MANILA, Philippines—“Ingat Grace (Take care Grace),” this was the message of President Benigno Aquino III to newly appointed Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Grace Padaca.
Padaca, who took her oath on Monday before Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, assured the people that she would remain independent despite ties with Aquino who paid for her bail bond at the Sandiganbayan worth P70,000.
“Hindi po magtatagal mahuhusgahan na ninyo ako sa pamamagitan ng mga desisyon na aking gagawin. In a week or so, kasi kailangan nang tutukan ang party list disqualifications (Soon you’ll be able to judge me through the decisions I will be making. In a week or so, I will have to focus on party-list groups’ disqualification),” Padaca told reporters Monday.
De Lima is Padaca’s lawyer during the 2001 and 2004 elections.
She said she would pay close attention on “3 curses” of the electoral system-vote buying, terrorism and cheating.
After taking her oath, she went to the Comelec to be briefed on priority cases the poll body is currently handling.