Group wants Gadon disbarred over 'madman' behavior

MANILA, Philippines – A group of concerned citizens wants Larry Gadon disbarred for his statements and actions befitting a "madman" and not a lawyer.

The group filed the disbarment complaint against Gadon before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Friday, April 20, accusing Gadon of  “gross misconduct, gross immoral conduct, and violations of the lawyer’s oath.”

The complainants – Zena Bernardo, Evangeline Hernandez, Nona Andaya-Castillo, Natividad dela Cruz Natividad, Jose Mari Tomines Callueng, Jennifer Aiza Santaolaya, Faith Angelie Catalan, and Mark Vincent Lim – described themselves as “concerned citizens, activists, community workers, mothers who are disgusted by the actions and words of the respondent."

"We believe he should be removed from the rolls of the legal profession," they said.

The complainants cited Gadon’s recent behavior in Baguio City, where he cursed and flashed the middle finger at supporters of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, after they booed him.  He also called them "bobo (idiots)."

“These statements and actuations appear to be made by a madman unfit to be representing the legal profession,” said the complainants, most of whom witnessed the incident.

'Violations'

The group cited two provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility:

Rule 7.03 – 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

Rule 8.01 – A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper

Gadon filed the impeachment complaint against Sereno but the proceedings at the House of Representatives were halted after the Office of the Soilicitor General filed a quo warranto petition against the Chief Justice.

Gadon has shifted his focus to support the quo warranto petition against Sereno in what several groups – including the IBP – called an unconstitutional way to remove an impeachable officer.

ANOTHER DISBARMENT COMPLAINT. (L-R) Nona Andaya-Castillo, Jose Mari Callueng, and Natividad dela Cruz Natividad hold up their group's disbarment complaint against Larry Gadon filed before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

ANOTHER DISBARMENT COMPLAINT. (L-R) Nona Andaya-Castillo, Jose Mari Callueng, and Natividad dela Cruz Natividad hold up their group's disbarment complaint against Larry Gadon filed before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

The group also noted in its complaint that Gadon’s amicus curiae comment submitted to the SC on the Sereno petition was "poorly written, spelling and grammar-challenged."

The comment has been expunged by the en banc.

“His continued existence as a member of the legal profession is literally sickening, and figuratively spits at the sacrifices our lawyers had made to raise the level of the profession in the service of those who have nothing in life except a chance at justice,” the complainants said.

"The kind of ignorance of the law, rules and even elementary grammar and spelling has clearly no place in the legal profession," they added.

The IBP leadership had already said Gadon’s conduct may be a basis for an ethics and disbarment complaint, to which the lawyer said, "I don't care if I'm disbarred as long as Sereno is removed."

Gadon is already facing a disbarment complaint over hateful remarks against Muslims, which the group also cited in the latest complaint against the lawyer.

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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