MANILA, Philippines - The Palace confirmed Thursday that President Aquino used personal funds for the bail of newly appointed Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Grace Padaca.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the President had expressed intention to pay for Padaca’s bail after news reports first came out the Sandiganbayan had issued a warrant of arrest for the former Isabela governor.
“When a warrant of arrest was issued against Grace Padaca, Secretary Jesse Robredo spoke to her and spoke to the President. The President believes in the cause of Grace Padaca and the President told Secretary Robredo, ‘I will pay for the bail of Grace Padaca,’” Lacierda said.
Lacierda said Aquino believes in the capability and integrity of Padaca.
The Palace is confident that Padaca would be able to defend herself in the case against her.
“She maintains it’s a case that is a form of political persecution. It is a political harassment case and therefore, she refused to post bail. She was willing to go to jail and for that reason she informed me yesterday that she always had an overnight bag with her,” Lacierda said.
“However, because of her appointment as Comelec commissioner, she certainly cannot be arrested and fail to perform her duties. So, she has to post bail. But, we believe that her defense is strong and she can ably defend herself before the Sandiganbayan.”
Padaca on Thursday posted P70,000 bail at the Sandiganbayan on the malversation and graft charges filed against her.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas accompanied Padaca in filing the P70,000 bail bond at the Sandiganbayan's 5th Division.
Padaca said President Aquino personally shouldered her P70,000 bail. "Sabi po niya as early as 4 months ago, pera niya, bilang si Noynoy Aquino, ang magpipiyansa sa akin," she told reporters.
"Ako po'y nagpapasalamat sa Pangulo. Hindi lang po yung halaga ng pera ang importante dun kundi yung ibig sabihin yung isang katulad ni Noynoy, isang katulad ni Mar,ay nandito at mas naniniwala ako'y hindi kurakot at walang ninakaw sa mamamayan," she added.
The anti-graft court earlier issued a warrant for Padaca's arrest for a P25 million malversation case filed by former Isabela congressman, Santiago Respicio.
In previous interviews, Padaca said her refusal to post bail is a sign of protest. She filed a motion for certiorari at the Supreme Court to question the probable cause of the case.