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Ombud suspends prosecutor over workplace dispute

THE Office of the Ombudsman found an associate provincial prosecutor in Misamis Oriental guilty of simple misconduct and imposed on her the penalty of suspension for one month and one day.

Ordered suspended was associate prosecutor Joan Albarece of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Misamis Oriental.

On its website yesterday, the Office of the Ombudsman said the case arose from an altercation on July 21, 2016 between Albarece and complainant Quennie Ebonia at their workplace.

Ebonia alleged that Albarece had a fit and slammed the case folders on the table, threw the stapler and puncher, pushed her, and shouted at her.

When the matter was elevated to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Albarece allegedly confronted complainant and stated: “Kusgan ko? Kay kung gusto pa nako momo-on, gimomo ta jud kag maayo, di ka.  So ayaw pag palabi karun palang, gapa exaggerate kana ba bakakun kang dako, di ka kabalo mu-accept kung unsa imong gabuhaton sa ako, dunggan mana nila Myrna ba nga ingana ka!” (Am I that strong? If I wanted to smash your face, I would have smashed it already.  Do not exaggerate. You are a liar. You cannot accept what you have done to me).

The Office of the Ombudsman rejected Albarece’s argument that her actions had no bearing on her performance as a prosecutor.

Based on the ombudsman’s decision, “the fact that respondent’s acts were committed within the premises of the OPP strengthens this Office’s view that such acts were intimately connected to her office. Verily, respondent is liable for misconduct for acting menacingly towards complainant.”

“Employees in the government service are bound by the rules of proper and ethical behavior. They are expected to act with selfestraint and civility at all times, even when confronted with rudeness and insolence,” reads part of the ombudsman’s ruling.

Misconduct has been defined as a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer.  (source: www.ombudsman.gov.ph)

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