Padaca denies allegations she blocked Sardillo appointment

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Election Commissioner Grace Padaca. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Election Commissioner Grace Padaca on Tuesday denied reports that she blocked the appointment of lawyer Ma. Bernadette Sardillo to the Commission on Elections.

Padaca denied allegations that she went to Malacañang to lobby against Sardillo, who declined her appointment to the Comelec on Saturday or just two days after the Palace announced her posting to the election body.

“No. No. I did not go anywhere,” Padaca told reporters in an ambush interview at the Comelec before begging off from answering more questions.

Padaca supposedly blocked Sardillo’s appointment because the latter was the lawyer of former Isabela Gov. Benjamin Dy in the election protest he filed against Padaca over the results of the 2007 gubernatorial race in Isabela.

In 2009, the Comelec sided with Dy and declared that he won over Padaca with just 1,051 votes. Padaca was unseated as Isabela governor.

Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said he was not aware of Padaca’s supposed lobbying against Sardillo.

“When the appointment was announced, we were here in the en banc meeting and I did not see any reaction from Commissioner Padaca as far as I can see,” Brillantes said.

“We even joked around that they might work together in the Second Division,” he added.

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