UNA urges Sandigan: Make public the probe on alleged special treatment to Roxas, Padaca

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) today urged the Sandiganbayan to make public the results of its investigation into the reported special privilege extended to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and newly-appointed Commissioner Grace Padaca last week.

Both Roxas and Padaca were reportedly allowed by a bailiff to use the basement parking of the court which is not open to the public, invoking a supposed order from a justice.

“We are deeply bothered by reports that Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and COMELEC Commissioner Grace Padaca were accorded special treatment at the Sandiganbayan last week allegedly upon the orders of a Sandiganbayan justice,” said UNA Secretary General Toby Tiangco in a statement.

Roxas accompanied Padaca, who is facing charges of graft and malversation of public funds, when she posted her bail before the Sandiganbayan last Thursday.

Both were allegedly allowed to use the anti-graft court’s basement parking area, which is off limits even for former presidents and other ranking government officials.

Other Sandiganbayan justices called for an investigation into the reported violation of the court’s security protocols.

“It is in the public interest that the results of the investigation being conducted reportedly upon the behest of the other justices be made public. As a co-equal branch of government, the judiciary must always be seen as independent,” Tiangco said, adding that if proven true, the report would “gravely undermine the independence of the Sandiganbayan in the eyes of the people.”

Tiangco further said that Sandiganbayan may have accorded Padaca some consideration because of her disability, but the same cannot be said of Roxas.

The incumbent Navotas congressman also noted that Roxas remains in control of the Liberal Party despite his being on leave as party president. The latter has also intimated his intention to run for the 2016 presidential race.

“His (Roxas’) camp can be expected to use all avenues to bring down the high performance and trust rating of Vice President Jejomar Binay, and this may include resurrecting old charges against the Vice President or concocting new ones,” said Tiangco.

“Either way, such dirty politicking could end up before the Sandiganbayan. That a justice of the Sandiganbayan has reportedly extended to Roxas such special privilege, if true, is very troubling,” he concluded. #