MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang has suspended Kalinga governor Jocel Baac after attacking a radio broadcaster last year.
President Benigno Aquino III ordered for the month-long preventive suspension of Baac in a letter he signed on June 27. The letter was handed down only on Saturday, July 7.
The presidential order described Baac to “had shown lack of decorum, propriety and respect in his dealings with other people.”
Baac attacked on June 7 last year dzRK radio announcer Jerome Tabanganay, who was then on duty in his radio booth. Tabanganay claims that Baac hit him with a microphone on his head. The incident was recorded in video.
The video shows that the governor entered the radio booth and pulled out a cord that cut off the audio. The governor is seen grabbing a mike, but the footage did not show him actually hitting the broadcaster.
Tabanganay, a strong critic of Baac, claims that the governor is involved in jueteng and illegal logging operations in Kalinga.
Interior and Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo has found Baac guilty of conduct unbecoming of a public officer, and has submitted the case to Aquino.
“The conduct and behavior of all officials and employees in the public service should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility. This is so because the image of the government is necessarily mirrored in the conduct, official or otherwise, of the men and women who work thereat,” Aquino said in his order.
Aquino asked Baac to “adhere to the standards of morality and decency in order to preserve the government’s good name and standing for which they serve.”
Meanwhile, Baac still denies hitting Tabanganay, and has filed counter charges against the radio announcer before the Civil Service Commission. - Source: Rappler.com