SC upholds disbarment of Gadon

MANILA. In this file photo, Larry Gadon speaks during the first BBM National Leaders and Alliances at Clark Marriott Hotel.
MANILA. In this file photo, Larry Gadon speaks during the first BBM National Leaders and Alliances at Clark Marriott Hotel.SunStar File/Charlene A. Cayabyab

THE Supreme Court (SC) has found disbarred lawyer Larry Gadon guilty of gross misconduct for committing perjury and making accusations based on hearsay.

In a statement, the SC said the ruling was based on the complaint filed before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

The complaint has sought Gadon’s disbarment for “falsehoods” in an impeachment complaint he had filed against then Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno (Sereno) before the House of Representatives, as well as the filing of “baseless” criminal cases against several SC officials.

“After investigation, the IBP-Committee on Bar Discipline recommended that Gadon be suspended for two years after it found that Gadon lied under oath when he claimed that then de facto Chief Justice Sereno falsified a Supreme Court temporary restraining order (TRO). It, however, dismissed for lack of evidence the allegation of baseless cases against Court officials,” the SC said, noting that the IBP Board of Governors (IBP-BOG) modified to three years the recommended period of suspension.

The SC adopted the findings of the IBP-BOG, but modified the penalty.

It has found Gadon guilty of gross misconduct, which is punishable by disbarment, but since he had already been disbarred, it will no longer be imposed, but nevertheless recorded in his personal file and he was also fined P150,000 and adjudged ineligible for judicial clemency.

“The Court found that Gadon committed perjury for making allegations in his impeachment complaint not based on his personal knowledge or on any authentic records, contrary to his sworn guarantee in the Verification attached to his complaint,” the SC said.

“Gadon knew that he never had any personal knowledge nor any authentic document to support the accusation that Sereno falsified a TRO of the Court. Yet, he still included this in his verified impeachment complaint, attempting to lend a semblance of credibility to his unfounded accusation,” it added.

The court also noted Gadon’s intent, as he admitted, to inflict unnecessary harm to the reputation of a lawyer and former member of the Court, which confirms that he was motivated by a malicious intent to malign and defame Sereno.

Gadon was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as presidential adviser on poverty alleviation.

He was able to keep his position despite his disbarment.

In a statement, Gadon said the allegations pertaining to the violation of verification in the impeachment complaint against Sereno were not fully ventilated and heard because the hearings ended abruptly as it was overtaken by supervening events, particularly the removal of the former chief justice.

“Besides, the Sereno impeachment complaint was filed at the House of Representatives not in the Supreme Court, so if there is a body that should rule on any irregularity, if any, on the allegations in the complaint, it should be the HOR not the SC,” he said.

“The IBP resolution and recommendation is tainted with vendetta as the wife of the former IBP president at the time the complaint was filed applied for justice of the Court of Tax Appeals which I have successfully opposed,” he added.

Gadon said the P150,000 penalty “is exorbitant and has no basis in jurisprudence,” also noting that the case against SC employees is still pending before the Ombudsman, “so the SC is premature to say that the allegations are perjured.” (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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