Cunanan pleads anew for travel abroad
MANILA, Philippines—Dennis Cunanan who is facing graft charges over the pork barrel scam appealed Wednesday to the Sandiganbayan first division to reconsider its decision disallowing him from leaving the country.
In his motion for reconsideration, Cunanan said the first division should re-examine its decision because the fifth division already granted his motion for leave to travel to the US from November 10 to 16, and to Germany from November 18 to December 2.
Cunanan also insisted that because he is the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Secretary General, his presence at the JCI events abroad is “necessary and important.”
“Indeed, there are important matters to prepare for the JCI World Congress that only the accused, as JCI Secretary General, is authorized to perform – employees’ salary review, financial reports, organizational reports, administrative reports, and evaluation of employees’ performance,” the motion read.
Cunanan also said he needs to go to the US and Germany so he could meet with the JCI World President and the Executive Committee and inquire about his “legal status.”
He also said that during the scheduled travel, there is no schedule of hearings and preliminary conference that he might miss.
“In the event that the Court will later set a hearing … that would require his presence… (Cunanan) undertakes to come back and cut short his trip once his presence is required by the Honorable Court during the requested travel period,” the motion read.
“(Cunanan) is earnestly praying and appealing for the Honorable Court’s kind consideration to grant him leave of court…” the motion added.
The first division junked Cunanan’s bid to travel abroad, siding with the prosecution, which said that the 22-day period Cunanan is seeking is enough for him to escape his legal troubles.
“If authorized to leave the country, these cases filed against him pose a serious motivation to flee and no longer return,” the prosecution said in their comment opposition.
The prosecutors also said the JCI might send a deputy to take the place of Cunanan.
“Considering that no compelling reason exists for Cunanan’s motions to travel, the denial of the motions is proper,” the comment opposition read.
As provisional state witness, Cunanan has testified that Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. called him up personally so that their pork barrel funds were funneled to the bogus foundations of accused pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Cunanan is accused of using the Technology Resource Center (TRC), of which he was a former director general, as a conduit between lawmakers and Napoles’ bogus foundations to earn kickbacks.
The Ombudsman had junked Cunanan’s plea for immunity from charges.
All three divisions of the anti-graft court hearing the pork barrel scam case had denied Cunanan’s travel motions for Japan and the US.
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