Gov. Jocel Baac submitted to rule of law
BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Cordillera Regional Director Marlo Iringan said suspended Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac peacefully turned over his post to Vice Governor James Edduba following the serving of his suspension.
The official said he was pleased that Baac submitted himself to the rule of law, thus, no untoward incident happened when the latter stepped down from office. Iringan told the PNA in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon that Baac “recognized that the DILG was just complying with the order of the Office of the Ombudsman to implement the order.”
What is good, he added, was “there was no untoward incident that happened.”
Iringan said the DILG-CAR memorandum order served on Governor Baac dated June 7, 2017 was with the subject “implementation of the decision dated 02 March, 2016 of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon in OMB-L-A-15-193,” approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on April 10, 2017 which meted Baac with a six-month suspension from public office.
Iringan said, “Governor Baac received the suspension order past 4:00 in the afternoon last Friday. He immediately turned over the post. Acting Governor Edduba took his oath of office from Iringan on the said day, he added.
The case stemmed from the governor’s beating of Mathew Matbagan, who was the secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, sometime in June 2015.
Matbagan, together with former vice governor and now Kalinga Congressman Allen Jesse Mangaoang and other complainants including members of the Provincial Board, filed the charges for physical injury, coercion and malicious mischief with the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman’s decision said “finding evidence, respondent Jocel Collado Baac is found administratively liable for Simple Misconduct, Abuse of Authority and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service” .
The Ombudsman meted the governor with a penalty of six-month suspension from office without pay.
Vice Governor Edduba was elevated as acting governor, and administered the oath of senior provincial board member Atty. Shirlynne Alunday who became acting vice governor by operation of law, as a result of the governor’s suspension from office. LIZA T. AGOOT/PNA / ABN