Lawyer Larry Gadon who filed an impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno admits that he ran for Senator under the banner of Lakas and the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) in 2016. The party is affiliated with the Marcoses. But he firmly denied; “No, Bongbong Marcos has nothing to do with this complaint. In fact, he was surprised that I am the one who filed it.”
[VIDEO]: Bongbong, Duterte backing Sereno impeachment? Lawyer says no
No Presidential Influence
He also denied that President Du30 is behind the complaint. “I only met the President 5 times and we never talked. Just a shake hand and ‘hi, sir’ and thank you. That’s all. He has nothing to do with this.”
Gadon also denied that former President and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is behind the complaint. This speculation mushrooms after her previous appointee, the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, was impeached and removed from the High Court. Gadon is a member of Arroyo’s legal team.
Vengeance is Not for Arroyo
Gadon previously tried to convince Mrs. Arroyo to file a complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. This was for malicious persecution but Mrs. Arroyo rejected the idea. He was even scolded when he told reporters that she was contemplating on filing a case. He said this time that Mrs. Arroyo did not endorse the impeachment complaint against Sereno. “I did not ask her,” he said.
Sufficient in Form and Substance
The House of Representatives justice committee recently announces that Gadon’s complaint is sufficient in form and substance. Among the Supreme Court documents, Gadon used were official lists of Sereno’s travel expenses and appointment letters. He also cited the Supreme Court’s purchase of a P5.1 million luxury vehicle for the CJ. Sereno’s discrepancies on her statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN) and her attorney’s fees in the Piatco Case were also raised. Sereno decided to keep quiet about it and refrained from making comments.
Some Supreme Court justices are worried that the entire 2016 election’s integrity of the entire election process could be in question should the first part of Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest is addressed accordingly.
[VIDEO]: Marcos at Robredo,mag recount sa tig tatlong probinsya
The concern was discussed during the preliminary conference last July 11. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno expresses her apprehension about the absence of “a template” to address the kind of protest that Bongbong Marcos brings to the court. This is the first time the SC faces such a protest.
First Course of Action
The “ first course of action” among the three that Marcos lodge is where he urges the PET to “declare as unauthentic” all the certificates of canvass used by both chambers of Congress in proclaiming Robredo as the winner. He disputes the slim margin of more than 200,000 votes against the millions of undervotes.
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen asks Marcos; “If you were to succeed in proving the first cause of action, wouldn’t that put into question the results of the elections of everybody else, both national and local,” said Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa. “Are you sure that this country is willing to face the consequences of a decision in your favor?” Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez explains later that their complaint is specific to the Vice Presidential race as evidence shows irregularities against Marcos.
Recount is Second
The second part of the Marcos petition is the “traditional” modes of cheating. Vote-buying, pre-shading, intimidation and failure of elections, among others. This is where the recount belongs. Marcos already identified the priority areas for it; Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental. As far as the integrity of the 2016 election is concerned, even the President knows that it was a dirty election. In fact, Cebu’s ex-Mayor Michael Rama has the same protest against Mayor Tomas Osmena. Anyhow, if the recount can resolve the VP race conflict faster, then be it.
The Senate and the House of Representatives grant the President’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2017. A total of 261 lawmakers voted in favor and only 18 are not in favor. Bongbong Marcos already said that it is necessary to battle international terrorism that starts to set a foot in Marawi. While Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen thinks it is counteracting terrorism with martial is a fallacy.
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[VIDEO]: Ayon sa Korte Suprema, mas matimbang ang kaligtasan ng publiko kaysa sa sentimiyento kaugnay ng mga naging pag-abuso noon sa ilalim ng batas militar.
Super Majority Vote in the Congress
A majority vote of the two chambers voting jointly. At least 158 of the 314 members of Congress, was needed to pass the motion. A total of 279 lawmakers, 20 senators, and 259 congressmen were present at the Batasang Pambansa to cast their votes. This includes Senator Leila de Lima who serves a prison sentence in Camp Crame for drug charges.
Supreme Court Justice’s Opinion
To impose martial law to fight terrorism is a “fallacy” or a deceptive wrong move, according to Justice Leonen. He is the lone dissenter in the landmark ruling of the Supreme Court that upheld the constitutionality of President Du30’s martial law order in Mindanao. The court spokesperson on announced that the magistrates voted 11-3-1 to support the constitutionality of the President’s declaration. It throws out three petitions that questioned the factual basis of the emergency. Three other justices partially agreed with the decision including Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Bongbong Marcos’ View
Bongbong Marcos said that the extension of Martial Law is not the problem. Thinking that international terrorists are gaining a foothold in Mindanao particularly in Marawi, this is not an easy problem. This is even a global threat. The President must have the power to command the military in full scale without apprehensions. The palace, however, assures the public that military abuse is unlikely.
The majority of the public during this administration simply trusts the popular president’s discretion. Justice Leonen’s experience in governance is not at par with Bongbong Marcos who has served both in the Senate and in the local government who is still hands on to the situation of the on a bigger scale. Not to mention his close experience during martial law under his father’s regime. By now, he has gained the wisdom on what to do and what not – as the President’s successor choice. He backed the president up whenever he is interviewed with regards to his electoral protest against VP Leni Robredo.
Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro questioned Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s “long delay in the filling up” of key SC positions, the appointment to the Philippine Mediation Center Office, and granting travel allowances to members of her staff for foreign travels minus the approval of the court en banc. Earlier Sereno, Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, and Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr have inhibited from the “Ilocos 6” case. This prompts Governor Imee Marcos to divulge everything in a press conference.
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[VIDEO]: Congressmen should be the foremost advocates of the rule of law by respecting the authority of the Court of Appeals (CA) to provide legal relief to the so-called “Ilocos Six” officials who were cited in the contempt by the lawmakers, the former head of the country’s biggest voluntary association of lawyers said Tuesday.
Supreme Court Issues
De Castro points out that under Administrative Order No. 33-2008, the full court appoints the PMCO chief, upon the recommendation of Philja. However, Sereno appoints Atty. Brenda Jay A. Mendoza to the post without Philja’s recommendation. On another matter, official foreign travels by court officials and personnel need the court en banc’s approval for travel allowances. However, the Chief Justice granted OCJ staff’s foreign travel allowances without court approval.
Bongbong Marcos thinks that the dealings of the Congress with the “Ilocos 6” are cruel. It’s also beyond words how they threaten to detain the governor. Perhaps, the best thing to do now is to let the House arrest Marcos from her territory. It is not advisable at all to attend to any hearing anymore when you are not given the benefit of the doubt.
Unfinished Business with Ilocos 6
Sereno and Reyes previously issued a joint statement to urge the House committee on good government and public accountability to recall the show cause order it issued against the 3 CA justices from the Special 4th Division. It issued a ruling ordering the House panel to provisionally release the 6 Ilocos Norte officials. However, since 3 justices including Sereno already inhibits the case, the process stops.
Marcos’ Next Step
While the Marcoses exhaust other legal means, Gov. Marcos divulged that the original documents were turned over to COA but it lost them. The Ilocos Norte government said the “Ilocos 6” had “requested to see the original documents before testifying, lest they commit perjury by giving sworn statements based on possible falsified photocopied documents. Marcos cited an affidavit by COA janitor, Pedro Gorospe Jr., an employee of the provincial treasury who was recently assigned to the provincial jail. He confessed that he was compelled to steal the documents by Cynthia Gorospe. She is an employee and coordinator of Congressman Fariñas but she denied the acusation.
The Ilocos’ 6 freedom is not going to happen anytime soon. Gov. Imee Marcos’ writ of Amparo plea is initially raffled to Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta by the Supreme Court. He administered former First Lady Imelda Marcos and Bongbong Marcos oath of office as Ilocos Norte congresswoman and senator, respectively. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Justice Andres Reyes Jr. also inhibited from the case. No reason was provided by the high court about their inhibition.
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[VIDEO]: Itinanggi rin ni Gov. Imee Marcos ang mga alegasyon na maraming ghost projects sa kanyang probinsya.
No Immediate Release
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and the six detained officials of the provincial government failed to secure immediate relief from the Supreme Court against the Congress’ inquiry into the Capitol’s alleged misuse of tobacco excise tax funds.
The petitioners resort to the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order on the probe initiated by the House committee. The next hearing is on July 25. The petitioners also asked the SC to assume jurisdiction over the writ of habeas corpus case. It is urged to order the release of the six employees and also issue a writ of Amparo “given the cruel treatment and violation” of their right to be free.
Imee Marcos accused the respondent-House leaders of committing grave abuse of discretion and violating the resource persons’ constitutional rights. This happened during a legislative inquiry. She said that local politics was behind the House inquiry that points to his family’s rivalry with the clan of Rep. Rudy Farinas.
Support the Ilocos 6
The other petitioners in the plea are the detained employees, namely, Josephine Calajate, Encarnacion Gaor, Genedine Jambaro, Evangeline Tabulog, Pedro Agcaoili Jr. and Eden Battulayan. Their family and work lives are interrupted because of some Congressmen’s show of power and influence. This must be stopped.