Mike Arroyo’s bid to go to Japan opposed

Former first Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ/INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines—The Office of the Special Prosecutor has opposed the request of Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo to visit Japan again later this month.

The special prosecutor’s office, which is under the Office of the Ombudsman, said Arroyo, the husband of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, had no valid reason to go to Japan.

“He is a private individual and has never held any position in government,” the comment said, adding that the Japan engagement appear to be a “pleasure trip.”

The government also said that Arroyo was not in a position to speak to the Filipino community as he was not supposed to be involved in government affairs when his wife was president.

In his request, Arroyo said he was invited to speak to a Filipino community in Japan on June 16-21. After Japan, Arroyo said he would fly to Hong Kong.

This was not the first time that Arroyo was invited to Japan by a certain Evelyn Prieto-Solis.  The Fourth Division allowed Arroyo on the first invitation and let him travel from April 29 to May 14.

In his first visit to Japan this year, Arroyo said he was to meet Japanese businessmen who were interested in investing in renewable energy projects in the Philippines. But when he came back, Arroyo said the investors backed out of the project.

Arroyo, along with his wife, is facing electoral sabotage charges and was placed on the immigration watch list. He is currently out on bail.

Early this week, Arroyo and several police officials were haled to the Sandiganbayan by the Ombudsman over allegations of graft and corruption.

According to the Ombudsman, Arroyo sold used helicopters that were passed off as brand new to the Philippine National Police.

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