2022 Philippine Elections

Sara Duterte campaigns for Larry Gadon: ‘Pareho kami may disbarment’

Lian Buan

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Sara Duterte campaigns for Larry Gadon: ‘Pareho kami may disbarment’

FILE PHOTO. Vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte on April 12, 2022, during the One Cebu Party endorsement. Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler


'Alam 'nyo po hindi ako ang pinakamagaling na vice presidential candidate. Hindi din ako ang pinakamatalino na vice presidential candidate. Ang nasa akin lang ay tibay ng puso ng isang Pilipino na nagmamahal sa ating bansa,' says the President's daughter.

LAGUNA, Philippines – Davao Mayor and vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte campaigned for Uniteam senatorial bet, the suspended lawyer Larry Gadon, by saying they are both facing disbarment complaints.

“Pareho kami nakasuhan ng disbarment. Hindi pa tapos sa iyo? Hindi pa rin tapos sa akin. Dahil sa pagmumura ay na-disbar, ay di pa pala, may disbarment,” Duterte, also a lawyer, said during the Uniteam rally in Biñan, Laguna on Thursday, April 21.

(We were both filed with disbarment complaints. Yours is not over yet? Mine is also not yet over. Because of cursing he was disbarred, oh not yet, he has disbarment.)

Duterte was filed with a disbarment complaint in 2011 after punching a court sheriff who wanted to implement a demolition order in Davao City, where she was mayor at the time. Sheriffs in Davao filed a disbarment complaint against Duterte on behalf of Abe Andres, who sustained bruises in his left eye after the mayor punched him four times.

In 2018, Duterte tried to block the appointment of then Court Administrator Midas Marquez to the Supreme Court, offended that the court official allegedly was involved in making the sheriffs drop the complaint against her. Marquez denied the accusation, and he was eventually appointed justice of the Supreme Court by President Rodrigo Duterte in November 2021.

Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said Friday, April 22: “I confirm that the disbarment case against Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio remains pending. However, I cannot provide more detail since the proceedings are strictly confidential.”

Gadon, on the other hand, is suspended indefinitely over his verbal sexual harassment of a journalist last year. Gadon took a video of himself cursing veteran journalist Raissa Robles, and using sexually-charged language. He then sent that video to media. He was incensed over the journalist’s critical remarks on presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Acting motu proprio or on its own without anyone filing a complaint, the Supreme Court suspended Gadon’s license to practice law for an indefinite period of time, as it assesses whether to disbar him completely. Before this, Gadon had already been suspended over another unethical practice, and was filed with other disbarment complaints for a slew of questionable practices.

Duterte said she would hire Gadon as her lawyer in her own disbarment complaint.

“Galit sa bobo. Sa tunay na pagbabago, pumili ng bago na hindi bobo. Senator Larry Gadon. Kukunin ko itong abogado sa disbarment ko dahil may experience sa disbarment cases,” said Duterte.

(He doesn’t like stupid people. For real change, choose a new face who is not stupid. Senator Larry Gadon. I will get him as a lawyer in my disbarment case because he has experience in disbarment cases.)

Duterte ad-libbed in her speech in Laguna Thursday, introducing the Uniteam senatorial bets with lengthier descriptions. When it was the turn of former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro, who is also a lawyer, Duterte said to choose him because unlike her, he is the smartest.

“Alam niyo po hindi ako ang pinaka-magaling na vice presidential candidate, hindi din ako ang pinaka matalino na vice presidential candidate, ang nasa akin lang ay tibay ng puso ng isang Pilipino na nagmamahal sa ating bansa, pero yung susunod na Uniteam senator, nasa kanya ng tibay ng puso, ang galing at ang talino,” said Duterte.

(You know I am not the most capable vice presidential candidate, I am not the smartest presidential candidate, what I only have is the strong heart of a Fillipino who loves her country. But this next Uniteam senator, he has the strong heart, he is capable, and he is smart.)

Marcos, in his speech, said not to believe his running mate.

“Bilang presidential candidate ako na ang pinakamapalad dahil ang naging partner ko na vice president ay ang pinakamatalino, at pinakamagaling, pinakamahusay, pinakamatapang, at bukod sa lahat, pinakanagmamahal sa Pilipinas sa lahat ng vice presidential candidate,” said Marcos.

(As a presidential candidate, I am the luckiest because my partner for vice president is the smartest, the most capable, the best, the bravest, and most importantly, out of all vice presidential candidates, she loves the Philippines the most.)

When Marcos began his speech, people started to leave the rally site. A supporter said they have attended Marcos’ several rallies in Laguna before that they already know what he’ll say.

– Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.