Padaca pleads not guilty to graft, malversation raps before SandiganBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines–Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Grace Padaca on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to allegations of graft and malversation before the Sandiganbayan.
The arraignment is part of the court’s condition before she could be allowed to travel abroad.
On Friday, Padaca filed a motion asking the court to allow her to participate in an International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) program about the US elections. She said she was designated by Comelec to attend the event.
The conference will be held from November 4 to 7 in Washington D.C., but Padaca sought for a 10-day leave — from November 2 to 12.
Padaca is not allowed to go outside the country due to the criminal case filed against her.
The Sandiganbayan issued an arrest warrant after she was accused of giving undue advantage to the Economic Development for Western Isabela and Northern Luzon Foundation Inc. (EDWINLFI), a non-government organization tapped to manage a credit facility for Isabela’s rice farmers under a hybrid seed distribution program.
President Benigno Aquino III posted a P70,000-bail on Padaca’s behalf.