MANILA — The Sandiganbayan has ordered former Isabela Gov. Maria Gracia Cielo “Grace” Padaca to pay a fine of PHP4,000 for failure to file her Statements of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALNs) from 2007 to 2010.
In a ruling written by Associate Justice Oscar Herrera, Jr. and promulgated on Sept. 27, 2017, the Sandiganbayan Second Division found Padaca guilty on all four counts of violation of Republic Act No. 6713, or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees”, for failing to file her SALNs during her term as governor.
Padaca served as Isabela governor from June 30, 2004 until June 30, 2010.
During trial, Padaca, through her legal counsel Rogelio Vinluan, moved to withdraw her earlier plea of not guilty on the charges.
The Sandiganbayan permitted Padaca’s re-arraignment and changed her plea to guilty since there was no objection from the prosecution.
It said the former governor was made aware of the accusations against her before she changed her plea.
“Upon being personally asked by the court, accused Padaca affirmed the manifestation of her counsel and declared that she understands the nature and cause of the accusations against her. She therefore entered a plea of guilty to the charges,” the Sandiganbayan said in its ruling.
“Considering the voluntary plea of guilty of the accused, and conformable with the provisions of Section 11(a) of RA 6713, the court hereby sentences her to pay a fine of PHP1,000 in each of the four criminal cases aforementioned, or the total amount of PHP4,000,” the ruling added.
Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Michael Frederick Musngi and Lorifel Pahimna. PNA-northboundasia.com