ADVICE

The 2nd highest official of the House of Representatives gave a private complainant reminders on what he has to do so his impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno advances.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas confirmed he met with lawyer Lorenzo Gadon Wednesday and that he read the complaint Gadon left at the House of Representatives. “I read the Gadon complaint and I told Atty. Gadon when he came to my office yesterday that his allegations must substantially comply with his Verification that they are of his own personal knowledge and/or culled from authentic records. “

Farinas refers to the rule the House observed when it dismissed the impeachment complaint filed by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano against President Duterte which the House found to be without personal knowledge of Alejano.

Farinas said of Gadon, “I told him that if such is endorsed by any House Member and is referred by the Committee on Rules to the Committee on Justice, I will subject it to the same scrutiny that I did with the Alejano complaint.”

Farinas notes that there are attachments to his complaint that are newspaper reports, so I advised him to get certified true copies of the SC orders or circulars that he is alleging to be parts of his causes of action. If the SC will not give him copies of the SALN of the Chief Justice, or the JBC her alleged psychiatric report or the BIR her ITRs, the Committee on Justice could subpoena them, if and when it reaches that stage of the impeachment proceedings. “

For Farinas,  Atty. Gadon, or any other complainant for Impeachment, should comply with his Verification for at least a substantial portion of his allegations especially those that are readily available as they are public documents or records. 

On Wednesday, 2 sets of complainants came to the House  hoping for a “creeping impeachment” against Sereno.

Gadon and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption separately left 2 impeachment complaints with no endorsement from congressmen.

under the 1987 constitution, a key requirement for the valid initiation of an impeachment complaint is an endorsement of a congressman if the complainant is not a lawmaker.

Farinas was one of the prosecutors in the Corona Impeachment trial back in 2012.

However Gadon said he met with congressmen he refused to name and gave them copies of the complaint and the attached documentary evidence. Pressed for more details, Gadon said, “marami rami rin sila nagclosed door meeting kami mga 5 sila nag iikot di ko masabi kasi total confidentiality ang sinabi sa akin para wala silang pressure sinabi lang sa akin kung matatapos ang pirmahan baka next week kanina kasi di nila maharap may hearing kanina tungkol doon kay comm faeldon hindi agad nila naharap hindi nila agad nakita”

Gadon also said, “when i was told that they wanted to route it and have it read by the congs who are interested to sign sabi ko mas maganda yun.”

Gadon explains the congressmen dont want to be named yet to avoid any pressure as they study the complaint first. “ibinigay ko na ang aking complaint yung lahat ng kopya pati attachments doon sa  isang congressman na tumutulong sa akin nag usap usap sila marami sila gusto nila ay paprimahan muna ang kanilang mga kasama gusto nila ay marami nang nakapirma na endorsers bago ito isubmit sa secretary general so pinaiwan na lang sa akin yung mga kopya ng complaints yung iba raw kasi gusto muna nila mabasa bago nila pirmahan”

Gadon says the congressmen he met in closed doors today are looking at having the signatures of some 10 to 20 congressmen when it is filed. “para daw mas maganda yung dating gusto nila marami at least 10 or 20 inassure naman ako na maeendorse yan gusto nila mas marami ang pipirma hindi lang 1-2”

Gadon confirmed he met with House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier but declined to give details. Alvarez had previously expressed interest in impeaching Sereno. “i dont want to delve into that issue because i cannot speak for him i dont want to discuss what we have discussed a while ago in a closed door meeting.

The  Gadon complaint  alleges, Culpable violation of the Constitution, Corruption, Other high crimes and  Betrayal of public trust for among other issues, alleged misdeclarations in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth or SALN—the same allegation that got Corona ousted from office. other issues include misuse of funds, questionnable appointments and actions without approval of the Court en banc and  alleged maneuverings and interference in matters beyond her authority.