SC allows Arthur Yap to attend Boao Forum

The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed Bohol Governor Arthur Yap to travel to China from October 13 to 20 to attend the Boao Forum for Asia Board Working Meeting 2019.

In a recent 3-page notice of resolution, the SC 1st Division said Yap had “proven that he is not a flight risk.”

This was because he previously posted a P120,000 travel bond before the Sandiganbayan and a P100,000 travel bond before the SC.

The SC also cited Yap’s “assurances by the petitioner that he has no reason to flee the jurisdiction or to evade his responsibilities as an accused” given his position as Bohol governor.

In condition, the SC required Yap to post an additional travel bond of P100,000. It also directed him to submit his detailed itinerary and give a written notice of his return within 24 hours of his arrival.

The notice was signed by Division Clerk of Court Librada Buena.

The SC 1st Division is currently tackling Yap’s petition questioning his indictment for graft in connection with an allegedly disadvantageous car plan for the employees of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice).

It ordered the Sandiganbayan 6th Division on May 3 to indefinitely stop from proceeding with Yap’s graft case.

The cases concerned the approval of a car plan which, from 2008 to 2009, allowed 10 Philrice employees to use the agency’s funds to secure personal loans from the private Philippine National Bank (PNB).

Under the holdout agreement with PNB, PhilRice could not withdraw its own bank deposits until the employees’ personal car loans totaling P15.78 million were paid back in full.

The private cars purchased with personal loans were then allegedly leased by Philrice for the official use of the same employees who owned them.

Yap argued he was absent during the board meeting that saw the approval of the car plan. But, the Sandiganbayan ruled to proceed with his trial and said he would have to prove this defense with evidence.

Yap previously left the country to attend a program on solid waste management and desalination in the Netherlands and tour Belgium from June 6 to 16, and go on a cruise from Japan to South Korea from June 22 to 28.

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