Ombudsman suspends Bukidnon governor

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The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr., for six months after it found him administratively liable for grave abuse of authority over his alleged refusal to act on a request of a former provincial assessor.

The order, dated August 18, was signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales finding Zubiri guilty of grave abuse of authority amounting to oppression after he allegedly refused to sign the clearance and act on the request for leave commutation of Carlos Ycaro in January 2013.

In his defense, Zubiri said Ycaro could not be cleared because of the “missing chairs” under the latter’s property accountability.

But the Ombudsman held in its decision 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 also allegedly failed “to perform the mandate of Section 5(a) of Republic Act 6713 by completely ignoring the two communications of complainant, addressed to his office,” it said.

Republic Act 6713 is the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officers and Employees.

A statement that the Ombudsman issued on Monday said Morales directed the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to implement the suspension order.

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