Aquino pays bail of much-awaited poll commissioner Padaca

Newly-appointed Commissioner Grace Padaca will most likely be assigned in the second division of Commission on Elections (Comelec) right after she takes oath as one of poll body's six commissioners, Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said.

The poll chief said he expects Padaca to assume her post this week after President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III himself paid the P70,000 bail from his personal fund Thursday morning.

Padaca is facing graft and malversation charges for awarding a P25-million contract for credit facility for farmers while still serving as Isabela governor in 2006.

The Sandiganbayan issued an arrest warrant against her last May.

Brillantes said he looks forward to having Padaca, whose appointment as a new commissioner came from Malacanang Tuesday, help them on disqualification cases pending in Comelec.

"I have not yet talked to her but her appointment papers came in yesterday. I'm not sure if she will make it to the deliberation on party-list," Brillantes said.

In an ambush interview, Brillantes revealed Comelec has already disqualified 17 party-list groups including Addicts and Alcoholics and Habal-Habal Operators groups in final en banc decision.

He added that the poll body also disqualified 20 more party-list groups in a division resolution, which is still subject to motion for reconsideration.

The poll body chief, however, clarified that they are still deliberating the accreditation of 113 out of 289 groups representing various advocacies and marginalized sectors

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