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Sandigan allows Mike Arroyo’s trip; no furlough for Bong, Jinggoy

Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - January 12, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan has allowed former first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo to travel to Japan and Hong Kong.

In a two-page order issued yesterday and signed by Fifth Division chair Associate Justice Roland Jurado, the anti-graft court allowed Arroyo to travel to Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong from Jan. 30 to Feb. 8.

The Sandiganbayan, however, said the order will cover only Tokyo and Hong Kong and not any other place.

“The travel bond he posted in connection with previous travel shall continue to guarantee his faithful compliance with the conditions imposed,” the order read.

The anti-graft court also directed Arroyo to report within five days after his return and to submit photocopies of his passport.

Should Arroyo violate the order, the Sandiganbayan said it will order the forfeiture of the travel bond and issue a warrant for his arrest.

In 2013, the Office of the Ombudsman filed graft charges against Arroyo, former Philippine National Police chief Jesus Verzosa, Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corp. president Hilario de Vera and 19 police officers in connection with the allegedly anomalous sale of helicopters to the PNP in 2009.

The helicopters were supposed to be brand new but were later found to have been previously owned.

Meanwhile, the Sandiganbayan denied motions filed by detained Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada asking the anti-graft court to allow them to visit the wake of television host German Moreno.

The First Division said the event Revilla seeks to attend “is not an exceptional circumstance comparable to the hospitalization of his son, and there’s a high security risk involved considering the large crowd expected in such occasions.”

Revilla described Moreno as “his mentor, close friend and second father.”

The Fifth Division said Estrada’s motion is bereft of merit.

“To allow the accused-movant to leave his detention cell, especially at this time when the court already denied his petition for bail, will not only set a bad precedent but will likewise be regarded as a mockery of the administration of justice,” read the the two-page resolution.

Both senators, on trial for plunder and multiple counts of graft in connection with the pork barrel scam, are detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

ACIRC ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ROLAND JURADO CAMP CRAME CUSTODIAL CENTER FIFTH DIVISION FIRST DIVISION GERMAN MORENO JAPAN AND HONG KONG JESUS VERZOSA JOSE MIGUEL ARROYO SANDIGANBAYAN
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