Lawyers seek disbarment of Sereno impeach complainant

MANILA — Two lawyers asked the Supreme Court (SC) to act on the disbarment case filed against Atty. Lorenzo ‘Larry’ Gadon, the complainant in the impeachment case filed against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

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.

“To date, we have not received any comment from the respondent. Or whether the case is submitted for resolution in view of the respondent’s failure to file a comment, assuming that he was duly served with a copy of the complaint,” read the letter dated Aug. 8 letter but was obtained by the media only Tuesday.

Gadon is accused of violating the Canon 1, Rule 1.01, Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR).

Canon 1 requires all lawyers to “uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal process; Rule 1.01 prohibits lawyers from engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct; Canon 7, on the other hand, mandates lawyers to uphold at all times the integrity and the dignity of the legal profession and support activities of the integrated bar while Rule 7.03 prohibits lawyers from engaging in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession whether in public or private life.

The two lawyers had sought Gadon’s disbarment for threatening to kill all residents of Mindanao, including women and children, to bring peace in the strife-torn region.

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 uttered against the Muslim population when he was interviewed by television networks in his capacity as candidate for the 2016 senatorial elections to present his platform of government.

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 houses too if they would 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 strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Sought for comment, Gadon said he was not aware that Latiph and Malayang had brought a disbarment complaint against him, dismissing it as “just a nuisance case.”

“At any rate, I am a friend of the Muslims now. I even got more votes than the other Muslim candidates in Mindanao,” Gadon said

In his impeachment complaint filed before the House of Representatives, Gadon accused Sereno of culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust.