Issue of June 18, 2017

Plus Juan
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Kalinga guv accepts six–month suspension
by BMC Desk

Kalinga Gov. Jocel Baac started to serve his six-month suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman for Northern Luzon for mauling the provincial board secretary inside his office in May 2015.

Interior and Local Government Cordillera Director Mario Iringan has administered the oath of Vice Gov. James Edduba as acting governor. The latter, on the other hand, administered the oath of Shirlynne Alunday as acting vice governor.

The case against Baac was reinforced by majority of the former members of the provincial board, who claimed that the governor’s action against Provincial Board Secretary Mathew Matbagan constitutes a criminal and administrative offense.

To recall, the provincial board led by then vice governor now Kalinga Rep. Jesse Mangaoang informed the Ombudsman that Baac has committed grave misconduct, oppression, abuse of authority and being notoriously undesirable and conduct unbecoming of a public officer.

The case started when Matbagan complained that Baac mauled him inside his office at the Capitol in Tabuk over disagreement on the terms used in a provincial resolution concerning the status of a local hospital.

Matbagan alleged that Baac punched him on his right cheek bone, left eye and lower body. The governor was pacified only after the governor’s police escort entered the Governor’s Office to stop him.

Baac was allegedly irked when he read one provision of the resolution alluding that people of Kalinga were deprived of medical and health services when the governor ordered personnel detailed at the Kalinga Gabriella Mija Kim Medical Center to return to their original assignments.

The complaint stated that Baac could have simply exercised his veto power and rejected Resolution 2015-059 if indeed he abhorred the same in accordance with remedies granted by the Local Government Code.

The complaint also informed the Ombudsman that Baac was also charged in court and/or quasi-judicial body or agency with various penal and administrative offenses.

This includes his slapping and threatening broadcaster Jerome Tabanganay inside the announcer’s booth of dzRK Radyo ng Bayan in June 2011.

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