MANILA, Philippines - Is Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Grace Padaca on her way out?
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said yesterday the interim appointment of Padaca expired when Congress went on recess on June 14.
“Malacañang has not renewed her appointment ... She is not reporting for work,” Jimenez said in a text message, but noted that Padaca is in constant communication with the Comelec.
Padaca did not respond when The STAR sought her reaction.
The Commission on Appointments has repeatedly bypassed Padaca’s appointment.
Asked about the impact of Padaca’s absence in the Comelec operations, Jimenez said there is no immediate effect since her office is still running.
Padaca was appointed to the Comelec in October 2012 by a virtue of an interim appointment to replace former commissioner Augusto Lagman whose appointment was also not renewed.
An interim appointment is done when Congress is on recess, and the appointee need not be confirmed first by the CA before assuming office. Such appointment, however, expires every time Congress adjourns so the President will have to renew the appointment.
Padaca is facing malversation and graft charges at the Sandiganbayan over a P25-million rice program that she awarded as governor of Isabela province to a non-governmental organization without public bidding. In defending her move, Padaca said the project did not require a bidding.
President Aquino paid the P70,000 bail before the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division for her temporary liberty.
A Malacañang source said the President is not expected to reappoint Padaca for failing to file her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
The source said Aquino questioned why Padaca did not file her SALN when he was very particular about it.
Meanwhile, the President has reappointed Energy Secretary Jericho Carlos Petilla.
He also appointed Jose Mejia as a member of the Judicial and Bar Council for a term of four years beginning July 9 until July 8, 2018.
The President meanwhile endorsed the promotion of over 100 officers of the Armed Forces. —With Christina Mendez, Aurea Calica