No immunity for Padaca without CA nod - prosecutor
MANILA - Commission on Elections Commissioner Grace Padaca cannot claim immunity in the graft and malversation charges against her after failing to get confirmation from the Commission on Appointments, a government prosecutor said.
In a five-page motion filed last February 11, Assistant Special Prosecutor Omar Sagadal and Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Beda A. Epres asked the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division to junk Padaca's motion seeking dismissal of the criminal charges.
The prosecutors said Padaca is only covered by an ad interim appointment which can be terminated by two events: disapproval by the CA or adjournment of Congress without the CA acting on such 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," the prosecution said.
Padaca was indicted over alleged irregular disbursement of P25-million to the Economic Development for Western Isabela and Northern Luzon Foundation Inc. (EDWINLFI) in 2006 when she was incumbent provincial governor of Isabela.
She was appointed by President Aquino to the Comelec last October despite the pendency of the corruption charges against her.