Ombudsman suspends CDO councilor over slapping incident
The Office of the Ombudsman has slapped Cagayan de Oro City Councilor Zaldy Ocon with a six-month suspension order for slapping a traffic enforcer who issued him a parking ticket in 2016.
Ocon was found guilty of the administrative offense of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, the Ombudsman media bureau said in a Wednesday statement.
The Ombudsman also found probable cause to order his indictment for “slander by deed,” in violation of Article 359 of the Revised Penal Code.
The case arose from the complaint filed by Ric Emmanuel Agustin, a traffic enforcer of the city’s Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA).
On Nov. 30, 2016, Ocon was issued a ticket for parking his vehicle in a “no-parking zone.” An altercation ensued after the councilor threw away the ticket.
The situation escalated the following day when Ocon slapped Agustin after the latter was invited by RTA chairman Nonito Oclarit to the session hall to settle the issue. The incident was witnessed by RTA overseer Jose Uy, whose agency even issued a “statement of indignation” that further bolstered the case.
In issuing its disciplinary ruling, the Ombudsman said Ocon “failed to live up” to the “high standards of ethics and utmost responsibility in the public service.”
“Records show that respondent’s actuations have tarnished the image of his public office when he slapped the complainant. A public official should avoid any appearance of impropriety affecting the integrity of government services. Every public officer should be an example of integrity and proper behavior,” the Ombudsman said in the ruling./lb