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SC allows Arthur Yap to go on Eurasian escapade

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Bohol governor-elect Arthur Yap has been allowed by the Supreme Court (SC) to travel to Europe and Asia this June.

“In view of the manifestations and the assurances by the petitioner that he has no reason to flee the jurisdiction or to evade his responsibilities, the Court finds that he has proven that he is not a flight risk,” read the ruling of the SC.

With this, the SC ordered the former agriculture secretary to post a P100,000 travel bond and inform the high court of within 24 hours of his return.

The high court acted on the petition of Yap after his motion to travel got denied by the Sandiganbayan 6th Division.

Yap told the SC he is travelling to Belgium and the Netherlands from June 6 to 16 to attend a program on solid waste management and desalination sponsored by the Embassy of the Netherlands.

He said he also intends to tour with his family in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Afterwards, they will also embark on a cruise from Japan to South Korea from June 22 to 28.

Yap has a pending graft case before the Sandiganbayan 6th Division.

Under the charges, the then PhilRice board of trustees allegedly favored 10 employees as beneficiaries for the institute’s car plan from 2008 to 2009. At that time Yap was PhilRice board chairman and agriculture secretary.

This allowed the 10 beneficiaries to obtain personal loans from the Philippine National Bank (PNB) for the purchase of private cars which were then leased to PhilRice for the employees’ official use even though they already receive transportation allowances.

The two loan recipients also allegedly signed hold out agreements with PNB over the car plan which prevented PhilRice to withdraw funds from its account until the loans were paid in full.