PHILIPPINE Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Monday has ordered the six-month suspension of Bukidnon Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri, Jr. after he was found guilty of Grave Abuse of Authority amounting to Oppression and violation of Section 5(a) of Republic Act No. 6713 (the Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees).
According to a a media statement issued by the Office of the Ombudsman, in January 2013, Gov. Zubiri, the father of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, refused to sign the clearance and act on the request for commutation of Carlos Ycaro, the former provincial assessor.
As defense, Zubiri claimed that Ycaro could not be cleared due to “missing chairs” which were his property accountability.
However, in its decision, the Ombudsman ruled that “this cannot serve as valid excuse to deny approval of his application for leave commutation, especially where he has more than 300 days in commutable leave credits.”
Zubiri was also faulted for failing “to perform the mandate of Section 5(a) of R.A. No. 6713 by completely ignoring the two communications of complainant, addressed to his office.”
Grave abuse of authority or oppression is a misdemeanor committed by a public officer, who under color of his office, commits an act of cruelty, severity, unlawful exaction, domination or excessive use of authority.
Meanwhile, Ombudsman Morales directed the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to implement the suspension.