The Integrated Bar of the Philippines stood up in defense of the Supreme Court against the unfounded and slanderous allegations made by a “disbarred attorney” who had claimed that Associate Justice Marvic Leonen pursued a personal vendetta leading to his disbarment.

In a statement released on Thursday, the national lawyers’ organization, without naming the lawyer, mentioned that he was interviewed on One News Channel. During the interview, he stated that his disbarment was due to him being a BBM supporter.

In June, the Supreme Court (SC) En Banc unanimously decided to disbar Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon, the Presidential Adviser for Poverty Alleviation, based on a viral video where he consistently used derogatory language against a journalist. The decision to disbar Gadon was based on a unanimous 15-0 vote by the justices.

The SC stated that the widely circulated video depicted Gadon consistently using derogatory language and making disrespectful comments towards journalist Raissa Robles. The Court, on its own initiative, recognized the video and previously issued an order temporarily suspending him from practicing law until a final decision was made in the case.

“Such claims are baseless, malicious and untrue. The Supreme Court is a collegial body. It takes at least one (1) division, or the Court sitting en banc to render a valid judgment,” the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said.

“Statements that give the impression that justices of the Supreme Court can be influenced by one justice, or that the Supreme Court’s decision is tainted by politics are most unfair and contemptuous,” it added.

The IBP said further that the “disbarred lawyer’s” claim that he can reapply or submit a motion for reconsideration once Justice Leonen passes away is equally disrespectful.

What’s particularly concerning, the IBP further stated, is the “disbarred lawyer’s” assertion that individuals from the Supreme Court contacted him a day before his disbarment was publicized. This call was allegedly an attempt to persuade him to ask President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to request the SC to delay the release of the disbarment decision.

He implies that some figures within the Supreme Court aimed to use his disbarment as a bargaining chip to gain favors from the President.

“Such claims are malicious, disrespectful and also contemptuous. His tirades, insinuations and accusations have no place in a civilized and democratic country like the Philippines,” the lawyers’ national organization said.

The IBP expressed strong disapproval of the unprecedented behavior of the former lawyer, and said that it stands in solidarity with the SC as it upholds its constitutionally-mandated duties and jurisdiction, especially concerning the discipline of members of the Bar who have gone astray.

IBP stated that any doubts about the individual’s deserved disbarment were clarified by his TV interview, underscoring the SC’ correct decision.