Padaca: I'm immune from lawsuits


Posted at Oct 31 2012 11:27 AM | Updated as of Nov 01 2012 06:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Commission on Elections Commissioner Grace Padaca is asking the Sandiganbayan to dismiss graft and malversation charges against her in connection with the alleged favoring of an NGO when she was still governor of Isabela.

Padaca said her appointment as Comelec Commissioner gives her immunity as she may only be removed by impeachment.

In a text message to ANC, Padaca said: "My attorney filed yesterday afternoon a motion to dismiss or suspend proceedings on the cases vs me because, if allowed to proceed, would contravene constitutional mandate that members of constitutional commissions may only be removed from office by impeachment."

Padaca earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges and underwent conditional arrangements in order to be allowed to travel abroad.

The former governor will be leaving the country from November 2-12 to attend the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) program about the US elections in Washington scheduled from Nov. 4 to 7. With a report from ANC