Isabela governor wants Padaca to inhibit from his poll case

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Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III and Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III has filed a motion before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Wednesday asking Commissioner Grace Padaca to inhibit from his election protest case because she has “personal interest” in it.

Dy had previously filed a motion before the Comelec Second Division asking that the May 2010 election protest case against him filed by Padaca be considered as “abandoned and/or withdrawn.”

The motion however said that Padaca, a member of the Second Division, had filed her comment which “vigorously opposed the motion filed by protestee Dy.”

“Commissioner Padaca hinged her arguments on the allegation and categorical statement that ‘if at the end of the electoral protest Dy is found to have cheated, he needs to step down’,” the motion said.

“Clearly, Commissioner Padaca … firmly believes that she is still the rightful winner of the last May 2010 gubernatorial elections in the Province of Isabela,” it said.

Padaca previously served as governor of Isabela from 2004 to 2010 breaking the hold of the Dy family in the province. She however lost in 2010 when she tried to run for reelection.

Padaca was recently appointed as a commissioner of the Comelec by President Benigno Aquino III.

“Commissioner Padaca cannot sit in the Division where her own election protest is pending. This is a clear case of conflict of interest,” the motion said.

“[She] cannot be the judge in a case where she has a personal and vested interest in as shown by her vigorous opposition to the withdrawal and or dismissal of the instant election protest,” it said.

The motion asks that Padaca inhibit herself “to avoid any appearance of impropriety and remove any cloud of bias.”

The motion was filed by Dy’s counsel Maria Bernadette Sardillo who previously declined being appointed as commissioner of the Comelec.

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