The lawyer behind the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno could face an investigation for cursing and raising his middle finger at protesters if a person files a complaint against him.
This was according to Domingo Cayosa, vice chairman of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, who said any offended party or person who witnessed the heated incident could bring a complaint against Lorenzo Gadon for acting in a manner that may be deemed unbecoming of a law practitioner.
“Kung may magko-complain laban sa kanya — kayo o sinumang nakikita o sinumang offended party — ay makakaasa naman siya na ang Integrated Bar of the Philippines ay kaagad na iimbestigahan siya, mabibigyan siya ng due process, susundin ang rule of law, at mahuhugsahan siya ng kanyang mga kasamang abogado,” he said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB on Wednesday.
Gadon was in Baguio City on Tuesday to attend the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on Solicitor General Jose Calida’s petition for quo warranto against Sereno, and was sighted by pro-Sereno groups holding a program near the Court’s compound.
The crowd erupted into boos, with some calling Gadon “salot,” (plague) and some giving him the finger as members of the media approached him.
An irate Gadon shouted back: “Itong mga nagra-rally na ito, mga bobo at mga tanga ang mga ito eh, kasi very clear na ang violations ni Sereno, mali…” But he was cut off by a protester, prompting him to respond, “Ikaw [ang] bobo, p—– ina mo ka!”
Sought for his opinion, Cayosa was asked about Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
This rule states 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.”
Gadon, however, said he did not know any law, legal opinion, or jurisprudence that prohibits raising a middle finger, widely considered a rude sign, which he said he does not regret.
He maintained he was provoked by the protesters.
“Ako ang isang taong walang pagkukunwari, hindi ako hipokrito na kapag ako minura [ay] babatuhin ko ng tinapay, hindi ako ganun. ‘Pag minura ako, mumurahin ko ng sampung beses,” Gadon said in a separate interview.
Cayosa reserved his judgment on Gadon’s action in the event a complaint is filed, but assured his fellow lawyer that he would be given due process if ever.
Gadon, a defeated senatorial candidate who had previously made hateful comments against Moro rebels and their families, called the Baguio City protesters “communists.”
He hinted some people were urging him to run for senator again.
“Even if I plan to run, I don’t need their vote,” he said, referring to the protesters.
Pressed further, he said: “Mayroong mga nagtutulak sa akin na tumakbo,” but added he has no final decision yet.
His impeachment complaint against Sereno has hurdled the House justice committee, which approved six articles of impeachment composed of his charges, but Gadon said he prefers that the chief justice be removed through quo warranto proceedings.
A quo warranto (“by what authority” or “by what warrant”) is a legal proceeding that challenges a person’s right to hold a public office. — MDM, GMA News
Source: GMA News