Supreme Court of the Philippines

In bid to rename NAIA, notorious Gadon again denied by Supreme Court

Lian Buan
In bid to rename NAIA, notorious Gadon again denied by Supreme Court

Lawyer Larry Gadon files a petition at the Supreme Court on August 27, 2020 to nullify Republic Act 6639 or changing the name of the Manila International Airport to Ninoy Aquino International Airport due to its unconstitutionality.

Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

This is Gadon's 2nd snub from the Supreme Court in just 3 months.

In one of the fastest resolutions of the Supreme Court, notorious lawyer Larry Gadon was once again denied by the high tribunal in his bid to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to the more generic Manila International Airport.

“The Supreme Court during their En Banc Session yesterday, 08 September 2020, unanimously denied for lack of merit the petition for the declaration of nullity of Republic Act No. 6639 (An Act Renaming the Manila International Airport as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport),” Supreme Court Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka told reporters in a message Wednesday, September 9.

Gadon filed the petition only on August 27, failing to name a party as respondent.

But in his 16-page petition, Gadon indicated the address of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in Makati for the purposes of serving summons.

Gadon argued that Congress acted in excess of its jurisdiction when it enacted Republic Act 6639, which renamed the Manila International Airport in 1987 in honor of Aquino, who was killed on the tarmac of the airport upon his return from exile in the United States.

RA 6639 was only 42 words – a straightforward legislation that simply wanted to rename the airport after Aquino.

Gadon cited a 2007 Guideline of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), which says, among others, that a public structure cannot be named after a person if there are questions of propriety.

“Aquino was never declared a hero and as such does not deserve that an airport be named after him,” said Gadon.

It doesn’t appear that justices even required comments on his petition, which is the usual course.

Gadon’s filing of the petition on August 27 made news mainly because he didn’t wear a face mask outdoors amid strict government quarantine rules.

Notorious

This is Gadon’s 2nd snub from the Supreme Court in just 3 months. (READ: During pandemic, Supreme Court favors Duterte twice and makes others wait)

In June, the Supreme Court dismissed outright his petition questioning what was then the agreement of the Congress leadership to allow ABS-CBN to provisionally air without a franchise.

Although the junking of that petition did not have a relevant effect in what would also become ABS-CBN’s losing fate in the Supreme Court, justices took the chance to scold Gadon and his frivolous pleadings before the court.

“Petitioner could have been more circumspect. He will benefit from more restraint and a huge dose of humility,” the Supreme Court said, and told Gadon to take Supreme Court filings seriously.

“Not only will the overeagerness to file border on the contumacious, it also puts in unnecessary peril the legal arguments of the person or entity that has an actual case,” said the Court.

In April 2018, not only did the Supreme Court deny Gadon’s move to act as an amicus curiae, Latin phrase for friend of the court or someone who will act as an expert resource person, the justices also expunged his pleading from the records.

In June 2019, Gadon was suspended for 3 months because of use of abusive and offensive language in his professional dealings. – Rappler.com

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.