Sandiganbayan allows Arroyo’s Japan, Hong Kong trips

MANILA The Sandiganbayan has allowed former First Gentleman, lawyer Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, to leave for Tokyo and Hong Kong on the last week of April.

In a minute resolution dated March 26, 2018, the Sandiganbayan 7th Division granted Arroyo's motion to travel abroad on April 21-27.

Arroyo had asked the court to allow him to spend five days in Tokyo and two days in Hong Kong. He did not state the purposes of his travel.

Arroyo argued that the Sandiganbayan had allowed his previous travels abroad, saying he has no reason to flee the Philippines since his family and businesses are in the country.

"This honorable court has, for many times before, permitted him to travel, and he has always returned here, as it is here where his family and business interests are, hence, he has no reason not to return. He is, thus, clearly not a flight risk," Arroyo's motion to travel said.

The anti-graft court said he is allowed to travel "subject to the usual terms and conditions imposed by the court".

It added that Arroyo, who already posted a PHP90,000 travel bond, is required to present himself to the Division Clerk of Court within five days upon his return.

Arroyo is facing graft charges before the Sandiganbayan 7th Division over alleged irregularities in the Philippine National Police's (PNP) purchase of two helicopters in 2009.

The Office of the Ombudsman had accused Arroyo and 19 others, including former PNP chief, Director Gen. Jesus Verzosa, of causing "undue injury" to the government, amounting to PHP34.6 million when the second-hand helicopters were sold to the PNP as brand new.

Source: Philippine News Agency