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Payback for Corona? GMA fingerprints all over Sereno impeachment with Gadon, de Castro

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By: Xave Gregorio

Among the key figures in the impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno are two individuals previously affiliated with links to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The lawyer who filed an impeachment complaint against Sereno at the House of Representatives, Lorenzo Gadon, was part of Arroyo’s legal team and represented her at press briefings when the former president was detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center over plunder charges.

Gadon left Arroyo’s legal team in 2016 to run for a Senate seat under Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, former dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ party.

But even then, he did not leave Arroyo territory. The former president’s then-party, Lakas-CMD, took him in as an adopted candidate.

Now, Gadon has been attending hearings of the House Justice Committee and has been pointing to Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita de Castro, an Arroyo appointee, to shed light on his allegations.

Before sitting in the SC, De Castro was the Presiding Justice and chairperson of the Sandiganbayan’s First Division. She also led that court’s special division which tried former President Joseph Estrada for perjury and plunder cases.

After Estrada was found guilty, Arroyo elevated De Castro to the SC – a move which the deposed president called a reward for his supposedly unjust conviction.

De Castro is a fierce defender of judicial independence, so much so that she once scored before the Judicial and Bar Council the media for questioning SC decisions favorable to Arroyo.

She was among the 11 SC justices who threw out Arroyo’s plunder case in 2016 citing an apparent lack of evidence.

Aside from this, she, along with seven other SC magistrates voted in favor of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile posting bail and the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

De Castro has been invited by the House Committee on Justice to attend the next impeachment hearing on Monday (November 27), but it is still unclear if she will attend.

It is clear, however, that she and Gadon are playing key roles in the impeachment of the current Chief Justice.