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Jinggoy Estrada seeks court nod for Hong Kong trip

MANILA, Philippines — Three months after he was freed on bail, former senator Jinggoy Estrada has asked the Sandiganbayan’s permission to go on a family bonding trip to Hong Kong for six days.

Estrada urged the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division to allow him to travel to Hong Kong from Dec. 26 to 31.

“After he was granted bail, the family have been longing for bonding outside the country. The Christmas holidays would be the most opportune time to do this,” Estrada’s lawyers said.

The Estradas intend to stay at the Marco Polo hotel for the entire duration of the trip.

He maintained that he is not a flight risk as proven by his return to the country after he accompanied his father, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, for a medical procedure in Singapore last month.

The former senator said he had promised his wife Precy and their four children that if the court permits, “all of them will go on a holiday trip to an Asian country.”

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The Sandiganbayan has issued a hold departure order against Estrada for his plunder and graft cases in connection with the alleged misuse of his pork barrel funds when he was a senator.

He is accused of receiving P183 million in kickbacks from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles in exchange for allocating portions of his Priority Development Assistance Fund from 2004 to 2012 to bogus non-government organizations.

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