BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – President Aquino has ordered the suspension for one month of Kalinga Gov. Jocel Baac for hitting dzRK-Radyo ng Bayan broadcaster Jerome Tabanganay with a microphone more than a year ago.
In an order dated June 27 signed in behalf of the President by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa but handed down only yesterday, the President upheld the recommendation of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which found Baac guilty of conduct unbecoming of a public officer.
The DILG had also warned Baac that the commission of the same or similar acts in the future “will be dealt with more severely.”
“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,” the President’s order said.
The order also 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.”
Baac “fell short of this exacting standard, had shown lack of decorum, propriety and respect in his dealings with other people,” the order added.
Tabanganay thanked the President for his decision even as he lamented that it was a “long-sought ruling.”
He said the order proves that the government is treading the straight path that the President has promised.
Tabanganan earlier said he had lost hope of getting justice for what Baac did to press freedom in the country.
Meanwhile, Baac who had vehemently denied hitting Tabanganay with a microphone and filed counter charges against Tabanganay before the Civil Service Commission, refused to comment, saying he has yet to see the order. - By Artemio Dumlao