Rethinking Society Over a Cup of Coffee

Public Statement of Support for Gov. Padaca

(this is a public statement from a group who believes that Gov. Grace Padaca is the Legitimate governor of Isabela)

By now, most of you will have known the situation that Isabela Governor Grace Padaca is in.. After beating fiercest opponent, former Gov. Benjamin Dy of the 40-year-old political dynasty, by more than 17,000 votes last 2007, she resumed her job of being Isabela's chief executive for a second term. Under her leadership, Isabelinos enjoyed more than five years of good governance.

However, early last week, the Commission on Elections Second Division with Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Lucenito Tagle, and Elias Yusoph decided that Gov. Padaca had in fact lost to Dy by a margin of 1,051 votes. They cited electoral fraud as the main reason, something that almost everyone finds hard to believe. Even evidence presented by the Dys is questionable and can still be rebutted by Padaca's camp.

On Monday, December 14, Gov. Padaca and her lawyers will file a motion for reconsideration at the Comelec office. Normally, the party being ousted can still assume the position he or she is in until the case goes to the Supreme Court and the final decision given. But Benjamin Dy has filed a motion for execution pending appeal, so that even while the case is being heard by the appropriate offices, Padaca needs to vacate the governorship and Dy can immediately assume the position.

The Comelec issued a 12,000-page resolution for Padaca's case. How much easier would it be to issue a one-page decision approving Dy's motion for execution pending appeal?

We need to let Commissioners Ferrer, Tagle, and Yusoph know that Filipinos will not tolerate corruption in an institution as significant as the Commission on Elections. They need to know that they cannot just side with anyone, but with the truth. If we make our voices heard, it will give them a chance to think about what they are going to do.

We will be releasing a public statement which anyone who agrees can support and sign. In order to create maximum impact, we are planning to publish the statement together with the names of the supporters in a major newspaper. We will need funds for this, and so we ask for people with good hearts who are willing to contribute any amount towards this cause. We plan to publish the statement below on December 16, giving us only a few days to raise the money. We would appreciate any and all assistance that we can get in ensuring that Gov. Padaca gets a fair decision.

Moreover, we will also be holding a peaceful rally on December 17 in front of the Comelec office, to show the Second Division that Filipinos are watching and standing guard for the truth, and to show support for the embattled Governor Padaca. Assembly time is 6:00 in the morning in front of the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila. Further details will be announced as the plans are smoothed out.

Below is the public statement that we need to publish. If you agree and want to sign the statement, kindly email your complete name, place of origin, and contact details to If you wish to contribute to have the statement published, you may send your donations to:

BPI Family Savings Bank
SA # 5976 2700 47
Acct Name: Karla Pastores


Bank of the Philippine Islands
SA # 3086 3883 46
Acct Name: Harvey Keh

Please fax the deposit slip to 02-4265657 or email a scanned copy to for proper accounting. Thank you very much and we hope you can help disseminate this!:)


We, democracy and freedom-loving Filipinos, fully stand by Isabela Governor Grace Padaca who we believe is the legitimate winner of the 2007 gubernatorial elections in the said province amid an unfair ruling by the Commission on Elections Second Division composed of Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph.

As fellow Filipinos, we believe that this resolution to unseat Governor Padaca in favor of former Governor Benjamin Dy is highly questionable and the evidence raised forth against Padaca raises significant doubt as to the validity of Dy’s claims of electoral fraud resulting to his loss.

The May 2007 elections saw Governor Padaca win by 17,007 votes over Benjamin Dy. Had Governor Padaca used dishonest means, this kind of margin will be next to impossible to pull off given that Padaca’s resources are scant and her political machinery nonexistent. If there is a candidate with a vast campaign fund and an organized machinery, it would most certainly be the Dy family who have been in power in Isabela for over forty years, until Padaca defeated them in the 2004 elections.

Governor Padaca has shown integrity as the highest government official of the province, not to mention efficiency and strong political will, all without dubious, illegal transactions. Her campaign against illegal logging in the Sierra Madre mountains has so far proven successful especially after Typhoon Pepeng hit Northern Luzon late this year. Her other programs have greatly benefited the people of Isabela, including health, education, good governance and electoral reforms.

In the past five and a half years that Governor Padaca has served as the local chief executive of Isabela, she has encountered numerous unnecessary problems, among them flagrant non-cooperation by some government offices with the provincial government leading to conflicts. These particular offices are not known to support Governor Padaca; however that does not give them an excuse to disregard common courtesy and protocol and fulfill their duties as required by law.

This should not be the case for any government official. Padaca won in 2007 via a clean and honest election and deserves to be treated as such. The Comelec’s resolution ousting Padaca is not the first attempt of her opponents at regaining control of Isabela. However, the people of Isabela themselves have shown that they have chosen Padaca to govern them for another term, and they, along with the rest of the Filipinos who believe in her and in justice, will not rest until the truth prevails.

We call on all supporters of Governor Padaca as well as Filipinos who believe in good governance to fight against corruption and injustice being done to a good Filipino leader. We believe that this issue is not confined solely to the borders of Isabela, but concerns all Filipinos. We cannot let this happen in Isabela inasmuch as we refuse to let it happen in our own provinces, cities, and municipalities. The fight here is between right and wrong, between good governance and corruption, between truth and falsehood. If we let this injustice happen, we will continue to be at the mercy of a corrupt system that seeks to destroy democratic institutions which were established to serve the needs of the people, not the interests of a selfish few. As citizens of the Philippines, we have the duty to preserve the integrity of our democratic institutions and hold accountable officials who fail to uphold the truth.

Let us not allow evil to triumph and together let us take a stand for the truth, for justice, and for good governance. The fight of Isabela is a fight of the entire Philippines.