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No immunity for Padaca, DOJ prosecutors say

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Commission on Elections Commissioner Grace Padaca: No immunity. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

Commission on Elections Commissioner Grace Padaca cannot invoke immunity from being tried on the graft and malversation charges filed against her until she is confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, according to state prosecutors.

The prosecutors asked the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division on Thursday to junk Padaca’s motion to quash the criminal charges by virtue of her new appointment to a constitutional office.

In their motion filed on Feb. 11, Assistant Special Prosecutor Omar Sagadal and Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Beda Epres said that Padaca’s seat in the Comelec was only covered by an ad interim appointment which could be terminated by the disapproval by the CA or adjournment of Congress without the CA acting on her appointment.

“Without having been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, accused cannot claim all the privileges and immunities of a regularly appointed Commissioner. Pending her confirmation, she has no fixed term of office,” they said.

They added that dismissal of the cases against Padaca would be tantamount to undermining the power of Congress to approve or reject an appointment and render useless the constitutional requirement for confirmation.

Padaca, a 2008 Ramon Magsaysay awardee, earlier said she was confident that she would be vindicated in the end and was not at all bothered by the case because the President himself and Roxas believed she was not corrupt as painted by her enemies.

The former Isabela governor was accused of graft and malversation for awarding to a nongovernment organization in 2006 a contract to manage a P25-million credit facility for rice farmers without public bidding.

In her defense, she said bidding was not required for the project and that the government was not disadvantaged by the deal.

Graft investigators said Padaca’s action gave undue advantage to the Economic Development for Western Isabela and Northern Luzon Foundation Inc., a nongovernmental organization, which was chosen and entrusted with public funds even without any public bidding to manage a credit facility for Isabela’s rice farmers under a hybrid seed distribution program.

They pointed out that the transaction was in the nature of a management or consultancy contract even as they noted the absence of any provision for safeguards on the amount entrusted to the NGO.

Prosecutors argued that even if Padaca was reappointed upon termination of her interim appointment, her trial would still proceed because she “is not being removed from her position; she is only being made to account for crimes committed in another office.”

They said they would not insist that Padaca be removed if convicted in either or both charges, but only made to serve whatever punishment would be given to her after her term in the Comelec was over.

“It might be wise to continue with the prosecution of the cases and if ever the accused is found guilty, to suspend execution of judgment until such time that the accused is no longer holding an impeachable position,” the prosecution said.


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Tags: court , Grace Padaca , Graft and Corruption , Immunity , Prosecution


  • Bisdak_kaayo

    bakit si LOZADA hindi rin bigyan ng posisyon ni PNOY? afterall he is a valuable asset and a star witness in the prosecution of GMA.

    • etomacq

      kasi hindi sya member ng LP… Hindi sya Kabarilan… Hindi sya Kaklase… hindi sya Kamag anak.. in short hindi sya KKK.

  • Guest

    01. No immunity for Padaca pero pyansa ni Padaca was provided by the administration.

    02. Case against Acosta was dropped by DOJ as ordered by the president.

    03. Jun Lozada’s fate remains uncertain despite his significant contribution against GMA.

    04. Meanwhile, no case filed against Manong Johnny for big-time luxury car smuggling.

    05. Meanwhile, Ochoa, Puno, Quimbo, Naguiat and Banayo are granted immunity & impunity.

    Where is the consistency? Puro selective application of the law si PNoy.

    • etomacq

      Noynoy is a corrupt president.. isang tiwaling pulitiko.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5STEU22AD7YRHQSB6RE56ZDSYA J

    Ang kalaban ni Padaca ay ang mga Dy na political dynasty mula pa noong panahong hindi pa presidente si Marcos. Masakit sa kanila na mawala ang pagkakahawak nila sa Isabela sa isang hamak na announcer ng radyo lamang. Ang mga kaso laban kay Padaca ay gawa-gawa ng masamang elemento ng mga polituku gustong nakaupo sa kapangyarihan hangang sa kanilang ka-apo-apuhan.
    Hanggang ang mga botante ay hindi natututu mawawala ang mga mabubuting taong dapat ay siyang namamalakad sa bayan.

    • etomacq

      Harapin na lang ni Padaca ang kaso nya.. hindi yun nagtatago pa sya sa saya ni Noynoy.

      Si Noynoy naman wag na nyang kanluin ang mga kapartido nyang nasasangkot sa katiwalian.

      Papano masusugpo ang korapsyon kung ang mismong Pangulo ay pinagtatakpan ang katiwalian ng mga kakampi nya? 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5STEU22AD7YRHQSB6RE56ZDSYA J

        hindi ka taga isabela kaya hindi mo alam ang gawa ng mga Dy.

      • etomacq

        Wala ako paki alam kay Dy, si Padaca ang may kaso kaya sya dapat magpaliwanag sa korte. Hindi yun puro palusot pa sya sa media. 

        Kung talagang malinis konsyensya nya harapin nya kaso nya at wag sya humingi ng proteksyon sa amo nya.

        Ganun lang kasimple yun.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/M3LQ4MUAU3Z36MIQGIGSOKBCQE Rosauro

    Part of moro-moro as in the end she will be found innocent by the Sandiganbayan. Take my word!

  • Dy Pailad

    Buti pa ang UNA til death do us part with Gwen Garcia.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/H6T7YUHZQHZBJ6BFWMFCIYPOQA Jokjok B

    DOJ a part of the excutive branch says this.. but the head of the executive branch bailed padaca with his money….

    • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

       daang matuwid tayo bok

  • $23257130

    ikulong si padaca. pppppppppwwwweeeehhhhh kadiri eeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwww

  • mekeni62

    sige na nga.

  • Garibaldi_II

    Actually, the Sandiganbayan is helping out Ms. Padaca by giving her the opportunity to clear her namef.  Please defend yourself Ms. Padaca, and you’ll come out a better person.

  • disqusted0fu

    “Without having been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, accused cannot claim all the privileges and immunities of a regularly appointed Commissioner. Pending her confirmation, she has no fixed term of office,”- But…What the accused can do is claim all the privileges and immunities of the KKKs. Yes, there is such a thing now under the Aquino administration, which is exactly how Grace Padaca was able to temporarily evade prosecution and got appointed as Comelec commissioner

  • 2rey3

    With due respect to the prosecutor, the privilege of a COMELEC commissioner whose appointment is ad interim or permanent is not due to the nature of his appointment but attached to the nature of his office which is a member of the commission which is a constitutional body which should be shielded from suits based on the wisdom of the framers of our Constitution as duly ratified by the people that may harass her from doing her job well. To deprive her of this immunity, she should be removed by the CA by not concurring her appointment or by impeaching her from office.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PM6JHCFR2KT2AURMWRDUXBNLQY Darwin

      The case was filed way before she was appointed commissioner, so it is not a harassment because of her job. If anything, it demonstrates why she should not have been chosen for the post.

  • wakats

    State prosecutors omar sagabal and beda epres seem so sure that Comm. Padaca committed the crimes she is being charged with when they said “she is not being removed from her position; she is only being made to account for crimes committed in another office.”

    The two have conveniently forgotten the constitutional mandate that an accused is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

    Just like their bossing leila de lima who prematurely said “definitely there’s no shootout” when the case against the soldiers and policemen is still being reviewed by PNoy and has not been filed yet in court…. 

  • opinyonlangpo

    Everybody knows it is politically motivated, but it is the Philippines so the show must go on.

  • boybakal

    No immunity for Padaca, DOJ prosecutors say….

    Padaca is No Mobility….now No immunity.
    A little compassion, please.
    The Code says…person with disability…the law must be vigilant to their protection.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PM6JHCFR2KT2AURMWRDUXBNLQY Darwin

      The trial court convicted a quadriplegic for rape. Justice first and then compassion.

  • JasonBieber

    To see what she was involved in…it’s shocking why PNoy even decided to appoint her to the Comelec position.That was not a very Presidential move on his part.

    And even worse he publicly supported her and even paid for her bail. What happened to the ‘daang matuwid’ stuff? I guess President’s KKK get preferential treatment.

    No immunity does not mean she will not get off scot-free…it just mean she will not get off scot-free now.



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