Mike Arroyo ready for arraignment on 'chopper scam'

Posted at 06/14/2012 9:25 PM | Updated as of 06/15/2012 8:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo is ready for his arraignment before the Sandiganbayan 2nd Division on Friday afternoon for allegedly selling second-hand helicopters to the Philippine National Police, his lawyer said.

The husband of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will submit his plea and post a travel bond, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said Thursday.

"That is the procedure. A conditional arraignment is simply meant to ensure that proceedings in this case will go on even in the event that the defendant fails to come back," Topacio said.

He insisted that his client is not a flight risk and will return to the Philippines after giving a talk to Filipinos living in Tokyo, Japan and going to Hong Kong on business visit.

Arroyo will stay in Japan from June 16 to 20 before going to Hong Kong, where he will stay until returning to the Philippines on June 23.

The Sandiganbayan has approved Arroyo's travel.