Ex-NIA acting chief suspended for harassing workers

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Former National Irrigation Administration acting chief Benny Antiporda has been found liable for harassing and oppressing NIA employees.

In a 22-page decision promulgated on Aug. 30, the Office of the Ombudsman belatedly suspended Antiporda without pay for a year.

Antiporda was replaced as acting NIA chief by Eduardo Guillen last year.

Since he is no longer in the service when the ruling was issued, the ombudsman ordered Antiporda to pay a fine equivalent to his salary for one year as NIA administrator.

The ombudsman cleared him of grave misconduct and ignorance of the law.

The decision was approved by Deputy Ombudsman Jose Balmeo Jr.

Antiporda was accused of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the interest of service, harassment, ignorance of the law and oppression after he reportedly threatened to block the renewal of the appointments of NIA employees.

He reportedly accused the workers of corruption, and berated and humiliated them.Some employees said Antiporda placed them on floating status.

The complaint was filed last year by Allain Cudal, corporate board secretary Michelle Raymundo and NIA workers.

Antiporda said the allegations were part of a demolition job to remove him from office, in order to cover up the anomalies in the agency.

He said he was the first to accuse the complainants of graft and corruption before the ombudsman.

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