“WHAT will I deny?”
Misamis Oriental Provincial Prosecutor Arturo Ubaub responded with this rhetorical question when sought for comment on the rape and sexual harassment accusations hurled at him by a former subordinate.
In an affidavit issued by the alleged victim, Ubaub is being accused of rape and series of sexual harassments that took place right inside his office at the Hall of Justice in Cagayan de Oro.
Administrative charges have already been filed against the prosecutor in connection with the woman’s accusation, filed by no less than his superior --Regional State Prosecutor Jaime Umpa -- to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
But Ubaub said he would only answer the allegations of the criminal charges against him have been filed in court.
“What will I deny? My conscience is clear so this thing doesn’t affect me at all,” Ubaub told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro over the phone Wednesday.
He said he can’t be burdened to explain his side on the issue as he had not cast even a glimpse of the administrative charges indorsed by Umpa to the DOJ.
He also cried foul against Umpa’s alleged attempt to discredit him, saying the regional prosecutor had an axe to grind against him. He did not elaborate, though he said Umpa has been spreading malicious tales about him.
Umpa denied this, saying he can’t get anything out of making a foe of a subordinate.
“I can’t just tolerate wrongdoings of anyone working under my office,” the regional prosecutor explained. “And more so that the charge is as serious as rape, and the suspect is a public official.”
Whether there was no criminal case filed against Ubaub was irrelevant, Umpa said. The affidavit of the victim, he added, would suffice the filing of an administration action.
“Pumunta sa office ko ang complainant so as head of the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor, it is also my responsibility to act on it by filing administrative complaint against him (Ubaub), as he working under me,” Umpa told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Tuesday.
Umpa has since reassigned the woman at the City Prosecutor’s Office.
In her two-page affidavit-complaint, the female stenographic reporter said that April 1, 2009, at around 10 a.m., Ubaub instructed her to go with him to fetch gift items at SM City.
While on their way to the mall, the prosecutor allegedly touched her belly and said, “You have to exercise, bending in order to lessen your belly or fats.” She said this made her angry at her former superior, while at the same time trembling in fear.
One week later, while on her job in the office, Ubaub allegedly fondled her, held her shoulder, squeezed her buttocks and her private parts, and hugged. She said she construed this as sexual advances.
The sexual advances, she said, continued inside the office until October of 2009. She said her silence, which she said was out of fear, resulted to more serious sexual advances -- and eventually, rape. According to the affidavit, the alleged rape occurred at one of the motels in Cagayan de Oro City.
In between these sexual assaults, the woman said she developed fear of Ubaub because the latter would shout at her at the slightest mistake. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)