By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac stepped down last July 9 to serve his six-month suspension for beating up the provincial board secretary in 2015.
Marlo Iringan, Cordillera director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government served the suspension order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman for Northern Luzon. Iringan installed Vice Governor James Edubba as acting governor until December.
The Ombudsman acted on the complaint filed by the Kalinga provincial board accusing Baac of grave misconduct, oppression, abuse of authority and conduct unbecoming a public officer for beating up board secretary Mathew Matbagan.
It can be recalled that Kalinga Congressman Jesse Mangaoang who was then the vice governor led the provincial board and the victim in the filing of criminal and administrative complaints against Baac.
The complaint said that Baac lost his temper when he read the board resolution that sought to close down the Kalinga Gabriella Mija Kim Medical Center, a hospital donated by the Medical Peace Foundation of South Korea in 2007. Baac then called Matbagan to his office beat up the official.
Baac was charged for crimes of physical injury, coercion, and malicious mischief. In the same Ombudsman complaint, the administrative cases filed against Baac include grave misconduct, oppression, abuse of authority, being notoriously undesirable, and conduct unbecoming a public officer.
Baac has not issued a statement.
Baac was also suspended for a month in 2012 for attacking a radio anchor inside the booth of the state-run dzRK-Radyo ng Bayan at the provincial capitol. Malacañang suspended Baac for one month over that incident. # nordis.net