Pasay RTC denies Abalos’ ‘bangus fry’ trip to Taiwan
MANILA, Philippines—The Pasay City Regional Trial Court on Thursday denied the request of former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos, Sr. to go to Taiwan to buy bangus (milkfish) fry.
In a resolution dated Nov. 5, Pasay RTC Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas said “there was no indication that the alleged business transaction could not be undertaken by any person in his [Abalos’] behalf.”
The court added that there is also no indication that Abalos will be deprived of business opportunity regarding his aquaculture venture if a representative will go to Taiwan in his behalf.
The court also pointed that based on the certification issued by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), there is enough supply of bangus fry in the Philippines particularly in Saranggani Province.
Abalos is facing an electoral sabotage case before the Pasay court. The court earlier allowed him to post bail for his temporary liberty.
Last month, the Sandiganbayan also denied Abalos’ request to travel to Taiwan for his failure to provide details of his travel.
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.
In his motion to travel, Abalos said “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.
Considering, however, the scarcity of bangus fry in the country, the accused is compelled to urgently source bangus fry in Taiwan.”
He has plans go to Taiwan this month for four days.
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