NIA chief suspended due to misconduct, other complaints by workers
MANILA, Philippines — National Irrigation Administration (NIA) head Benny Antiporda was put under preventive suspension on Tuesday by the Office of the Ombudsman due to complaints by the agency’s employees accusing him of grave misconduct, harassment, and oppression.
Antiporda would remain suspended for six months without pay while under investigation.
The suspension orders cited several reasons for the complaints filed against Antiporda. Apparently, they stemmed from queries by officials and employees as to whether the designation “Acting” in “Acting Administrator” should be dropped — as Antiporda allegedly ordered.
Complainants claimed that Antiporda, in retaliation, barred managers of the central office from traveling which was “counterproductive to their work” and several officials were reassigned and transferred supposedly without valid grounds.
The order also mentioned Antiporda’s accusing two NIA lawyers of corruption and his filing of graft complaints against them for losing a crucial case early in 2022.
The Office of the Ombudsman said it found reason to investigate Antiporda for the complaints — thus necessitating his suspension to avoid interference from him.
“After a careful evaluation of the records, this Office finds that among the respondents, Respondent Benny D. Antiporda’s guilt is strong and that the case against him involves Grave Misconduct, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, and Oppression, which may warrant his removal from service,” the Ombudsman said.
Following are some of the other claims of the complainants :
- threats that employees’ appointments would not be renewed if they did not side with him (Antiporda)
- using the flag-raising ceremony as a venue for bullying and sharing misleading information
- maligning employees through the media
- misleading the president that NIA will be irrigating farmlands through public-private partnership deals
- threatening not to renew the appointments of General Services Division employees who installed and repaired air-conditioning units at his (Antiporda) house but were not able to finish the job immediately
INQUIRER.net tried to get the side of Antiporda but he has not replied as of posting time.
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