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MANILA — Former First Gentleman Miguel “Mike” Arroyo has asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to travel to Japan and Hong Kong.

In a motion, Arroyo’s lawyers informed the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division that the former First Gentleman plans to leave the country on October 25 and return on November 2.

The lawyers said that Arroyo is set to be in Tokyo, Japan on October 25 to 30 and will be staying at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo Chyoda-ku.

Afterwards, Arroyo will fly to Hong Kong and stay there from October 30 to November 2. He will be staying at the Marco Polo Gateway Hotel.

The Fifth Division is handling the graft charges against Arroyo and his co-accused for the allegedly overpriced sale of used helicopters worth P104 million. The helicopters were passed off as new and sold to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Arroyo is also facing graft charges at the Fourth Division in connection with the botched $329-million national broadband network deal.

His lawyers assured the court that he is not flight risk and has no reason not to return.

“This Honorable Court as well as other courts has graciously permitted him to travel before, and he has always returned here as it is here where his family and business interests are,” the lawyers cited.

The defense counsels said that Arroyo is “ready to submit to any such conditions as this Honorable Court may impose as additional guarantees for his return and submission of himself to its jurisdiction.” (Manila Bulletin)