CEBU, Philippines — Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III has confirmed that Toledo City Mayor John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña will be taking a month-long vacation leave despite a pending administrative complaint against him.
Osmeña will be traveling to the Middle East, Europe, and to the United States and will be away from his office from September 15 until October 16.
The mayor filed his leave on September 5 and Davide signed his approval yesterday morning.
Davide said Osmeña is allowed to travel unless a hold departure order has been issued against him.
“Wala man siya’y hold departure for him. Kung wala (hold departure order), he’s free to travel,” Davide said.
Osmeña was charged by the Ombudsman with a complaint of grave abuse of authority and six counts of violations of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-graft Corrupt Practices Act) for not releasing more than P17 million worth of real property taxes to one of the city’s barangay.
The mayor said in a recent report that he will not release the amount until the boundary dispute between Barangay Daanlungsod and Barangay Sangi will be resolved.
Osmeña’s travel does not go against the complaint filed by the Ombudsman, according to the governor.
“Di man conflict. I don’t think so,” Davide said.
Jerome Gonzales, Cebu provincial director of the Department of Interior and Local Government, has yet to receive a suspension order for Osmeña from their national office.
Gonzales said that even if the mayor is out of the country for vacation, they can still serve the suspension order to the mayor’s office in Toledo City Hall.
Davide was only able to approve Osmeña’s leave application yesterday as he was in South Korea last week for a conference together with other officials from Russia, Belarus, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. (FREEMAN)