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PCOO exec may face raps for drinking at Senate hearing

Evelyn Macairan, Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
PCOO exec may face raps for drinking at Senate hearing
Gatchalian said Dominic Tajon, general manager of the APO Production Unit, a PCOO-attached agency, failed to uphold ethical standards for public officials.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Presidential Communications Operations Office may face administrative and disciplinary complaints after he was caught on camera allegedly drinking liquor during a virtual Senate hearing on the PCOO’s proposed budget for 2022 on Monday, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said yesterday.

Gatchalian said Dominic Tajon, general manager of the APO Production Unit, a PCOO-attached agency, failed to uphold ethical standards for public officials.

Senators censured Tajon and deferred the deliberations on the proposed P1.64-billion budget of the PCOO.

The Civil Service Commission prohibits government officials and employees from drinking during working hours, Gatchalian said.

“There is a corresponding penalty of suspension or removal from public office for a second offense,” he said.

Gatchalian, who presided over the plenary debates, called on the PCOO officials to observe “proper virtual etiquette.”

The Senate sergeant-at-arms confirmed that Tajon was seen drinking while attending the PCOO’s budget hearing online, according to Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.

“Such was an utter display of disrespect to the plenary proceedings and the Senate as an institution,” Gatchalian said.

Professionalism is among the norms of conduct of public officials and employees under Section 4 of Republic Act 6713.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo reminded Supreme Court employees attending hearings through videoconferencing to observe proper decorum.

Gesmundo said even if the court hearings are being done online, judges and lawyers are required to observe proper attire and demeanor.

“Although it is a virtual hearing, we still treat it as an actual court hearing,” he said.

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