FORMER Isabela Gov. Maria Gracia Cielo “Grace” Padaca pleaded not guilty to the breach of conduct cases filed against her before the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division on Thursday.
The Office of the Ombudsman, last October, filed four counts of violation of Section 8 in relation to Section 11(a) of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees against Padaca for alleged failure to file her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Network (SALN) for the years 2007 to 2010.
The pre-trial was set on May 23 and 24.
Padaca, who is out on bail, was supposed to be arraigned in November but this was reset to February 18 after the prosecution said they were not yet ready because the charges were subject for amendment.
Under the law, all government officials and employees must submit their SALNs on or before April 30 of every year.
Padaca maintained that she has “always been submitting my SALNs and even my closest staff in the capitol have religiously been submitting their SALN.”
“But when we checked with the Ombudsman it was not relayed, hindi pinasa, hindi lang ako ang nawawala ang SALN [it was not submitted, I am not the only one whose SALN is missing],” she told reporters last November.
Padaca, a former Commission on Elections Commissioner, is running for the gubernatorial seat in Isabela.