Court overturns graft conviction vs Ex-governor Grace Padaca

The Philippines’ Sandiganbayan, a special appellate collegial court in the Philippines that has jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases involving graft and corrupt practices and other offenses committed by public officers and employees, has reversed the graft conviction against the former governor of Isabela Province, Grace Padaca.

Isabela Governor Grace Padaca
Isabela Governor Grace Padaca, Photo from CNN Philippines

Here is a repost from the original news article published by the CNN Philippines dated September 20, 2020.

Sandiganbayan overturns graft conviction vs. ex-Isabela governor Padaca

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20)— The Sandiganbayan has reversed the graft conviction against former Isabela governor Grace Padaca over the granting of a P25 million fund to a foundation for the province’s rice program.

In a decision dated June 23 but which surfaced over the weekend, the anti-graft court’s third division granted Padaca’s motion for reconsideration, reversing the graft charge due to the prosecution’s “failure to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”

The anti-graft court in 2019 sentenced Padaca to 12 to 14 years for malversation and six to 10 years for graft. She was also ordered to pay the Isabela government a fine of P18 million.

Padaca’s motion for her malversation case was meanwhile denied due to lack of merit.

Despite this, the former official said she was thankful for the “positive development.”

Noong June 23,2020, nag-desisyon ang Sandiganbayan na ipawalang sala ako sa isa sa dalawang cases against me… Sa totoo lang, hindi na ako umasa noon na babaligtarin pa ng mga judge ang desisyon nila laban sa akin, but I am thankful for this new and positive development,” Padaca wrote on her social media account.

[Translation: Last June 23, 2020, the Sandiganbayan decided to acquit me in one of the two cases against me. The truth is, I was not expecting that the judge will reverse their decisions against me, but I am thankful for this new and positive development.]

The Sandiganbayan also ordered the lifting of the hold departure order against Padaca.

Padaca earlier denied receiving an amount from the million-peso fund. She maintained that Isabela’s provincial council authorized the memorandum of agreement she entered with the foundation for the program.

Governor Grace has been the most searched Filipino Person With Disability in my blog. I am always monitoring happenings on her life. This turn of events proves that the good governor is innocent of the crimes hurled against her. Mabuhay po kayo and Congratulations, Gov Grace!

Here is the link to the original post.

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