Gadon wants House Justice panel to summon ex-court psychologists in Sereno case

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Lawyer Lorenzo "Larry" Gadon swears to the authenticity of his impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. (photo by Boy Santos, PhilStar)

MANILA – Lawyer Larry Gadon, who is pushing the impeachment of Chief Justice Sereno, wants the House Justice committee to summon two psychologists who conducted the psychological examination of Sereno when her application for the post of top magistrate was pending.

Gadon said the contracts of the two psychologists, who have been consulting with the Supreme Court for quite some time, was not renewed after Sereno was named Chief Justice by then President Benigno Aquino III.

The two were for a long time doing psychological examinations on applicants for posts in the SC, the Court of Appeals and even lower courts.

Gadon told the Annabel’s forum on Saturday: “I am planning to file a motion with the House commitee on justice to invite the two psychologists who conducted the psychological exam on CJ Sereno when she was applying for the position of associate justice and chief justice, because right after she assumed the position of CJ, these two psychologists were terminated. Hindi na- renew ang contracts nila [Their contracts were not renewed] despite the fact that these psychologists had been conducting psychological exams successfully for so many years with the SC; that includes the psychological exams of the candidates for the SC, CA and lower courts.”

Gadon claimed Sereno obtained a low score in the psychological examination.

“Ano ba ang ang [What, indeed, is the] standard? There should be a standard why these people had been dismissed. Hindi naman dapat ‘yun na porke’t bumagsak lang siya sa psychological exam tine-terminate na, kaya ipapatawag ko [It’s not right that their contracts are not renewed just because she got a low mark].”

Earlier, Gadon asked JBC to reveal the results of the psychological exam of Sereno, but
the request was denied.

“Ayaw nga nila ibigay, so I filed a petition to the en banc to release the psychological exams result, but the en banc asked the Office of CJ Sereno and the JBC to explain why this should not be released,” said Gadon.

He asserted that it should not be considered confidential because “it pertains to a document that is involved in the process of selecting the candidates to the SC and candidates to the position of CJ.”

The camp of CJ Sereno was sought for comment, but none has been obtained for far.

When Congress returns from its break in November, the House Justice commitee will hold another hearing on the impeachment complaint against Sereno to determine if there is probable cause against the chief magistrate.

IBP president’s remarks assailed

Meanwhile, three lawyers pushing the impeachment have assailed the remarks of Integrated Bar of the Philippines national president Abdiel Fajardo, that the IBP does not support the impeachment complaint.
The three lawyers said Fajardo has no power to issue a statement on behalf of the entire organization.

Said Gadon, “Fajardo should not use the name of our organization, the IBP, to express his opinion of support against the impeachme of CJ sereno. He is speaking for himself, huwag nya dalhin ang [he should not drag along the members of] IBP.”

Gadon added, “We are IBP members but we do not subscribe to his statement that the IBP is against the impeachment of CJ Sereno.”

For his part, Atty. Manuel Luna said that “while he [Fajardo] is the president of IBP, he cannot just make policy statements without the imprimatur of and prior consensus with the board of governors.”

Luna said the IBP leader cannot just mouth something, or bind the organization, especially on something “as crucial as this impeachment, without any meeting being first called by the board of governors.”

Former congressman Jacinto Paras expressed hope that Fajardo was only speaking for himself, “not speaking for so many lawyers who are in favor of impeachment.”