Court OKs Cotabato gov’s trip abroad

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The Sandiganbayan’s First Division has given permission to North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza to travel to Hong Kong from September 21 to 25 and to Melbourne, Australia, from September 27 to October 2.

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The court issued a ruling after Mendoza posted the P90,000 travel bond and submitted an authorization from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for her trip.

Mendoza, who is out on bail, earlier filed a travel plea to accompany her nine-year-old son who will play the Indonesian musical instrument Angklung at Hong Kong Disneyland as part of an ensemble, as well as to visit her eldest child who is studying in Australia.

She is required to present herself and her passport to the First Division Clerk of Court within five days “after her return from each trip” regardless of whether she was able to undertake the trip, and to submit a written compliance with the resolution’s terms and conditions within 15 days after her expected date of return.

The ruling was signed by Associates Justice Efren dela Cruz, Reynaldo Cruz and Michael Frederick Musngi of the anti-graft court’s First Division.

In April, the court issued a hold departure order barring Mendoza from leaving the country without its prior permission.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed three counts of graft against Mendoza in connection with allegedly anomalous procurement of diesel fuel worth P2.4 million bought from a gasoline station owned by her mother without public bidding in 2010.

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