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Abogado Larry Gadon is filing a graft case against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno if she does not resign despite what he called as damning testimony of Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro at the House Justice Committee against her.

“If she does not resign by Monday (Dec. 4), I am going to file graft and corruption cases against her and some of her minions in SC over the issue of the hiring of IT consultants which was found to be illegal,” he explained.

He cited a fact-finding report submitted to the SC, which recommended that the contract amounting to about P10 million for the services of IT consultant Helen Perez – Macasaet be voided for “lapses in the procurement process.”

Gadon said with the charges against Sereno now based on solid evidence, he reiterated his call for Sereno to resign to avoid further humiliation.

De Castro testified against Sereno after she and other personnel were allowed by the SC to appear before the House hearing on the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice.

Gadon said de Castro’s statements backed by documentary proofs were “uncontrovertible evidence”.

“The testimony of Justice Teresita de Castro is more than enough and sufficient to impeach Sereno. Her testimony, aside from being supported with documentary evidence, is tremendously strong since the issues under question are matters precisely within her knowledge as she herself was a direct participant in those matters of administrative orders and TRO (temporary restraining order) resolutions — a firsthand knowledge by direct participation,” he said.

Gadon claimed that the testimony of de Castro showed Sereno’s alleged culpable violation of the Constitution.

The lawyer admitted that he felt vindicated by the statements of the senior magistrate that validated most of his allegations in the impeachment complaint.

De Castro specifically cited Sereno’s AO issued on Nov. 27, 2012 creating the Judiciary Decentralized Office (JDO) and reopening the Regional Court Administrative Office (RCAO) in Region 7 in Cebu.

De Castro also testified on the TRO in the case involving the disqualification case of the Senior Citizens party-list group in the May 2016 elections.

She also testified on the merits of the decision she penned that declared unconstitutional the clustering of shortlisted nominees made by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) last year in connection with the vacancies in the Sandiganbayan.

De Castro has also been authorized by the Court to discuss the merits of her separate concurring opinion in the August 2014 ruling that voided the JBC’s decision not to include the name of then Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza on the shortlist of nominees for SC justice post after Sereno raised an integrity issue against him.

(PNA)