Quantcast
Latest Stories

Ombudsman presses graft raps vs Padaca

By

Former Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca

The Office of the Ombudsman is pressing for the prosecution of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Ma. Gracia Cielo Padaca for alleged graft and malversation when she was Isabela governor, and is opposing Padaca’s motion invoking her immunity from suit.

In an Oct. 30 motion to dismiss, Padaca claimed that her appointment to the Comelec automatically entitled her to protection under Section 2, Article XI of the Constitution which allows her removal from office only by impeachment, an exclusive power delegated to Congress.

But state prosecutor Omar Sagadal and graft investigation officer Beda Epres said that Padaca’s appointment did not absolve her of criminal liability for offenses she allegedly committed when she was still provincial governor of Isabela in 2006.

“Protection of tenure of office is not a license to commit a crime or a forgiveness for crimes committed before taking office. The prosecution submits that to dismiss or suspend the case would give premium to criminality and undermine the criminal justice system,” they pointed out.

Immunity

Padaca’s argument of immunity would make appointment to an impeachable post a shield or an amnesty for past crimes, they said.

They also pointed out that Padaca’s appointment to the Comelec has yet to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments since it was made ad interim (while Congress was in recess).

Therefore, it is premature for Padaca to invoke any form of immunity, “assuming the immunity is proper in the first place,” they said.

The prosecutors also pointed out that Padaca’s appointment will be deemed terminated if not approved before the congressional session is adjourned, they said.

In a previous motion, Padaca asked the anti-graft court’s 5th Division to defer the case until the Supreme Court has rendered a decision on her pending motion for certiorari which challenged the charges filed against her by the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman earlier denied Padaca’s motion for reconsideration and upheld the finding of probable cause to indict her. The Sandiganbayan then issued a warrant for her arrest in May.

On Oct. 4, Padaca surrendered and posted consolidated bail of P30,000 for the graft charge and P40,000 for the malversation charge, thus setting aside the arrest warrant and prompting the anti-graft court to set her arraignment for Oct. 18.

It later came out that the bail money had come from President Aquino himself.

No public bidding

A 2008 Ramon Magsaysay awardee, Padaca was charged with graft for awarding to a nongovernment organization in 2006 a contract to manage a P25-million credit facility for rice farmers without a public bidding.

Named as coaccused were provincial legal officer Johnas Lamonera, former Roxas Vice Mayor Servando Soriano and private respondent Dionisio Pine, manager of the foundation.

In her defense, Padaca said a bidding was not required for the project and that the government did not suffer any damage from the deal.

Padaca said she was not at all bothered by the charges and expressed confidence that she would be vindicated.

In her motion, she said it was well established that the principle of judicial courtesy entails the suspension by a court of proceedings before it “where there is a strong probability that the issues before the higher court would be rendered moot and moribund as a result of the continuation of the proceedings in the lower court of origin.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Government , Grace Padaca , Graft and Corruption , Office of the Ombudsman




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Cebu has hair of John Paul II and piece of John XXIII’s skin
  • LTRFB denies Victory Liner appeal
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement