MANILA - Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday pleaded not guilty to his graft, malversation and violation of bank regulation charges in connection to the Local Water Utility Administration's (LWUA) allegedly anomalous purchase of a thrift-bank partially owned by his family.
Gatchalian was conditionally arraigned Monday as a pre-requisite to his travel abroad approved by the Sandiganbayan 4th Division. He also posted P270,000 travel bond.
The senator will fly to China on October 18 as a member of the Philippine delegation for the President's trade mission. He is set to return on October 21.
Gatchalian said he will be an "observer" in the Philippine government's historic meeting with China.
Gatchalian needed the Sandiganbayan's permission for his trip abroad because of a standing hold departure order issued in connection to his pending charges.