Kalinga guv returns to work after serving suspension-A A +A
By Ace Alegre
Friday, August 10, 2012
SUSPENDED Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac takes back his post Thursday, exactly a month after Malacañang suspended him for misdemeanor.
Baac who goes back to serving his province mates said, “The suspension is the result I took for the blatant abuse of press freedom.”
President Benigno Aquino III suspended him on July 9 after he was found guilty of conduct unbecoming of a public officer and was warned “that the commission of the same or similar acts in the future will be dealt with more severely.”
This was prompted when on June 7, 2010, Baac allegedly barged into the government-run radio station DZRK-Radyo ng Bayan Tabuk, in Kalinga and allegedly hit broadcaster Jeromme Tabanganay with a microphone.
Malacañang’s suspension on Baac sustained the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s earlier recommendation to penalize him for a month.
After accepting the suspension, Baac still continues to deny hitting Tabanganay with the microphone while also filing counter charges against the broadcaster at the Civil Service Commission.
Like President Aquino III who took potshots against ABS-CBN news anchor Noli de Castro, Baac likened his situation to the President who was irked by irresponsible remarks. “Napikon si Pres. Noy kay Noli, at least ramdam nya ginawa ni JT (Tabanganay) sa akin.”
Just as Tabanganay hailed Aquino’s suspension of Baac last month, Catholic clergymen in Tabuk City disagreed saying Baac is a good leader and instrumental in effecting changes and progress in Kalinga.
“There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor popular. One must do it because his conscience tells him it is right,” the governor said citing Black civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Taking back his post, Baac, who is also the co-chairman of the Regional Development Council in the Cordillera, said he will continue serving the Kalinga people’s interests as he believed he had been doing.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 10, 2012.