Lawmakers reprimand Gadon: 'Shut up'
MANILA, Philippines – Members of the House justice committee on Tuesday, December 5, advised lawyer Larry Gadon to "shut up" instead of making unverified statements that cast doubt on the integrity of the impeachment proceedings.
Gadon, a complainant in an impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, found himself on the hot seat on Tuesday, as the panel resumed its deliberations on the case.
Following discussions on a show-cause order issued against two Sereno spokespersons and a Commission on Human Rights (CHR) commissioner, AKO Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr brought up statements that Gadon made in media interviews over the weekend.
Gadon had claimed over the weekend that he got “information” that an “oligarch” was planning to bribe senators with P200 million to acquit Sereno once they sit as judges in an impeachment trial.
“I advise Mr Gadon to keep his mouth shut if he cannot verify,” said Garbin.
Garbin also chastized Gadon for earlier media interviews, wherein he said that the impeachment proceedings at the House would be over by the end of the year. This was the same time table committee chairman Reynaldo Umali made, although it had since been moved.
“It casts aspersions on our independence,” said Antipolo City 2nd District Representative Romeo Acop, who agreed with Garbin.
Acop also told Gadon to "learn from the story" of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."
"I would like to remind Mr Gadon of the story of 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf.' Noong may wolf na talaga, wala nang naniwala sa kanya (When the wolf really appeared, no one believed him anymore)," Acop said.
Gadon, asked to explain quickly, said he had mentioned getting “information” about alleged bribes for senators in a “freewheeling” radio interview. He insisted that he didn't believe the information himself.
The lawyer said he mentioned it after he was asked why Sereno had refused to appear before the House committee.
Umali ordered Gadon to submit a formal reply within 5 days.
Quezon City 1st District Representative Vincent Crisologo, after hearing Gadon’s explanation, interjected, “Please shut up your mouth.” He referred to Gadon’s statements about the proceedings and the committee in media interviews.
“I submit,” said Gadon.
It was not the first time for members of the committee to remind or reprimand Gadon. Umali himself had repeatedly told the lawyer to "do his homework," referring to Gadon's apparent failure to immediately tell the committee the witnesses and documents he needed.
The committee is holding hearings to determine probable cause in the Gadon complaint. Umali expects the committee to vote on probable cause by January 2018 at the earliest.
The committee report – on whether to impeach Sereno or reject the complaint – will then be forwarded to plenary.
If one-third of the House votes to adapt a resolution recommending Sereno’s impeachment, she will be deemed impeached. The complaint, including the Articles of Impeachment, will then be forwarded to the Senate, which will sit as an impeachment court. (READ: FAST FACTS: How does impeachment work?) – Rappler.com