No stopping his foul mouth: Gadon questions Caguioa concurrence in 3-month suspension order
Failed senatorial candidate Lorenzo Gadon has defiantly questioned the concurrence of Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa in the Supreme Court’s (SC) order for his three-month suspension over his abusive language towards a doctor and her lawyer.
In a statement, Gadon somehow connected his disciplinary case to his criticism of Caguioa’s handling of the electoral protest of defeated vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
“I also take note of the objectivity of Associate Justice Caguoia for concurring with the 3 months suspension despite public knowledge that i have been very critcal of the snail paced process of and the glaring bias and treatment of the protest of Sen. BBM,” Gadon said.
At the same time, Gadon expressed glee and took the opportunity to mock ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
He was the one who pushed for the impeachment case against Sereno before the House of Representatives, which eventually sat on the case and waited for the SC to just oust her by way of a quo warranto case.
“The 3 months , or 90 days suspension is a silver lining compared to being kicked out as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,” said Gadon.
Gadon was sanctioned for threatening a doctor and her lawyer that it would be fruitless for her to seek legal remedies against his company, and even suggesting that a lawyer should “commit suicide” for giving “dumb” advice.
In a recent 10-page notice of resolution, the SC 2nd Division found Gadon guilty of violating Canon 1, Canon 8 and Rule 8.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR).
The SC took Gadon to task for his notoriously antagonistic attitude, saying “Atty. Gadon should be more circumspect in his actions and should control himself bettere in times of emotional outbursts.”
The sanction arose from a complaint filed a decade ago by Helen Joselina Mendoza, a doctor who had a clinic in the Ambulatory Health Care Institute, Inc. (AHCII).
Mendoza alleged that as AHCII’s corporate secretary and vice-president, Gadon unilaterally suspended her following a complaint by an unsatisfied patient.
Later, the doctor complained about her reduced clinic hours, aided by her lawyer Wilfredo Martinez.
This prompted Gadon to revoke her privilege to practice in Clinica Manila through a harshly worded April 23, 2009 letter.
Gadon claimed he was merely being “frank, straightforward, equivocal” and his words were “not ‘very insulting.'”
But, the SC said Gadon’s description of the use of legal remedies as slow and something that “requires a lot of resources” lessened the public’s confidence in the judicial system and degraded “every officer of the court.”
Gadon’s letter stated: “Assuming you may get a favorable result after 10 years, that is IF you will win, which is still a big question since we will not also take this matter sitting down as we have a lot of resources to use as well while in the meantime you altogether forfeit your clinic practice.”
It further stated: “Even assuming AFTER 8 to 10 YEARS (RTC, CA, SC) that you may get . back your practice, we can still malce your life in the clinic unproductive because we can always hire an in-house dennatologist simultaneous with your time and schedule and direct all corporate, HMO and walk in patients to these doctors leaving you nothing except your dwindling number of patients.”
“Your acts therefore of threatening us with legal suits demonstrate a shortsighted analytical thinldng of the matter,” the letter further read.
Making matters worse, Gadon’s answer to Mendoza’s complaint before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD) continued the use of “malicious and arrogant language.”
The following were quotes from Gadon’s answer:
1. “Another outrageously funny and ridiculous statement totally devoid of any logic and reason… Who does she think she is—the only qualified doctor in town? … From where did she get this outrageously funny, conceited and arrogant claim?”
2. “From where did she base her claim on the birth right to own clinic hours in Clinica Manila?”
3. “Outrageously hilarious … Since when does a frank candid words become illegal? Since when does a language become ‘illegal[?]’ Is there such a thing as ‘illegal language’? I am not a language expert myself, somebody help me please.”
4. “Since when does a frank and unequivocal letter which is not even libelous a ground for disbarment? Is she getting the proper legal advice? What is this?”
5. “Where do they get these twisted ideas and strange concepts? Are these people suffering from Alzheimer’s or what have you? Where do they get these gutter logic and reasoning?”
6. “If there is anybody who should be disbarred, it is the legal adviser of the complainant… A seasoned lawyer would have made a careful study of the facts and issues from all angles before advising a client because the client will suffer more if it will act on the basis of a careless advice… The respondent hopes that this lawyer is not just trying [to] become an ambulance chaser who is full of bravado, empty rhetoric, and grandstanding who would blindly give wrong advice to his client to foment a controversy hoping it would end up in litigation.”
Gadon again could not resist insulting Mendoza’s lawyer in his rejoinder later. He even showed awareness that he risked getting scolded by the IBP-CBD.
“At the risk of being reprimanded by this Honorable Commission, respondent [cannot] help and [cannot] resist expressing his thought that this is dumbest and the most stupid statement I have encountered in my years of practice of law. In fact, people who have read this statement nearly died of laughing and also declared that it was 1the most stupid statement they have ever heard in their entire lives,” read the rejoinder.
Gadon even said the readers of Mendoza’s complaint “commented that people responsible for writing this statement ought to commit suicide for being too ignorant.”
Aside from the use of foul language, the SC noted that Gadon’s focus on insulting the legal advice Martinez gave Mendoza “muddles the issues and misleads the focus of the judicial process altogether.”
“He should refrain from being tempted by the adversarial nature of our legal system to use strong language in pursuit of arguing his case. He can be convincing and articulate without using unprofessional and disrespectful language,” read the notice signed by Division Clerk of Court Maria Lourdes Perfecto.