Sandiganbayan orders Padaca's arrest
MANILA, Philippines - The Sandiganbayan Third Division on Monday issued a warrant for the arrest of Elections Commissioner Grace Padaca after she failed to attend her arraignment on graft and malversation charges last Thursday.
Padaca is accused of irregularly disbursing a P25-million grant to the Economic Development for Western Isabela and Northern Luzon Foundation Inc. (EDWINLFI), a private organization, when she was governor of Isabela.
Padaca’s co-accused are provincial legal officer Johnas Lamonera, former vice mayor Servando Soriano of Roxas, Isabela and EDWINLFI manager Dionisio Pine.
The Office of the Ombudsman said that Padaca allowed EDWINLFI to act as middleman in disbursing the loan to farmers, but it failed to liquidate P3.6 million and that P18 million of the loan was listed under loan receivables.
In May 2012, the Sandiganbayan issued its first warrant of arrest after finding probable cause against Padaca.
Padaca posted P40,000 bail for the malversation charge and P30,000 bail for the graft complaint. She admitted that the P70,000 came from President Aquino.
She filed a petition for review before the Supreme Court to seek a temporary restraining order on the case but the high court has issued none to date.
The Sandiganbayan also denied her motion to dismiss on Oct. 9 and ordered that the case be continued for hearing.
Earlier, Padaca was conditionally arraigned but she failed to attend her regular arraignment scheduled by the Third Division last Thursday. This prompted the magistrates to issue a warrant of arrest against her and forfeit her P70,000 bail bond.