Solons get court nod for trip to China with Duterte

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2018 04:45 PM

MANILA - Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte, Bohol 3rd District Rep. Arthur Yap and Davao Del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. were allowed by the Sandiganbayan to join the trip of President Duterte to China for the Boao Forum in Hainan Province.

The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division approved in open court the travel motion of Yap, who is facing two counts of graft as a co-accused of former Misamis Occidental 1st District Rep. Marina Clarete in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.

In the urgent motion filed by Yap, he said he received information from the Office of the President that he is invited to join the President on his trip to China from April 9 to 13.

“During the entire trip, Mr. Yap will be joining the President’s contingent on board the PR0001, the presidential plane,” Yap’s lawyer said in the motion.

Also granted in open court on Thursday were the travel motions of Yap, Villafuerte and Floirendo who are facing cases at the 6th Division.

In the urgent motion of Floirendo, he said that he was invited by the Office of the Presidential Protocol to become part of the delegation of the President in the forum from April 9 to 10, to be followed by a working visit to Hong Kong from April 10 to 13.

Floirendo also noted in his motion that they have yet to receive the full details of the trip from Malacanang, but assured the court that he will be abiding the usual conditions set by the court.

Floirendo is facing trial for the allegedly anomalous deal between his family’s banana plantation company and the Bureau of Corrections while Villafuerte’s case stemmed from his alleged illegal purchase of petroleum products as former provincial governor.

Yap is facing two graft cases resulting from an allegedly anomalous car loan scheme for employees of the Philippine Rice Research Institute when he was Agriculture Secretary.