By Czarina Nicole Ong
Former Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and his wife Elenita have asked the Sandiganbayan Third Division to allow them to travel to Taiwan and Hong Kong from October 9 to 17, 2017.
Binay was invited by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECOP) to attend a forum and deliver a speech on Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy from October 11 to 13.
“Having been the former vice president of the Republic of the Philippines, movant’s experiences and insights prove valuable to the government of Taiwan, as the latter seeks to promote better relationships and better partnerships between ASEAN countries,” Binay’s travel motion read.
Meanwhile, Elenita hopes to accompany her husband as he attends this function.
The Binay couple plan to stay at the Hyatt Hotel Taipei, which will be sponsored by TECOP together with their airline tickets and local transportation expenses.
In Hong Kong, the Binays will stay at the Marco Polo Gateway Hotel.
Elenita’s travel motion was already approved by the Third Division on Friday, but that of the former vice president’s has yet to be tackled since he was not present during Friday’shearing.
Clerk of Court Atty. Dennis Pulma said that Binay will appear before the court on Monday at 1:30 p.m. to discuss his travel plans.
The former vice presiden is facing nine counts of falsification of public documents, one count of malversation, and four counts of graft before the Third Division in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II contracts.
On the other hand, Elenita has two graft and two malversation cases with the Third Division in connection with the supposedly anomalous purchase of hospital beds worth R36.43 million back in 2001 and R8.83 million worth of dry heat sterilizers back in 2000 for the Ospital ng Makati.
She used to face a graft charge before the Fourth Division in connection with the purchase of overpriced office furniture for city hall from December 1999 to February 2000.
The court dropped the charge because prosecution failed to establish the elements of their charge in the purchase of P13.25 million worth of office furniture.
She also has a separate graft charge with the Fifth Division in connection with the purchase of furniture and fixtures worth P72.06 million back in 1999. It was also dismissed since the prosecution was not able to prove that the accused caused the city undue injury with alleged overpricing and excessive purchase.
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