The complainant in the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Monday was told to do his homework in producing evidence against the chief magistrate instead of just relying on the House Committee on Justice's powers to subpoena witnesses and pieces of evidence.
Mindoro Oriental Representative Reynaldo Umali, the chairman of the House Committee on Justice, told Gadon that he should also do his share of producing evidence after Dinagat Islands Representative Kaka Bag-ao pointed out that the complainant's allegation of favoritism against Sereno may only be his own opinion.
"In the last hearing sabi ko please do your homework… Ikaw kasi nag-aakusa kung kaya't hinihingi 'yung pagkakataon na gawin mo naman 'yung trabaho mo. 'Yun 'yung inaangal ng kasamahan namin dito na ginagawa mo kaming imbestigador mo eh," Umali said.
"Hindi kami 'yon," he added.
Umali said Gadon should have secured affidavits in order to conduct an "orderly proceeding."
"'Yung sinasabi ni Congressman [Ramon] Rocamora ay dapat may affidavits din ito...ay dapat sinecure mo 'yon para mas dumali ang proseso nito para hindi po nagbabangayan dito so that we can conduct an orderly proceeding," Umali said.
"If you will recall in PIs, sa preliminary investigation when you're a practitioner, 'pag nag-file ka ng complaint, nakaakibat doon 'yung mga affidavits ng iyong mga witnesses na susumpa sa piskal," he added.
He said that the committee would still do its duty to gather evidence but added, "Por dios por santo, eh gawin mo rin 'yung trabaho mo."
Gadon was earlier asked by Bag-ao if he was able to talk to the resource persons who would testify on his allegations against the Chief Justice.
"Sinasabi niyo na ang pinakadahilan kaya kayo nag-file ng complaint na ito ay dahil may favoritism, may pagpapabor at may manipulation, tama po ba, sir? Tinatanong kayo kanina, anong proof mo sa conclusion mo na 'yan. Ang sagot mo, ang makakapagkwento po niyan ay sila judge, sila ganyan, ay nagtuturo ka na naman," Bag-ao said.
Bag-ao then asked Gadon if he could cite the statement of acting Executive Committee chairperson and Judicial and Bar Council regular member Atty. Jose Mejia on his impeachment complaint that will show that Sereno had "practiced or decided because of favoritism."
"Hindi ko sinabi," Gadon said.
"Yes or no lang," Bag-ao replied as the two were momentarily engaged in a heated discussion. "Did you indicate Judge Samar will shed light on your conclusion that there was favoritism?" she said.
Umali, meanwhile, asked Gadon to answer with just a "yes or no."
"Attorney Gadon that question is answerable by yes or no. 'Di ba kasi malinaw naman 'yung complaint mo? Did you make mention of Judge Samar, did you allege it in your complaint? 'Yun lang po ang tanong kaya 'wag po tayong mag-argue," Umali said.
Gadon, for his part, answered in the negative.
Bag-ao said that Gadon just made up his conclusion.
"'Yun exactly 'yung point—gumawa siya ng conclusion, nagturo siya ng mga tao na makapagsabi ng conclusion, and yet wala tayong nakikita sa kanyang complaint. So hindi masigurado kung siya ba talaga ang complainant. Bakit siyang siguradong sigurado na 'yun ang ite-testify? Bakit niya nilagay sa complaint kung ang ating basehan ay 'yung complaint? I just want to make that manifestation, Mr. Chair," Bag-ao said.
Umali then asked Gadon if he directly talked to the supposed resource persons who could substantiate his claims but Gadon said "not directly."
"When you indirectly communicated to these people, do you have any indication that they will cooperate and they will participate?" Umali asked Gadon.
"Under the powers of the Congress your honor," Gadon replied.
"Wala po silang pinarating sa akin na willing to cooperate pero meron po silang alam kaya nga po sina-suggest ko po sa justice committee na sila ay imbitahin at ang justice committee naman po sa paliwanag ninyo kanina ay meron kayong kapangyarihan na ipatawag ang lahat ng mga witness at dokumento kahit hindi naman po ito nabanggit sa aking complaint upang malaman ang katotohanan as a constitutional duty of the Congress," he added.
Gadon in his complaint accused Sereno of 27 impeachable acts including culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and other high crimes.
The impeachment complaint has been deemed sufficient in form, substance and also with sufficient grounds.
The House justice panel is set to continue its hearing on Tuesday to determine the probable cause on the impeachment case against Sereno. —NB/KG, GMA News