The Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division has granted Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo permission to travel abroad to Taiwan and Europe.
Earlier, Arroyo, husband of former president and now Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo filed a motion asking the court to let him travel to Taipei, Taiwan from August 25 to 28 and to Europe from September 10 to October 6.
“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, hence, he has no reason not to return. He is, thus, clearly not a flight risk,” the defense said in the motion.
Arroyo said he “continuously enjoys the right to be presumed innocent” and that he “likewise enjoys the constitutional right to travel, subject to restrictions of law and those which this Honorable Court may impose.”
Further, he told the court in the motion that he is “ready and willing to submit to any such conditions” as the court may impose as additional guarantees for his return.
The motion was granted in open court on Friday.
Based on the motion, Arroyo will be in Taipei City from August 25 to 28 and will arrive in Manila on August 28.
He will depart for Europe on September 10 and will be in Frankfurt, Germany from September 11 to 20; Munich, Germany from September 20 to 25; Paris, France from September 25 to 30, and; Madrid, Spain from September 30 to October 5. He will arrive in Manila on October 6.
The court is enforcing a hold departure order in connection with a graft case filed in 2012 against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Verzosa and several others including Arroyo.
A hold departure order bars respondents from leaving the country without the court’s permission.
The case is in connection with the PNP’s alleged procurement of two supposedly second-hand helicopters that were allegedly passed off and paid for as brand-new.