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Mike Arroyo leaving for Japan, again

MANILA, Philippines — Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, who is out on bail for a corruption charge, wants to leave the country again.

On Wednesday, June 6, Mr Arroyo asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to leave the Philippines for Japan from June 16 to 23. Mr Arroyo said this is for business concerning his company, LTA Inc. He said he is willing to pay additional travel bonds for the court to grant his request. 

In April, the Sandiganbayan also granted Mr Arroyo's request to travel to Japan and Hong Kong from May 3 to 10. The anti-graft court ordered him to post a P90,000 travel bond.  

The former First Gentleman is facing a graft case before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the botched $329-M National Broadband Network deal. Mr Arroyo, along with his wife, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, entered a "not guilty" plea to this case in April.

Mrs Arroyo abroad?

The Arroyo couple has posted bail for this case, but Mrs Arroyo remains detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Quezon City for an electoral sabotage charge. She may post bail for this case if the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which filed it, fails to convince the court there is strong evidence of guilt.

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, who speaks on legal matters concerning Mrs Arroyo, said there is now a "bigger" chance for her to post bail especially after a key witness disappeared.

In May, an anonymous source told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Arroyo might need to seek treatment abroad due to a "life-threatening" condition.

In November last year, Mrs Arroyo also attempted to leave the Philippines to seek medical treatment, but was barred by the government. — Rappler.com

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