The Sandiganbayan’s Second Division fined former Isabela Gov. Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca P4,000 after she pleaded guilty to breach of conduct cases filed against her in 2015.
Padaca was accused of failing to file her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for the years 2007 to 2010. She pleaded not guilty last year.
“In today’s hearing, accused Padaca, through counsel Atty. Rogelio A. Vinluan, moved that she be allowed to withdraw her earlier plea of not guilty to the charges, and that she be rearraigned so that she [may]enter a plea of guilty instead. The prosecution did not interpose any objection and the court thus granted the motion,” the court said in a decision promulgated on September 27.
She was then rerarraigned and pleaded guilty to the charges.
“Wherefore, premises considered, the court finds accused Maria Gracia Cielo Magno Padaca guilty of Violation of Section 8, in relation to Section 11(a), of Republic Act [RA] 6713, also known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, in Criminal Cases Nos. SB-15-CRM-0248, 0249, 0250 and 0251,” the court said in the decision.
“Considering the voluntary plea of guilty of the accused, and conformably with the provisions of Section 11(a) of RA 6713, the court hereby sentences her to pay a fine of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000) in each of the four (4) criminal cases aforementioned, or the total amount of P4,000,” it added.
A SALN is a declaration made under oath of assets (lands, houses, cash), liabilities (personal or institutional loans) and business and financial interests of a government official or employee, of his or her spouse and of his or her unmarried children under 18 years old who are living in their parents’ households.
Under the law, all government officials and employees must submit their SALN on or before April 30 of every year.