MANILA -- Former Isabela Governor Grace Padaca stressed that she does not hold a grudge against President Benigno Aquino III for not reappointing her as commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In a Facebook post, Padaca said she understands the decision of Aquino.
“I continue to be grateful to the President for having given me the distinct privilege of serving the Republic as Commissioner of the Comelec,” she said.
Padaca also said she believes it does not have something to do with her pending case at the Sandiganbayan, accusing her of allegedly giving a non-governmental organization the undue advantage to manage a seed distribution program for farmers.
The Sandiganbayan issued a warrant of arrest, but Aquino came to her rescue and paid for her bail. Aquino’s action was criticized since Padaca was just appointed Comelec commissioner then.
“Many people know that it was not an issue with the President when he first appointed me. I hope more people would know too that since February this year, we have been submitting evidence to the court and these totaled 556 documents as of the last setting on Thursday, July 24,” she said.
Padaca also posted excerpts of a letter she sent Aquino last Thursday.
“Mr. President, thank you for the opportunity that you gave me to serve as Comelec Commissioner. I would not have understood our election system and the way it is administered, as deeply as I do now, if I have not become part of the institution, and as Commissioner at that,” she said in the letter.
She also asked for an increase in the salaries of Comelec personnel, especially those on the field.
“Our usual partners in election administration like teachers and policemen have enjoyed salary increases through the years. It is not the case with election officers and assistants. I have talked with many of them -from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. My sense, Mr. President, is if they had a choice, they would prefer to be not vulnerable to politicians,” she said.
Padaca also asked Aquino to look into the law that requires local government units to provide office space for Comelec field personnel.
“This makes the local Comelec dependent on politicians. They cannot antagonize them. Even their provisions for utilities and additional job-order personnel are often provided by incumbent rulers/dynasties,” she said.
A Philippine Star report earlier said Padaca may be transferred to the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Arthur Lim, a former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and a private prosecutor in the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, will replace Padaca in the Comelec.