MANILA – After filing graft charges against Chief Justice Sereno over her alleged non-filing of her SALNs during some of the years she was a University of the Philippines professor, lawyer Larry Gadon is will sue other Supreme Court officials behind the hiring of an IT consultant–the same issues he raised in his impeachment complaint being heard by the House of Representatives.
Last Friday, Gadon had filed with the Department of Justice a charge for violation of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
At a weekend, forum, Gadon zeroed in on the chairman of the SC’s Bids and Awards Commitee, the deputy court administrator Raul Villanueva and members of the BAC.
He may also include some officials from the SC finance department.
Gadon took issue with the BAC’s approval of the procurement of services of an IT consultant at a high rate, the purchase of a luxury vehicle and an allegedly extravagant convention the high court hosted in Boracay.
“He cannot be spared of the charges, because he is BAC chairman,” Gadon said, referring to Atty. Raul Villanueva, who testified in last week’s House impeachment hearing.
“I plan to file a graft and corruption case against Atty. Villanueva, along with members of the BAC who awarded the [IT] contract,” said Gadon, speaking mostly in Filipino.
The contract “is a violation of the Procurment Act,” and Gadon accused BAC members of turning a blind eye to such alleged anomaly.
Earlier on Friday, Gadon filed the criminal case with DOJ against Sereno for her alleged failure to file SALNs in seven of the 10 years when she was in the academe. According to Gadon, Sereno only filed for the years 1998, 2002, and 2006 even though she was in the UP College of Law from 1986-2006.
Reacting to that filing, the camp of Sereno said Gadon’s act of filing a criminal case against an impeachable officer despite knowing she is immune from this kind of suit simply confirms his “desperation” in getting her at all costs.
Gadon explained, however, that the filing at the DOJ is part of a long-term plan: once Sereno is impeached as chief justice, then she can be prosecuted for the criminal case.
Gadon said he was doing this to avoid being restricted by the prescriptive period for criminal complaints.
The lawyer hoped his move would serve also as a warring to other SC oficials, “who until now are trying to hide something.”
He said the finance committee people are accountable because they allowed payouts for the allegedly anomalous contracts.