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Countering Gadon, Justice De Castro denies giving info to reporter

Lawyer Harry Gadon appears at the House justice committee hearing on impeachment allegations against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. STAR/Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — Associate Justice Teresita De Castro swiftly denied providing documents to a print reporter used in the impeachment complaints against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

In a statement sent through the high court's Public Information Office chief Theodore Te, De Castro said: "I have never released to Jomar Canlas (of Manila Times) any information, report, or document regarding the work of the Supreme Court."

During the House of Representatives' hearing on Wednesday, complainant Larry Gadon was quizzed on his source of information against Sereno. Gadon has repeatedly claimed before the House panel that De Castro is "very much" willing to testify before Congress.

READ: Sereno challenges De Castro: Choose your legacy

Gadon also said that the De Castro would be the best person to ask about Sereno's alleged falsification of several Supreme Court documents, including a temporary restraining order on party-list proclamations. He claimed that Sereno issued a different TRO from the one drafted by the associate justice.

Gadon, a longtime supporter of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, admitted he does not possess first-hand information on Sereno's supposed tampering of documents. He instead learned about it from a "friend" he later identified as the journalist Canlas.

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"I didn't talk to Justice De Castro, I talked to reporter to reporter Jomar Canlas," Gadon said.

In her affidavit, Sereno had said that as a chief justice, she could issue a temporary restraining order when the high court was in recess.

READ: Point by point: Sereno answers impeachment complaint

Gadon disappoints

Cross-examining Gadon, Rep. Kaka Bag-ao (Dinagat Islands) said the complainant failed to answer basic questions on his allegations.

Exasperated, the congresswoman said in Filipino: "I am at lost on who really is the complainant here."

Bag-ao also insisted that complainants should have personal knowledge of the facts of the case as a rule.

The House panel moved to invite all the 14 other justices of the high court, Canlas and Clerks of Courts Enriquieta Vidal and Felipa Anama.

READ: Sereno challenges De Castro: Choose your legacy

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