Abalos leaves for Taiwan
MANILA, Philippines – Embattled former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos flew to Taiwan Monday morning after his motion to travel abroad for a series of meetings with aqua-culturists to improve his business in the country was granted by the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) and the Sandiganbayan.
Pasay City RTC Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas granted the motion of Abalos to travel to Taiwan last January 16 and allowed him to stay there from January 28 to February 1.
Abalos, together with his wife Corazon, boarded China Airlines flight CI-712 bound for Kaoshiung which left at 10 a.m.
The former Comelec chief is facing charges of electoral sabotage with the Pasay City Court. He was earlier permitted by the courts to leave for Taiwan from November 27 to 30, 2012 but was unable to do so because his passport was to expire in less than four months.
The government requires that a passport be valid for six months before traveling abroad.
It was learned that Abalos was allowed to leave the country after posting a P200,000 bond with the Pasay City RTC and P180,000 with the Sandiganbayan.
According to Abalos, he is not a flight risk at all considering that he surrendered voluntarily last December 2011 after a warrant for his arrest was issued.
Before boarding, Abalos said the fish farm is his main source of income and that he wants to learn ways on improving his business and at the same time, try to entice Taiwanese investors.
Abalos disclosed that he is traveling with two of his aquaculturists to learn new technologies that they can apply in his fish farm.
Aside from the poll charges, Abalos is also facing graft cases before the Sandiganbayan in relation to the multi-million National Broadband Network deal with China’s ZTE Corporation.