Mactan airport employee suspended for 3 monthsCebu Daily News
A CUSTOMS agent was meted a three-month suspension for berating and pushing a columnist out of the international arrival area of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) last year.
The Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas found Francis Alindogan guilty of simple misconduct in relation to his encounter with Rico Osmeña.
Osmeña writes a column for the Panay News.
Alindogan is an agent of the airport’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service.
The heated confrontation between both men took place on Aug. 13, 2011 when Osmeña, a former reporter, went to the MCIA to follow up a story about Korean flights.
The airport employee “fell short of the proper decorum, norm, and courtesy mandated upon and expected of a public official to observe” and “displayed misbehavior unbecoming of what his office calls for,” said Euphemia Bacalso, graft investigation and prosecution officer.
Osmeña said he asked the airport manager about the fruit-selling business at the Welcomer’s Area in the terminal building and that airport manager Eleazer Lumbab said the query would be looked into.
Osmeña said he was surprised when the airport customs agent, who was drunk at that time, told him that fruit vendors had permits.
The customs agent told him “Nganong hilabtan man ang negosyo? Nganong susihon pa man na sa media. (Why interfere with business? Why should the media look into that?).”
Osmeña said he was told to leave the international arrival area for Korean passengers. He said the Customs agent locked his arms and dragged him from the moneychangers area to the exit sliding door, then pushed Osmeña till he fell to the ground.
In his position paper, the Customs agent said he pushed Osmeña away because Osmeña was drunk and tried to get near him. The respondent said Osmeña should be held liable for “abuse and misue of his being in the media having used to it to harass and cow government employees for personal gain.”
But the Visayas Ombudsman’s Office said there was “overwhelming, categorical, and corroborative statements of the port officials who witnessed the incident.”/REPORTER ADOR VINCENT S. MAYOL