Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu’s third district has asked the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division for permission to travel to the People’s Republic of China next month.
Garcia is facing three criminal cases of graft in connection with the P99-million Balili Estate scam.
She had previously asked the anti-graft court for permission to travel to the United States of America from April 8 to 30 to see her daughter and granddaughters, which State prosecutors opposed.
In the motion dated April 22 filed by her lawyer, Garcia said that she, Rep. Gina De Venecia of Pangasinan’s fourth district and 10 other lady lawmakers are delegates to an international conference from.
They were invited by the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
Attached to the motion was a letter dated April 8, where House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte approved the lawmakers’ trip abroad and referred it to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“There exists no threat or danger the Congresswoman Garcia will depart, prejudice, hamper, or otherwise obstruct the administration of justice” for her cases, the motion read.
Last year the Ombudsman indicted Garcia for the irregular purchase of 249,246 square kilometers of land, which was found to be submerged in water and thus cannot be used for development to attract investors.
Garcia pleaded not guilty. REINA TOLENTINO