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meaning of how could ?

How could he leave this job?

Does the above sentence mean either 1 or 2 according to context?

1. How is he able to leave this job? (present)

2. How was he able to leave this job? (past)

Though I'm already quite sure about it, as not perfectly sure, I'm posting this question. I think the sentence could mean either 1 or 2 according to context because "could" can work in both past context and present context.

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