MANILA — The Office of the Ombudsman found former National Irrigation Administration acting administrator Benny Antiporda guilty of harassment and oppression of employees.
In the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman approved by Deputy Ombudsman Jose Balmeo, Jr. on August 30, 2023, Antiporda was ordered suspended without pay for one year or pay an equivalent fine.
Antiporda was replaced last year by Acting Administrator Eduardo Guillen.
"In case he is, by this time, separated from the service, he shall pay a fine, in lieu of suspension, in the amount equivalent to his salary for one year as acting administrator of NIA," the Office of the Ombudsman said.
According to the Commission on Audit's Reports on Salaries and Allowances 2022, Antiporda's gross compensation as administrator and as vice chair of the NIA's board of directors was P2,445,876.12.
The Ombudsman acted on the complaints filed by the officers and members of the NIA Employees Association of the Philippines including lawyer Lloyd Alain Cudal and Michelle Gonzalez Raymundo.
They accused Antiporda of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, grave misconduct, harassment, oppression and ignorance of the law.
Among the complaints lodged against Antiporda were unjust termination and reassignment of officials.
Antiporda dismissed the allegations which he said were part of a smear campaign against him.
"Respondent Antiporda’s acts failed to live up to the high standards required of a government employee," the Ombudsman said.
In the decision however, the Ombudsman dismissed the charges of grave misconduct and ignorance of the law against Antiporda.
The Ombudsman added that the conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service was already covered in the harassment and oppression offenses.
The complaint against then NIA officials Eryl Royce Nagtalon, Leslie Dizon, Jerome Osias, Clarizze Toribio and Ellaine Villanueva were likewise dismissed.