MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan on Friday, August 22, granted the request of former first gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo to go on a European trip.
The Sandiganbayan’s 5th Division granted Arroyo’s motion to travel to Germany and Italy from September 21 to October 10, dzMM reported.
Arroyo is facing graft charges in connection with the allegedly anomalous sale of second-hand helicopters to the Philippine National Police during the administration of his wife, former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In his motion for leave to travel abroad dated August 18, Arroyo’s lawyers told the court that he had been permitted to travel in the past and had proven that he is not flight risk.
“This Honorable Court as well as other courts have graciously permitted him to travel before, and he has always returned here as it is here where his family and business interests are. His wife is likewise here, hence, he has no reason not to return. He is, thus, clearly not a flight risk,” his lawyers said in the August 18 motion.
Based on his itinerary in the August 18 request, Arroyo will be in Munich, Germany, from September 21 to October 2, where he will stay at the Hilton Hotel.
The itinerary also shows he will proceed to Milan, Italy, where he will stay from October 2 to 5, billeted at the Four Seasons Hotel. He will have a side trip to Hong Kong beginning October 6, where he will stay at the Marco Polo Gateway Hotel, before returning to Manila on October 10. – Rappler.com
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