By Czarina Nicole Ong
Former Agriculture Secretary and incumbent Bohol 3rd District Rep. Arthur Yap has sought the permission of the Sandiganbayan Third Division to travel to Vietnam and Europe from March 4 to 9, 2018 and March 23 to April 10, 2018, respectively.
In his travel motion, Yap said he hopes to travel to Vietnam from March 4 to 9, 2018 for a parliamentary field visit. He was invited by the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He plans to depart from Manila to Hanoi on March 4 at 10 p.m., then return to the Philippines on March 9 at 5:40 a.m. The IMF will be the one handling his flights as well as his accommodations at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.
Meanwhile, his planned travel to Europe is a combination of family vacation and a meeting with government officials of Netherlands and Belgium.
He plans to leave on March 23 at 12:05 a.m. with his family and head toward Amsterdam. They will return to the country on April 10 at 9:40 p.m.
Yap stressed that he is not a flight risk, since he is committed to fulfill his mandate to his constituents. “It would be very difficult or unimaginable for him to start a new life abroad, especially as a fugitive,” his travel motion read.
He committed to face the charges against him and comply with whatever conditions the court chooses to impose if he would be allowed to travel abroad.
Yap was earlier slapped with two graft charges and a single charge each of malversation and malversation through falsification due to his involvement in the P65-million priority development assistance fund (PDAF) scam of former 1st district Rep. Marina Clarete of Misamis Occidental dating back to 2007 to 2009.
He also has two other graft charges in relation to the P15.78-million car loan deal entered into by the Department of Agriculture with Philippine National Bank (PNB).