THE Office of the Ombudsman found former National Irrigation Administration (NIA) acting administrator Benny Antiporda guilty of harassment and oppression.
In a 22-page decision approved on Aug. 30, 2023, by Deputy Ombudsman Jose Balmeo Jr., the Office of the Ombudsman meted out the penalty of one-year suspension without pay, which could be converted into a fine in case of separation from the service.
“This Office… finds substantial evidence to hold Respondent Antiporda liable for Harassment and Oppression with respect to his acts against Complainant Raymundo,” the court said. One of the complainants was Michelle Raymundo.
“No controverting evidence… was offered by Antiporda to refute the imputations of changing the door lock of the Board of Directors’ office, subjecting Raymundo’s staff to inspection of their belongings by the security detail, depriving Raymundo’s office of the services of a janitorial staff, and forcing her driver to execute an affidavit against her,” it added.
“Even assuming [for the sake of argument] that there were indeed vital documents that were in danger of being leaked, the series of acts employed against Raymundo, her office, and staff was overkill,” it said.
In the decision, the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the charge of grave misconduct.
“… this Office believes that Antiporda’s acts do not constitute Grave Misconduct. In Grave Misconduct, the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law, or flagrant disregard of an established rule must be manifest. These elements are absent in this case.”
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Author: Ma. Reina Leanne Tolentino