The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of an Agrarian Reform adjudicator in Zamboanga del Norte who was found administratively liable for allegedly immoral conduct and absenteeism.
Suspended for one year without pay was Romeo Covarrubias, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) adjudicator in Zamboanga del Norte.
The suspension stemmed from a six-page decision approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales that found the DAR adjudicator guilty of disgraceful and immoral conduct as well as frequent unauthorized absences.
“I was falsely charged and wrongly judged guilty. There was no evidence to prove cohabitation. Neither was there… an admission. I was not asked to explain the alleged absences because it was not among the charges filed by my accuser,” Covarrubias, who is currently under suspension, told The Manila Times in a text message on Wednesday.
He said he already filed a motion for reconsideration.
In a statement issued also on Wednesday, the Ombudsman said it was revealed by an investigation that Covarrubias “married, cohabited with another woman whom he introduced as his spouse.”
He also allegedly reported for work for only 65 days in eight months from May to December 2013.
Citing a certification that DAR issued, the Ombudsman said Covarrubias worked only for two days in May, 9 days in June, 7 days in July, 8 days in August, 12 days in September, 14 days in October, 9 days in November, and 4 days in December.
The Ombudsman said “[t]he office finds his acts willful and shameless, and show a moral indifference to the opinion of his co-employees and the public.”
A check with DAR’s Personnel Division showed that the suspension order was effective June 27, 2016.
The penalty of suspension shall be converted to a fine equivalent to the respondent’s one-year salary if he is no longer in the service.