Philippine economy

Marquez in Gadon’s birthday bash? ‘Explain your friendship’

Lian Buan
Marquez in Gadon’s birthday bash? ‘Explain your friendship’
'Their association is eerily too close to gloss over,' says Jojo Lacanilao, Sereno's spokesperson

Photos from March 2017 surfaced on Wednesday, December 6, showing Court Administrator Midas Marquez attending the birthday bash of lawyer Larry Gadon, the complainant in the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Actress and Duterte supporter Vivian Velez uploaded the photos on March 2, one of which showed her posing beside Marquez.

Marquez has been the House justice committee’s resource person for days on Gadon’s allegations against Sereno.

Gadon said Marquez was not his birthday guest.

“That bar is a flashy bar, maraming mga sosyal at sikat nagpupunta dun (many celebrities go there). He probably was there because it’s open to the public and being sikat nag-take photo ang mga tao (being famous, people took a photo). Ako nga kahit saan ako magpunta may nagpapa-selfie (Even I get asked for a selfie wherever I go),” Gadon said in a message to Rappler.

Jojo Lacanilao, Sereno’s spokesperson, said Marquez should explain his “friendship with Gadon” and whether it “might have had any connection with the filing of the impeachment complaint, or on his own credibility as witness in the impeachment hearings.”

“Their association is eerily too close to gloss over, given that at least one allegation in the complaint pertains to a matter that Marquez had shown a lot of interest in,” Lacanilao said.

Marquez is directly involved in two issues mentioned in the complaint – the supposed delay in the approval of survivorship benefits, and the reopening of the Regional Court Administrator’s Office (RCAO).

On Wednesday, House members ganged up on Supreme Court personnel who belong to the special committee and working groups in charge of the benefits. These groups – and the RCAO – sidelined Marquez, removing some of his powers as court administrator.

Marquez told the House panel that since the creation of the committee and the working groups, the approval of application for benefits took almost two years, in contrast to the 2-3 weeks it took when he was in charge.

“Remember that Gadon had no personal knowledge on the allegation in the complaint on the alleged delay by the Supreme Court on the grant of survivorship benefits,” Lacanilao said.

Gadon said Marquez never provided him information or documents. He said they’re “not really friends, but also not enemies.” 

“Casual,” Gadon said. – Rappler.com

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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.