Ex-NIA acting administrator faces 1-year suspension amid harassment complaint

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) — Former National Irrigation Administration (NIA) acting administrator Benny Antiporda has been slapped with a one-year suspension without pay after the Office of the Ombudsman found him “guilty of harassment and oppression.”

In a decision dated Sept. 11, the order stated that Antiporda’s “acts failed to live up to the high standards required of a government employee.”

The complaint stemmed from Antiporda’s actions towards one of his staff, which included the posting of a security detail, turning off the electricity in the complainant’s office, violating the flexi-time arrangement, and locking down the office without prior notice, among others.

The Office of the Ombudsman said they “demonstrate cruelty, severity, unlawful exaction, domination, or excessive use of authority which are tantamount to harassment and oppression.”

“Government employees are supposed to be well-mannered, civil and considerate in their actuations, not only in their relations with the transacting public, but also with their co-workers,” it added.

The Office of the Ombudsman explained that these “do not constitute grave misconduct” as issues of corruption and clear intent to violate the law or rule were “absent in this case.”

It said that if Antiporda is already separated from the service, he should settle a penalty equivalent to his salary for one year in NIA.

Complaints of grave misconduct and ignorance of the law against Antiporda, meanwhile, were dismissed.