Sandiganbayan junks Abalos plea to leave for TaiwanBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division on Monday denied former Commission on Election Chairman Benjamin Abalos’ bid to go out of the country.
Abalos is facing a case for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the NBN-ZTE deal.
Abalos asked the anti-graft court to allow him to travel to Taiwan this November to source bangus fry for his aquaculture business, which he said is the main source of income of his family.
“Recent developments in aquaculture industry, particularly the steady decline in the demand for shrimps coupled with the increasing complexity of prescribed shrimp culture practices and technology, has constrained the accused to shift the focus of his business from shrimp culture to the raising of bangus, if only to assure its continued viability,” Abalos said.
“Considering, however, the scarcity of bangus fry in the country, the accused is compelled to urgently source bangus fry in Taiwan,” he added.
Abalos wanted to go to Taiwan next month for four days.
However, the anti-graft court said the request was too vague as it failed to specify the date of the trip and his itinerary.
The court dismissed the motion to travel without prejudice to re-filing it to include the details of his trip.