No passport, no trip for AbalosBy Kristine Felisse Mangunay
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A second court has acted favorably on former Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos’ request to fly to Taiwan for a few days but he can’t leave just yet since his passport has to be revalidated.
In a phone interview, Abalos said he would file a motion seeking a change of dates for his trip, from late November to the third or fourth week of January.
“I cannot have my passport revalidated (in time),” Abalos said.
He said he had yet to furnish the Department of Foreign Affairs with copies of all the court orders allowing him to travel to begin the passport revalidation process.
Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 117 Judge Eugenio de la Cruz has granted Abalos’ motion to be allowed to fly to Taiwan for four days to meet with bangus fry suppliers for his fishponds.
De la Cruz granted the motion after Pasay RTC Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas earlier granted Abalos’ travel motion in his court.
De la Cruz asked Abalos to put up a P110,000 cash bond—P10,000 for each count of electoral sabotage he is facing in his court—before he would leave the country.
Mupas set a P200,000 bond for the two counts of electoral sabotage in his court while the Sandiganbayan had set a P180,000 bond for the two graft counts in the antigraft court to cover his trip.