MANILA, Philippines – Pasay City Regional Trial Court Judge Jesus Mupas junked Thursday the motion of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. to leave for Taiwan for a business trip this November.
In a resolution released Thursday morning, Mupas junked Abalos' appeal that the latter be allowed to go to Taiwan to scout for supply of bangus fry.
Mupas handles the electoral sabotage case file against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, of which Abalos is a co-accused. The case is in connection with Arroyo's alleged rigging of the results of the 2007 senatorial elections.
Mupas agreed with the Comelec's argument that Abalos' trip is unnecessary since there are still enough supply of bangus fry in the country, contrary to the former Comelec chief's claim.
Abalos earlier said: “Recent developments in aquaculture industry, particularly the steady decline in the demand for shrimps coupled with the increasing complexity of prescribed shrimp culture practices and technology, has constrained the accused to shift the focus of his business from shrimp culture to the raising of bangus, if only to assure its continued viability."
The Sandiganbayan, which handles separate graft charges in connection with the mothballed National Broadband Network project against Abalos and others, had also junked the similar appeal.
Abalos had said this industry is now the only source of the family’s income. – report from Dexter Ganibe, dzMM