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Sereno impeachment case: Gadon may be charged with perjury, says Umali

Larry Gadon

Lawyer Larry Gadon (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon, the complainant in the impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, may be charged with perjury after Associate Justice Teresita De Castro denied giving information on the court documents that Gadon accused Sereno of falsifying.

“The implication [of De Castro’s denial] is that Attorney Gadon may be liable for perjury. That’s his declaration and this is under oath,” Rep. Reynaldo Umali, House justice committee chairman, told reporters after the nine-hour impeachment hearing on Wednesday.

The committee held a hearing to determine whether there was probable cause to pursue the impeachment complaint against Sereno.

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Gadon earlier revealed to the panel that his allegation of falsification of public documents in 2013 against Sereno came from De Castro, which was relayed to him by newspaper reporter Jomar Canlas.

But moments after Gadon said this, De Castro issued a statement denying that she had released to Canlas “any information, report, or document regarding the work of the Court.”

The committee said it would summon De Castro and Canlas to substantiate Gadon’s allegation that Sereno tampered with a temporary restraining order De Castro recommended in 2013.

Umali said the committee would also want to hear the side of Canlas.

“Baka naman napayabang lang talaga siya,” Umali said. “Nag-kwento siya kay Attorney Gadon kaya nako-quote pangalan niya ngayon. We will look deep into these contradictory statements from De Castro, Gadon. And hopefully, Canlas can clarify this.”

Asked if De Castro’s denial could weaken the impeachment case, Umali said: “That’s one of the many allegations.”

Reacting to Umali’s statement that he could be charged with perjury, Gadon said: “Hindi pwedeng matawag na perjurious yun because even if no [SC] justice would testify on those documents, nandun yung presence ng documents.”

“Merong memorandum eh. Meron siyang [De Castro] letter. Hindi lang naibigay sa akin dahil wala raw yung kopya dahil naibigay nila sa VACC [Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption],” he added.

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Gadon also expressed confidence that he had proven all his allegations well enough before the committee.

“Maganda at saka lumabas na nagkaroon talaga ng due proces at I was grilled,” he said. “Sigurado ko na na-prove ko lahat.”

The House justice panel is slated to conduct its next hearing on Monday, Nov. 27, at 9:30 a.m. to deliberate on the other grounds of Gadon’s impeachment complaint against Sereno. /atm

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TAGS: impeachment case, Larry Gadon, Lorenzo Gadon, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Reynaldo Umali
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