Pasay court likely to allow Arroyo to fly to 3 Asian cities
A Pasay court, which hears the electoral sabotage case of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is keen on allowing her to travel abroad for New Year, a court staffer said.
Judge Jesus Mupas of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court – Branch 112 “will most probably grant” Arroyo’s motion to travel to three Asian cities from Dec. 26, 2017 to Jan. 12, 2018, according to criminal-in-charge Hermito dela Cruz III on Wednesday.
On Dec. 13, the Pasay court was set to resolve the very urgent supplemental motion for leave to travel abroad. Prosecutors from the Department of Justice had no objections on her motion.
According to Dela Cruz, the former President would go to Japan and Hong Kong for “family-oriented” purposes, and an “official business” in Myanmar, “to fulfill her promise to send skilled workers” in the country. The court staffer refused to specify the dates when Arroyo would be traveling to each country.
He said Arroyo was not a flight risk anymore, as her electoral sabotage case was the “sole criminal charge left against her.”
In November 2016, the Sandiganbayan dismissed the graft case against Arroyo over the botched national broadband project deal with Chinese firm ZTE Corp.
In July 2016, the Supreme Court voting 11-4 acquitted Arroyo of plunder charges in Sandiganbayan involving the misuse of P366-million intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Should the court allow her to travel, Arroyo needs to pay the travel bond of P700,000.
Her counsel Ferdinand Topacio could not be reached for comment.
In November 2011, Mupas ordered the arrest of Arroyo and her other coaccused for purportedly rigging the 2007 senatorial elections in Maguindanao province. She was placed under hospital arrest at Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.
The Pasay court granted her bail in July 2012, and this was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in March 2015, saying “Arroyo’s evidence of guilt is not strong.”
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