Court lifts arrest order vs Padaca
MANILA - The Sandiganbayan lifted on Tuesday the arrest warrant against Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Grace Padaca after she finally faced the court for her arraignment.
Padaca pleaded not guilty to the graft and malversation charges filed against her in connection with the alleged irregular disbursement of P25 million to the Economic Development for Western Isabela and Northern Luzon Foundation Inc. (EDWINLFI), a private organization, when she was governor of Isabela.
Padaca did not appear during her arraignment scheduled last week, forcing the anti-graft court to forfeit a P70,000 bail bond.
Her lawyers asked today in open court that Padaca be able to post another bail bond. Her lawyers said the bail bond can be deducted from a P140,000 bond she posted earlier when she went abroad.
In not appearing for her originally scheduled arraignment, Padaca said: “Last Thursday, my lawyers did not ask me to attend anymore the hearing set for my arraignment because I have already been arraigned last year.”
“My non-appearance at the hearing last Thursday was solely for the reasons cited above and not meant to disrespect and ignore orders and processes of the Sandiganbayan," she added. - from a report by Robert Mano, dzMM