Sherwin Gatchalian seeks Sandigan approval for Germany trip

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 10 2017 03:54 PM

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is asking for the Sandiganbayan's approval for a trip to Germany to attend a study program. 

In a motion, Gatchalian said he was invited by the German political-educational foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) to attend a study information program for politicians, experts, advocates and academics from Southeast and East Asia from April 22 to 30, 2017. The program focuses on transformation of energy supply.

As the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, Gatchalian said he wants to take advantage of the program.

"(T)he program will be a valuable opportunity for him to study and explore other potential sources of energy for the country. His participation in the program will enable him to observe and learn the application of technologies to safely harness nuclear energy, as well as the methods of identifying and utilizing renewable sources,” Gatchalian’s motion read.

“It will also allow him to learn and scrutinize the laws and policies governing the identification, production, distribution, and usage of various sources of energy with a view to adopting the same or similar models in the Philippines.”

Gatchalian also noted that his trip will give him a chance to meet German government representatives in economic development and energy.

Gatchalian needs the Sandiganbayan's permission for his travel abroad because of the graft, malversation and violation of Manual Regulations of the Bank cases filed against him, in connection with the Local Water Utility Administration's allegedly illegal purchase of a thrift-bank owned by his family.

He was cleared of the cases last October. However, the anti-graft court has yet to decide on the prosecutors' appeal to reverse its ruling.

Prior to this, the Sandiganbayan had allowed Gatchalian to spend the Holy Week with his family in Tokyo, Japan from April 12 to 16.