Mike Arroyo asks court nod for Europe, HK trips with Gloria
Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo has asked the Sandiganbayan’s nod for him to go on a short vacation with his wife former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Germany, France, and Hong Kong.
In his motion to travel filed before the anti-graft court Fourth Division, Mr. Arroyo pleaded for the court’s compassion to allow him and his wife to travel to Munich, Germany from Sept. 10 to 29, Paris, France from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3, and Hong Kong from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4.
“Jose Miguel is going to Germany to accompany his wife Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is undergoing a stem-cell procedure for her spinal condition. They are taking a short vacation in France for the first time in many years after the procedure,” Mr. Arroyo said in his motion.
“They are returning to Hong Kong in the end of October for the usual family retreat from the All Saints’ Day holidays in Manila,” he added.
Mr. Arroyo said he has earlier been allowed by the court to travel abroad despite facing graft charges with his wife before the Sandiganbayan.
“This Honorable Court has graciously allowed Jose Miguel to travel before. He has always honored his promises and returned to the jurisdiction,” Mr. Arroyo said.
Mr. Arroyo faces a graft trial before the Sandiganbayan Seventh Division for allegedly selling two secondhand helicopters to the Philippine National Police and passing them off as brand new in 2009.
Arroyo has denied owning the two Robinsons R44 Raven I helicopters supposedly used by his wife in the 2004 presidential elections.
In the Fourth Division, the Arroyo couple are co-accused in a graft case involving the allegedly overpriced $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE.
Former president Arroyo won a seat in the House as Pampanga congresswoman while in detention for plunder over the alleged misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds from 2008 to 2010.
She held office at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center under detention for the duration of the last Congress.
Arroyo walked free on July 22 after the Supreme Court dismissed her plunder case. The High Court ruled that her approval of the P366 million intelligence fund releases were only ministerial and did not constitute an “overt act” to commit plunder.
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