‘Euro’ general, wife allowed to travel to USBy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A former high police official and his wife implicated in the 2008 “Euro generals scandal,” were allowed on Thursday by the Sandiganbayan to travel to the United States.
The court’s Fifth Division granted the request of the retired police comptroller, Eliseo de la Paz, and his wife, Maria Fe, that they be permitted to travel to the United States from July 17 to August 18 to attend the wedding of a nephew and a conference.
The prosecution said it did not object to the request as long as the couple complied with the conditions that ensured their return to Manila to face trial.
Apart from posting bail of P26,000 and P20,000, De la Paz and his wife were required to submit their itinerary, a copy of their official invitation to a conference and their complete addresses in the United States.
They were reminded to present themselves in court with their duly marked passports within five days upon their return.
The couple said they were attending the wedding of a nephew in Beckley, West Virginia, as principal sponsors. After the wedding, they were scheduled to attend an international conference about people with visual impairment from July 27 to July 29 in Boston, Massachusetts, and visit De la Paz’s mother, Dominga de la Paz, in Illinois.
De la Paz, vice president of the Parent Advocate for the Visually Impaired Children, said he would get updates on the latest procedures and products available for the visually impaired at the conference. The couple’s son had been visually impaired from birth.
The Fifth Division had found probable cause to charge De la Paz, one of the key personalities in a delegation of police officials that was barred from leaving Moscow for carrying an excessive amount of euros following an Interpol conference.
The Ombudsman had charged De la Paz and his wife with violating bank regulations.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas requires domestic and foreign travelers to declare foreign currency equivalent to $10,000 when entering or leaving the Philippines.
The former comptroller of the Philippine National Police was also charged with prolonging the performance of his duties and powers because he went on an official trip even though his retirement would take effect during the travel period.
In October 2008, De la Paz, then a PNP director and comptroller, was barred from boarding his flight at the Moscow International Airport for carrying 105,000 euros (P6.9 million), the amount reportedly left over from the funds that he had carried as the disbursing officer for the PNP delegation—that included police officials’ wives—to the St. Petersburg conference.