MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division has allowed former Vice President Jejomar Binay to travel to Taiwan and Hong Kong from October 9 to 17, 2017 for official business as well as for vacation.
In its resolution, the court said it is allowing Binay to travel despite the objection from the prosecution, “considering that the said accused had already been conditionally arraigned.”
Based on the motion submitted by Binay’s lawyers to the court, Binay was invited by Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines to deliver a speech on October 11 at a forum entitled “Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy”.
Binay’s lawyers said the trip will help improve the relations of the Philippines with its neighboring countries.
“The benefits to be reaped from improved relations between the Philippines and other ASEAN countries, are, without a doubt, vital to the development and well-being of the Filipino people as a whole,” the lawyers of Binay said in their resolution.
Binay’s nine-day travel period is capped by a four-day trip to Hongkong for his “physical and holistic well-being.”
The court however set the usual conditions such as the payment of P752,000 pesos as travel bond; the itinerary of travel shall be in Taipei, Taiwan and Hong Kong only; he shall not leave the Philippines earlier than October 9 and be back not later than October 17; he should present himself to the court not later than 5 days upon arrival.
Binay is facing four graft, one count of malversation of public funds and nine counts of falsification for the alleged anomalous construction of the Makati City Hall parking building.