Valenzuela mayor seeks court APPROVAL to travel abroad

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Mayor Rexlon Gatchalian of Valenzuela City (Metro Manila) has asked permission from the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division to travel to Japan from February 28 to March 6. Gatchalian and several others were charged with graft and reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides and physical injuries for allegedly letting Kentex Manufacturing Corp. to operate with “inadequate” fire safety measures. In a motion filed, Gatchalian told the court he “was invited to participate in a study tour of Fukuoka and Tokyo, Japan” and he “undertakes to comply with any reasonable condition that the Honorable Court may impose on his travel.” The prosecution, however, asked the court to reject Gatchalian’s plea for lack of merit, arguing that “[t]here is no showing that his personal attendance is absolutely indispensable” and that he “failed to show the necessity and urgency of the travel requested.” The case against Gatchalian is in connection with the May 2015 fire that hit Kentex footwear factory in Valenzuela that left 70 workers dead.

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REINA TOLENTINO

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