MANILA, Philippines—Former elections chair Benjamin Abalos has petitioned the courts handling his electoral sabotage cases for permission to reschedule his trip to Taiwan for the end of January.
Abalos, who was given leave to go to Taiwan last November, said petitions have been filed with branches 117 and 112 of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court, where he is being tried for electoral sabotage in connection with the alleged election cheating in North Cotabato and South Cotabato during the 2007 elections.
He said another petition was also filed at the Sandiganbayan where two cases of graft have been filed against him in connection with the scuttled $329-million NBN-ZTE deal.
One of the courts has set a hearing for Abalos’ petition for Tuesday.
Abalos said he wanted to go to Taiwan to buy milkfish fry—not fingerlings as earlier reported—and lapu-lapu fingerlings for his aquaculture business in Luzon. He said he wanted to “venture into other high-yield produce.”
He asks that he be allowed to leave for Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan on Jan. 28. He said he would be returning to the Philippines on Feb. 1.
“I want to give time for the preparation. I cannot make a booking until such time that (the courts allow me to leave),” he said.
Abalos said some Chinese friends would be traveling with him.