• Brillantes defends ex-commissioner Padaca vs critics

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    Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Monday defended Commissioner Grace Padaca against her critics, saying the commissioner did a good job at the poll body despite being not a lawyer.

    During flag-raising ceremony at the Comelec, Brillantes said Padaca was able to perform her work “quite well” because of the dedication she has invested in her office.

    “Her performance, if you will allow me to say, is that she had an untainted integrity. I know her deep devotion to her work despite the fact that she is not a lawyer. She was able to perform her job quite well,” he noted.

    Also on Monday, Malacañang officially appointed Arthur Lim, a lawyer, as the new Comelec commissioner, replacing Padaca.

    Padaca’s appointment was recently bypassed by the Commission on Appointments (CA), pointing to her failure to attend hearings.

    Meanwhile, on her official Facebook account, Padaca said he is grateful to the President for giving her a chance to serve the country as a Comelec. Commissioner.

    “There goes another chapter of my colorful life. On to the next one,” Padaca added.

    She said she is not upset with the decision of the President not to reappoint her.

    “No. I understand him. I was thankful when he appointed me to the Comelec,” Padaca added.

    She was appointed by Aquino in October 2012.

    She was charged with a graft and malversation charge before the Sandiganbayan in 2011 in connection with a credit facility project for Isabela’s rice farmers in 2006.

    A governor of Isabela at the time, she allegedly gave undue advantage to a non-government organization when she awarded the project.

    Padaca’s replacement vowed to uphold the Constitution and to become a public servant only to the people, not to any of the government leaders who know him.

    Lim admitted to personally knowing Senate President Franklin Drilon but said he “is not a protégé of no one, no [political]party [and]no politicians.”

    “I do not deny that I know Sen. Drilon. I know him, [but]my loyalty is to the people,” Lim said in an interview during his first day of duty as a Comelec commissioner on Monday.

    His term will end on February 2, 2018, which means he will serve Padac’s unexpired term.

    Lim, a part of his family’s Arthur Lim Law Office will leave the firm because he part of the government.

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