Kalinga gov suspended for assault on radio anchorPhilippine Daily Inquirer
Malacañang has suspended Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac for a month for assaulting a broadcaster inside a government-run radio station in June 2011.
A three-page decision signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. found Baac guilty of conduct unbecoming of a public officer when he assaulted Jerome Tabanganay of dzRK Radyo ng Bayan in Tabuk City.
“[The penalty goes] with a stern warning that the commission of the same or similar acts in the future will be dealt with more severely,” according to the June 27 decision.
Baac said while he still could file a motion for reconsideration, he was considering serving his suspension from office. “As of now, it is 80 percent [probability] that I will serve my suspension, as advised by members of my family and our political leaders in Kalinga,” Baac yesterday told the Inquirer by telephone.
He said he was in Metro Manila to get his official copy of the decision from the Office of the President.
Baac said he would relinquish his post to Vice Governor Allen Jesse Mangaoang once he and his lawyers decide that he would serve his suspension.
Tabanganay welcomed the decision, saying it proved that the country is moving along a straight path, in reference to the Aquino administration’s campaign for good governance.
The case stemmed from an administrative case filed last year by Tabanganay, after Baac barged into the announcer’s booth while the former was holding his program, “Agenda,” over dzRK.
Tabanganay said Baac, accompanied by at least five armed security aides, grabbed his microphone, that in turn hit his lips.
Baac’s arrival, as well as the ensuing commotion, was caught on video that the station uses for its online streaming broadcast.
Baac said he went to the station to confront Tabanganay about his tirades, which supposedly linked him to the illegal numbers game and illegal logging operations in the province.
He, however, denied hurting Tabanganay.
Ochoa, in his order, said Baac’s infraction starts with his “unrestrained act” of confronting Tabanganay in a manner that was “antagonistic of the required norm of conduct of a public officer.” Melvin Gascon and Villamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon