Removal of CHEd exec for nepotism, grave misconduct ordered

Ombudsman orders removal of CHEd executive for nepotism, grave misconduct

/ 05:36 AM January 19, 2024

The Office of the Ombudsman has directed the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to dismiss Jo Mark Libre, one of the commissioners appointed by former President Rodrigo Duterte, for supposedly putting relatives in government positions under his direct supervision.

For being found in violation of civil service rules against nepotism and grave misconduct, Libre was removed from service last week and perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

His retirement benefits, except for leave credits, were also canceled.


The Ombudsman’s order cited complaints about Libre appointing his relatives to positions under his office.


It also cited an earlier complaint against Libre in the Civil Service Commission (CSC), which found him in 2019 guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, fabrication of official documents, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.

CSC said Libre was subjected to penalties, which included dismissal from service, cancellation of eligibility, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and prohibition from taking any Civil Service Examinations.

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Another executive facing complaint

Despite this, Libre joined CHEd on Feb. 9, 2022, with a three-year term after President Duterte named him one of the newest commissioners, along with Marita Canapi.

During the Senate deliberations last year on the proposed P30.99-billion budget of CHEd for 2024, lawmakers also called the attention of Chair Prospero de Vera about the displeasure of some officials of state universities and colleges (SUCs) against Libre.

Citing a letter supposedly sent to them by unnamed SUC officials, Libre was accused of “arbitrarily” designating a resource speaker in governing board meetings of SUCs and compelling the school to pay the official’s honorarium, hotel and travel expenses.

In response to the Ombudsman order, De Vera said he has issued a memorandum transferring the 24 SUCs under Libre’s watch to other CHEd commissioners “to ensure the continuity of educational services and programs.”


The ousted commissioner served as chair-designate of the board of regents in these SUCs.

Based on the official announcement of his appointment, Libre was formerly the vice president for communications and external affairs at Jose Maria College Foundation Inc. in Davao City.

He received his political science degree at the Ateneo de Davao University. He was later granted a CHEd scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in political science, majoring in global politics at the Ateneo de Manila University.

The remaining CHEd commissioners at the agency are Canapi, Ronald Adamat, and Aldrin Darilag.

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Darilag, however, is also facing complaints before the Office of the President for purportedly sending his wife, who is not a CHEd employee, on an official business trip to Canada.

TAGS: Ched, Ombudsman

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