Sandiganbayan affirms graft, malversation raps vs Misuari

Published March 13, 2019, 3:43 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Czarina Nicole Ong 

The Sandiganbayan Third Division has affirmed its decision denying the motion filed by former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Nur Misuari seeking to junk his two graft and two malversation through falsification charges.

Nur Misuari

Misuari was charged in connection with the reportedly anomalous purchase of different educational packages and materials from 2000 to 2001.

In his motion for reconsideration, Misuari stressed that the irregular transactions he was being accused of took place during the term of his successor. Because of this, he cannot be held liable for receiving any money or funds from the transaction.

He added that the arguments are not evidentiary in nature that requires ventilation in a full-blown trial.

Despite his arguments, the anti-graft court still affirmed its earlier decision.

“It bears stressing that accused-movant Misuari merely rehashed the same arguments regarding his alleged non-liability and lack of participation in the offenses charged,” the resolution read.

Even if Misuari was no longer the ARMM governor at the time the transactions took place, the Sandiganbayan said that it does not necessarily result in his “automatic exculpation” given the existence of documents relating to the subject transactions which were allegedly signed by him during his incumbency.

“Suffice it to say that the Court has long determined the existence of probable cause and has already resolved to proceed with trial to afford all the parties the full opportunity to present their case,” the resolution added.

The five-page resolution was penned by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang with the concurrence of Associate Justices Bernelito Fernandez and Sarah Jane Fernandez.