• ‘Ombudsman suspends wrong governor’

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    Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. on Tuesday said the Office of the Ombudsman has suspended the wrong governor.

    “The Ombudsman says that in January 2013, I supposedly refused to act on the former provincial assessor’s clearance and request for leave commutation. But it was impossible for me to have committed those omissions because I was not the governor in January 2013. In fact, I was not the governor from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013,” Zubiri said in a statement.

    The governor belied the allegation, reiterating that it was Alex Calingasan, the governor at the time, who could have properly endorsed the papers of former provincial assessor Carlos Ycaro, the complainant.

    The Ombudsman’s statement posted on its official website said Zubiri was slapped a six-month suspension after he was found guilty of grave abuse of authority amounting to oppression and violation of Section 5(a) of the Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

    Zubiri said Ycaro himself had testified under oath in open court that in his applications for clearance and leave commutation that the name “Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr.” was intentionally put over the name of “Alex P. Calingasan” as signing authority and that Ycaro admitted Calingasan made the superimposition.

    He noted that he had certified true copies of the transcript of court stenographic notes that prove Ycaro acknowledged the superimposition.

    Zubiri said it should have convinced the Ombudsman right away that he was not in a position to refuse to act on Ycaro’s papers.

    He added that he is counting on the Ombudsman’s office to immediately review its findings and rectify its mistake.

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