Sandigan urged to bar Dichaves from traveling


THE Office of the Ombudsman urged the Sandiganbayan to disallow businessman Jaime Dichaves to travel abroad as he is a flight risk.

In a four-page pleading, the Office of the Special Prosecutor asked the anti-graft court to junk the petition to travel of Dichaves as he “is capable of absconding.”

Earlier, Dichaves asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to fly to Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan from September 17 to 30 to negotiate for raw materials needed for his plaster glass company.

He asked the Sandiganbayan Special Division that he will fly from Manila to Hong Kong from September 17 to 21 and to Hong Kong from September 21 to 26.

For the last leg of his travel, “he will join as member of the official trip of [former]President Joseph Estrada” from Bangkok to Tokyo.

“Details of which will depend on their itinerary,” the petition for travel read.

However, the Ombudsman said that his presence for his business travel is not needed in the negotiating and contracting for his company.

“Accused Dichaves is capable of absconding and is a flight risk. This travel could be a way of escape which needs to be prevented,” prosecutors said.

State fiscals reminded the anti-graft court about the temporary restraining order (TRO) which the Supreme Court handed against the Sandiganbayan.

“By virtue of the TRO . . . any and all other incidents and proceedings, including but not limited to the motion for permit to travel, is covered by said TRO,” fiscals said.

They added that Dichaves should have filed the motion to travel before the High Court.

Dichaves is a co-accused of Estrada in the plunder case of the former president.

The case against him and Yolanda Ricaforte are still active at present, years after both hid from law. At present, Ricaforte is still nowhere to be found. JOHN CONSTANTINE G. CORDON


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