Poll body chief: Padaca qualified as Comelec commissioner despite case-A A +A
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Manila -- Former Isabela governor Grace Padaca can assume her new role as the latest member of the seven-man Commission on Elections (Comelec) despite her pending malversation case at the Sandiganbayan, poll body chairman Sixto Brillantes said Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, Brillantes said Padaca has not yet been convicted with final judgment on the case, which involves the alleged misuse of P25 million for the creation of a credit facility for Isabela farmers.
"You're not disqualified just because you have a case," he said.
Brillantes said the eighth floor office to be given to Padaca is now being cleaned as she will also be given a list of people that may help in her adjustment to the new job.
"I'll probably give her a listing of the people that she can immediately appoint to assist her. She is entitled to a staff; I think about 18 to 20. So she can appoint as many as she wants immediately," he said.
It remains to be seen, however, if Padaca can immediately participate in pending cases as soon as she assumes office.
"In the first place she is not a lawyer. So she will have to get the assistance of a lawyer-consultant. She will be probably sitting down in several committees so that she will get a feel," Brillantes said.
As for Padaca's assignments, Brillantes said he would be giving her some of the cases assigned to two Commissioners, Rene Sarmiento and Armando Velasco, who are set to retire by February next year.
On Tuesday, Malacañang announced Padaca's appointment, which will be until February 2, 2018.
She replaced Augusto Lagman, who was not reappointed to the post by President Benigno Aquino III in April for failing to get the nod of the powerful Commission on Appointments.(Virgil Lopez/FP/Sunnex)