MANILA — The anti-graft court has permitted former First Gentleman lawyer Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo to travel to Taipei, Taiwan from Feb. 2-6, 2018.
In the minutes of the proceedings held on Jan. 23, 2018, the Sandiganbayan Seventh Division granted Arroyo’s motion to travel as long as he presents himself to the Division Clerk of Court within five days after his return to the Philippines.
In his motion, Arroyo only attached his itinerary and hotel accommodation in Taiwan.
He did not cite any reason for the trip.
Likewise, Arroyo did not state if he would be joined by his wife, former President and now Pampanga-2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and other members of their family in the trip.
In his motion, Arroyo said he was “clearly not a flight risk,” since his family and business interests were located in the Philippines.
Office of the Ombudsman Prosecutor Ferdinand Labog had opposed Arroyo’s travel in open court, arguing that his Taiwan trip was not necessary.
The anti-graft court said the PHP90,000 travel bond posted by Arroyo would “guarantee his faithful compliance” with the jurisdiction of the court.
The Sandiganbayan said any violation would forfeit the bond, resulting in the issuance of an arrest warrant.
Arroyo is facing graft charges before the Sandiganbayan Seventh Division over the alleged irregularities in the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s purchase of two helicopters in 2009.
The Ombudsman accused Arroyo and 19 others, including former PNP Chief Director General Jesus Verzosa, of causing “undue injury” to the government worth PHP34.6 million, when the second-hand helicopters were sold to the PNP as brand new.