Court orders arrest of Grace Padaca

By Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2012 05:25 PM | Updated as of May 24 2012 03:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A warrant for the arrest of former Isabela Governor Grace Padaca has been issued by the 5th division of the Sandiganbayan.

The order was issued on May 17 but was only released last Monday (May 21).

The Sandiganbayan said it has yet to be served to Padaca.

The former governor is facing charges of malversation of public funds and the crime defined in Sec. 3(e), of Republic Act 3019.

Padaca and her co-accused, former Provincial Legal Officer Johnas Lamonera (deceased), former municipal councilor Servando Soriano, and Dionisio Pine, are accused of giving "unwarranted advantage or preference benefits" to the Economic Development for Isabela and Northern Luzon Foundation, Inc. (EDWINFLI) for the provincial rice program of Isabela.

They are alleged to have paid the non-government organization P25 million to manage, administer, and implement a supervised credit facility without public bidding, as well as violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Bail for Padaca is set at P70,000.

Padaca, meanwhile, said on her official Twitter account that she is consulting her lawyer on her legal options.

“The last advice I got was that we will be elevating the matter to the Supreme Court,” she said.