Sandiganbayan grants Mike Arroyo travel permit

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Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Sandiganbayan on Wednesday granted the husband of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo permission to travel to Japan and Hong Kong next month despite the prosecution’s objections.

The former first gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, however, was directed to post a P90,000 bond before leaving.

Arroyo  had filed a motion with the antigraft court for permission to travel, explaining that he was scheduled to meet with businessmen involved in hydroelectric operations and to get some much needed rest.

He said his trip had the approval of his wife and co-accused in the  case alleging irregularities in a multimillion-peso deal with China’s ZTE corporation for the establishment of a national broadband network (NBN)  in the country.

Former President Arroyo is currently under hospital arrest for another case—electoral sabotage, which is a nonbailable offense.

Mike Arroyo is scheduled to leave for Japan on May 3 then to fly to Hong Kong on May 6 before returning to the Philippines on May 10.

Arroyo vowed to come home on the scheduled date. He told reporters he was entitled to the presumption of innocence while the graft case was being heard, and still had the constitutional right to travel.

“I’m not a flight risk. I will return. It will be just for a week,” he said.

“I have the permission of my wife,” he said, after being asked about his leaving his wife behind.

In Japan, Arroyo is set to speak before the Filipino community in Edogawa-Ku in Tokyo on May 5. He will also meet with Japanese businessmen involved in hydroelectric operations. He said he would try to talk them into investing in the country.

The trip to Hong Kong, he said, was for rest and recreation.

“I also need to relax,” he said.

His lawyer, Edna Herrera-Batacan, said the former first gentleman has suffered so much political pressure, and also wants to get away from Manila’s summer heat.

Earlier, the prosecution objected to Arroyo’s motion to travel on the ground that his trip was not an urgent matter and because he failed to provide his schedule of activities.

The Arroyos have denied any wrongdoing in the NBN-ZTE deal. Other co-accused in the case are former elections chief Benjamin Abalos and former Transportation and Communication Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

The ZTE-NBN deal was eventually canceled amid allegations of bribery and overpricing.

Meanwhile, prosecutors yesterday opposed former president Arroyo’s motion for the prosecution to produce for inspection the material evidence they have against her so  she could prepare for the pre-trial.

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  • delpillar

    April 28 to May 6 is GOLDEN WEEK in JAPAN.

    Almost all companies are on holidays. Roads, expressways, airports, resorts, Disneyland, Disney Sea, Universal Studios etc will be VERY CROWDED.

    Most banks and hospitals will be closed.

    Ano ang gagawing therefore ni Miguel Arrovo (Arovo=Dorobo=magnanakaw in Japanese) sa JAPAN?

    Walang haharap sa kanyang mga businessmen sa Japan from May 3 to May 6. GOLDEN WEEK and New Years Holiday are the only period in Japan when the WORKAHOLIC Japanese take relaxation and recreation and family bonding.

    Something fishy ang pag-punta nya sa Japan ng May 3 to May 6. Pede pa akong maniwala kung May 1 and 2 sya pupunta sa Japan kasi mangilan-ngilan pa ring Japanese companies ang hindi nagdi-dia-pichido (naiipit na working days in between holidays) sa two days na ito. But 90% will allow their workers to take solid holidays from April 28 to May 6 including May 1 and May 2

  • KonsensyaNgBayan

    I agree with you delpillar….I`m sure makikipag-kita lang ito kay Victoria Toh at malamang magpapasyal ang mga ito sa Tokyo Disneyland at Disney Sea para sa mga bata at babalik naman sa Hong Kong para sa HK Disneyland naman at sabay kuha ng pera kay Becking uTOH-uTOH para sa financial operations sa 2013. Malamang malaking away na naman at sinigawan ni Glolong kaya nagmamadaling umalis….Kawawang stiff neck, hindi makasunod…

  • Hey_Dudes

    Time of the month again to do account reconciliation.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F5HCEI4PGTWG6SHPAEID7CKST4 Migdonio

    He was directed to post P90,000 bond before leaving…hahaha!!hahaha!!hahaha!!hahaha!!hahaha! hahaha!!hahaha!!hahaha!!…

  • tra6Gpeche

    Masuerte talaga itong si Mr. Miguel Arroyo. Pinayagan ng “mababait” na taga Sandiganbayan na maglakbay. Bakit hindi “pauwiin” na rin si Ginang Arroyo sa Lubao, Pampanga? “Kawawa” naman siya at sa palagay ko ay nangangayayat dahil sa kalungkutan sa loob ng ospital. Iyong si Mikey Arroyo at ang asawa niya ay “patawarin” na sa utang sa gobyerno. Mabuti at nakapaghanda ng napakalaki si Ginang Arroyo sa ospital sa kanyang kaarawan. Ang masama lang ay iyong karaniwang kriminal ay ayaw payagan ng gobyerno na maghanda rin sa kani-kanilang kaarawan. Mukhang may pinapaburan ang batas sa Pilipinas. Iyan lang ang hindi ko gusto. Hindi pantay-pantay ang tingin ng butas este batas sa mamamayang Pilipino.

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