Padaca found guilty of graft: ‘I’m no thief’

The Sandiganbayan has found former Isabela governor and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Grace Padaca guilty of graft and malversation in connection with a 2006 case. | @PDMChiuINQ

16.11.2019

The Sandiganbayan has found former Isabela governor and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Grace Padaca guilty of graft and malversation in connection with a 2006 case. | PDMChiuINQ

The Sandiganbayan has found former Isabela governor and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Grace Padaca guilty of graft and malversation in connection with a 2006 case, where she was accused of awarding P25

The court, however, allowed Padaca to double her bail bond of P70,000 for her provisional liberty while she and her lawyer, Rogelio Vinluan, appeal the verdict.

In a statement on Friday, Padaca maintained that the hybrid seed distribution program cited in the case was established more than 12 years ago, when she was Isabela governor, “so that farmers didn’t have to take out usurious loans with interests of 30 to 40 percent from traders and financiers. Instead, they only pay 1.5 percent for the program’s processing fee.”

“I was not the only one who decided to implement this program for the farmers. The vice governor and the provincial board were with me,” Padaca said.

But according to the prosecution, Padaca allowed the foundation to act like a middleman in disbursing the money to farmers, and that she failed to liquidate some P3.6 million of the funds.

Also charged in the case were then Isabela legal officer Johnas Lamonera, former Municipal Councilor Servando Soriano and Dionisio Pine, both officers of the foundation at the time. They have all passed away.—WITH A REPORT FROM INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON AND INQUIRER RESEARCH

Read more: Inquirer

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