The Office of the Ombudsman has found Cagayan de Oro City Councilor Zaldy Ocon guilty of “conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service” when he slapped a traffic enforcer in November 2016.
The Ombudsman ordered Ocon suspended for six months without pay.
Likewise, it also found probable cause against Ocon for violation of Article 359 of the Revised Penal Code for slander by deed.
On Nov. 30, 2016, a traffic violation ticket was issued against Ocon by complainant Ric Emmanuel Agustin, a traffic enforcer of the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) of Cagayan de Oro City, for leaving his vehicle in a “no parking zone.”
An altercation ensued between the two men when Ocon got the ticket and threw it away.
Things got worse the next day, when Ocon slapped Agustin after the latter was invited by RTA Chairman Engr. Nonito Oclarit to the session hall of the City Council to settle the issue.
RTA Overseer Atty. Jose Uy witnessed the slapping incident.
In its decision, the Ombudsman said: “The Statement of Indignation of the RTA and Affidavit of Atty. Uy sufficiently established respondent’s culpability. Records show that respondent’s actuations have tarnished the image of his public office when he slapped complainant.”
“A public official should avoid any appearance of impropriety affecting the integrity of government services. Every public officer should be an example of integrity and proper behavior,” it added.
“The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees enunciates the State policy of promoting a high standard of ethics and utmost responsibility in the public service. By his actuations, respondent failed to live up to such standards,” the Ombudsman concluded. (PNA)