Mayor faces complaint for 'unknown' US trip revealed through FB posts

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2019 12:35 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2019 06:26 PM

MANILA - The mayor of San Pascual, Batangas has been charged with grave misconduct and gross ignorance of the law before the Office of the Ombudsman for a trip she allegedly took late last year without the knowledge of the municipal council.

In his complaint-affidavit, Vice Mayor Antonio Dimayuga said members of the municipal council did not know Mayor Roanna Conti was in the US for a vacation with her husband, Nick, and their children from December 20, 2018 to January 5, 2019.

Attached to the complaint are 4 Facebook posts with pictures of Conti spending Christmas and New Year in Las Vegas, Nevada and La Canada Flintridge, California. 

Citing the Local Government Code, Dimayuga said he should have been informed of the vacation of Conti as he is supposed to assume the post until the mayor returned.

"However, since the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Pascual, Batangas were not properly notified with regard the overseas vacation of the respondent municipal mayor, the vice local chief executive at that time was not provided the chance to assume the temporarily vacated post,” Dimayuga said in the complaint.

Dimayuga also said in the complaint that an application for leave was subsequently produced but did not bear the signature of Conti, as well as provincial governor Hermilando Mandanas. 

“If, during December 20, 2019 to January 5, 2019, the Municipality of San Pascual experienced a calamity thereby causing a great loss and distress to the community, the decisions that only the chief local executive can do would be nearly impossible, thus leaving the fate of the beloved municipality in limbo,” Dimayuga said. 

The complaint also included Human Resources Management Office chief and officer-in-charge administrator Rolando Gonzalez, Jr. for “conspiracy.”

In a statement, Conti denied Dimayuga's allegations, saying she was given an authority to travel by Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas.

"This case is [a] totally baseless accusation, which will only waste the time and energy of our good prosecutors in the Ombudsman’s office. Mr. Dimayuga merely wants attention and the need to feel important," she said.

Conti also said she is not backing down and fill face the charges.

"San Pascual should not be dragged into this dirty political tactics as I have always adhered to an honorable kind of leadership. I will file a perjury case against him on this since nothing can be further from the truth," she said.