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.

Free photography workshop for the deaf on April 22

Free photography workshop for the deaf to be mentored by famous deaf wedding photographer and International Skills Competition Photography Champ Dennis Rhoneil Corpuz Balan!!! This will be held at Fort Santiago on Sunday, April 22 and sponsored by Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF). You may contact them through the poster below. Grab this now!!! 

dennis photography seminar


Gov. Grace Padaca for Vice President, why not?

Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca
Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca

I noticed in my Blog Stats that there was a sudden surge of visitors to my blog post about Isabela Governor Grace Padaca. It is understandable because of the recent news floating around about the impending tandem between her and Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio in the 2010 Presidential Elections. There was even a video from a local giant network asking the same question about her plans.

Of course we expect some quarters to raise their voices in disagreement especially the present dispensation. Some even say she is not yet ripe to sit on the second to the highest position of the land.

But whatever decision she makes, whatever plans she takes, I’m sure it would be for the good of the whole country. It would also be to support the cause of all Filipino Persons With Disabilities. Mula po ng naisabatas ang Sectoral Representative sa Kongreso, wala pa po ni isang PWD na nakaupo dito. Wala pong kinatawan ang may kapansanan sa paggawa ng batas para sa kanilang kapakanan. Sana po magkaroon na. (Ever since the Sectoral Representative was put into law by Congress, not one Person With Disability has ever been elected. No PWD was represented in congress and has passed laws for their welfare. I hope this time there would be one.)

So, to Ma’am Grace, this blogger salutes you and will support you all the way. 🙂

Disabled Pinoy Congressional Party Launched

The unveiling of official DPP logo were led by different PWD leaders and MMDA Chairman, Bayani Fernando. ©Withnews
As the 2010 national elections is fast approaching, the Alyansa ng may Kapansanang Pinoy, Inc. (Alliance of Filipinos with Disabilities) launched the Disabled Pinoy Party (DPP), a political party list of Filipinos with disabilities, last February 16.

Alyansa ng may Kapansanang Pinoy, Inc. (AKAP-Pinoy) is a 415-strong federation of local and national organizations and 900 individual members dedicated to advocate for the rights and promote the interests of persons with disabilities (PWD).

During the launching ceremony at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan, DPP President, Michael Barredo, said that “DPP will serve as a medium in exercising civil and political rights of PWDs in 2010 under the Magna Carta for Disabled and United Nations Convention on the Rights of PWD (UN CRPD).”

The launching ceremony was attended by Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman, Bayani Fernando and Parañaque City 1st District Congressman, Eduardo Zialcita.

Present DPP Directorate, composed of PWD leaders who will serve for 2 years, has been appointed by AKAP-Pinoy as called for by its Constitution and By-Laws.

DPP President, Michael Barredo explains the platforms of DPP. ©Withnews
Present DPP officers aside from Barredo are Augusto Flores, Secretary General; Luis Arellano, Treasurer; and Directors composed of Noli Agcaoili, Oscar Taleon, Richard Arceño, Jocelyn Garcia, Albert Yruma, Darwin Palado, Pete Manio and Octavio Gonzales.

The DPP officers warmly appeals to all PWDs for support and unity in liberating the PWD sector and the society from divisiveness so that Filipinos would labor as a single and united front.

Barredo, also the President of Philippine Sports Association for the Differently-Abled, explained the platforms of DPP.

Among its vision for 2010 and beyond, DPP will strengthen and unify the PWD sector into one national organization through the exercise of its political rights with full participation in social, economic and cultural aspects of life.

DPP will also ensure the implementation of UNCRPD and all laws pertaining to PWDs to institutionalize changes that will enable Pinoy with Disabilities (PWDs) to enjoy a productive and better life.

Ultimately, DPP will work for the election of a Party List Representation in Congress that will address the legislative needs and rights of the PWD sector.

DPP will also provide PWDs wheelchair, education and training, equal access to employment opportunities and livelihood, fight against discrimination, development through sports, availability of healthcare programs, home for aging Filipinos with disabilities and spearheads disability prevention programs.

As a party-list for PWDs, DPP draws strengths from roughly 9 million Filipinos with disabilities. In terms of voting potential, this 9 million Filipinos with disabilities times 47% will have a total of 4.2 million PWD voters.

Once the PWD voters are organized, properly motivated and adequately funded, this total number of PWD voters will deliver the votes needed for a seat in Congress, which allows only 3 seats for party list representatives.

DPP targets its voters from PWDs and their families and friends, from supporters and sympathizers of PWDs and from local government officials and social workers.

According to DPP, “Resources or lack of it should not deter PWDs from pursuing their vision, aspirations, and intense desire to provide hope to the 9-Million Pinoy with Disabilities. With our shared vision, we can find ways to raise the resources we need for a meaningful electoral participation.”

News Item copied from and authored by Mr. Raphael Torralba

Isabela Governor Grace Padaca, Famous Disabled Filipino

Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca
Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca

In my WordPress Dashboard, I often find surfers land in my blog after searching for “Famous Disabled Filipino”. So, today I will write about one. Her name is Isabela Governor Ma. Gracia Cielo “Grace” Magno Padaca. No, she is not deaf. She is orthopedically impaired. But she was the one who strengthened the programs for the deaf community in her province and continually support the operations of Isabela School for the Deaf (ISD). She is the highest government official who is never ashamed of being a PWD. So, Gov. Grace is my most Famous Disabled Filipino! 🙂

I don’t know her personally. But I was able to meet her during our celebration of United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UN-CRPD) Philippine entry into force last May. She was our special guest of honor. She was very cordial, always smiling and greets everybody as if she knows all of them. I was there interpreting for our deaf representative from Zamboanga City. To my surprise, she practically knew the deaf! She remembered seeing her once during a workshop on women with disability sometime ago.

Gov. Grace with Pilar, a deaf leader from Zamboanga
Gov. Grace with Pilar, a deaf leader from Zamboanga

She also promised me that if I have some concerns regarding the deaf community in Isabela, I shouldn’t hesitate to visit her office at Ilagan and approach her. And I did! Although I did not personally went to her office, I sent her a letter asking for on-the-job training assistance for our deaf trainee Edmond Guzman Jr. who graduated at ISD. She immediately acted on it and accepted him. Last thing I heard, Gov. Grace’s office absorbed Edmond and now works as one of her staff.

Let my humble blog be a fitting testament of the many good works she did to her provincemates and to the Filipino disabled people, both as a role model and as an action oriented government official. Kudos and God bless you, Gov. Grace! We fully support you! 🙂

Here is an excerpt of a news item about Gov. Grace receiving the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Award last August:

R. Magsaysay 2008 Awardees
R. Magsaysay 2008 Awardees


Mabuhay ang Pilipinong May Kapansanan! Padaca asks Filipinos: Replicate democratic victories

MANILA, Philippines — Breakthroughs and victories against “oppressive political structures” need to be encouraged and supported to be replicated, said Isabela governor and Ramon Magsaysay awardee for government service, Grace Magno Padaca on Sunday.

In accepting her award at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Padaca also said political victories were “fragile” and asked for continued support.

“Victories are fragile and they need to be supported and encouraged,” she said. “Please continue encouraging and supporting me.”

The Ramon Magsaysay Awards, recognized as Asia’s Nobel Peace Prize, celebrated its 50th anniversary today with Padaca as one of the recipients.

Padaca broke the Dy family’s grip on Isabela in the 2004 gubernatorial elections by raking in 55 percent of the votes, making headlines for toppling a political dynasty that spanned 30 years. Now on her second term as governor, she rose to fame for her campaign for democratic elections. She also said that the “political victory” she achieved in her province must be replicated nationally.

“What we dared to do is to make democracy work especially in electing our leaders,” she said. “In less than two years, we will be electing
our leaders and are going to the polls. We need to continue succeeding after raining hopes on our people.”

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