice judicial staff head Atty. Czarina Encarnacion Samonte-Villanueva for the alleged inordinate delay in the release of survivorship benefits; and

-Former judicial staff head Zaldy Trespeses for the alleged illegal use of the Presidential Villa of Shangri-La Boracay.

Meanwhile, Sereno’s spokesperson, lawyer Josa Deinla, said Gadon’s threat “smacks of fear and desperation”, proving that he has “completely lost faith” in the impeachment proceeding in the House of Representatives.

“Like a firecracker that didn’t explode, Atty. Gadon’s ultimatum to the Chief Justice and certain court officials is just another dud. Once again, the Chief Justice cannot be hostaged to bombastic threats that are built entirely on lies,” Deinla said in a statement.

Deinla said there were high-handed efforts, forum shopping and resources behind this impeachment to force the Chief Justice to step down after several months of House hearings failed to produce a solid and convincing ground that would warrant her removal from office.

“Chief Justice Sereno’s detractors are expanding their weak ouster move to professional civil servants who refuse to lie and toe the line of those wishing to see the Chief Justice unjustly and unfairly removed from the Supreme Court,” Deinla said.

“The Chief Justice has made it clear since the beginning of this well-orchestrated but pathetic telenovela masquerading as an impeachment proceeding, that she will not resign and will continue to dispense her faithfully sworn duty under the Constitution,” she added.

Deinla reiterated that Sereno would defend herself in the Senate when it convenes as an impeachment trial court, where her basic and constitutional rights will be recognized and respected. With reports from Filane Cervantes/