By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
The arraignment of former Maguindanao Governor Datu Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan before the Sandiganbayan First Division Friday morning has been deferred in light of his pending motion for reconsideration.
The arraignment has been reset to August 2, 2019 at 8:30 in the morning.
Ampatuan is urging the anti-graft court to dismiss his graft and malversation charges in relation to the reportedly anomalous purchase of food supplies. His motion to dismiss, filed on April 1, was already denied by the court, so he filed a motion for reconsideration.
Ampatuan has been slapped with four counts of violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and another four counts for violation of Article 217 and 171, paragraph 2 in relation to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, also known as the Complex Crime of Malversation of Public Funds Through Falsification of Public Documents.
On April 30, 2009, Ampatuan procured rice, sardines, brown sugar and dried fish from Nestor Merchandise amounting to P29,851,833. On June 30 and August 28, he procured the same food supplies from H&S Merchandise amounting to P30,341,878 and P12,875,658, respectively. Lastly, on September 30, he bought P6,681,675 worth of food supplies from Isulan & General Merchandise.
In truth, Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Joseph Licudan said in his charge sheets that no such purchases were really made from the suppliers.
Ampatuan was charged alongside Provincial Accountant John Estellito Dollosa Jr., Provincial Treasurer Osmena Bandila, Provincial General Services Officer Kasan Macapendeg, Provincial Administrator Norie Unas, Provincial Budget Officer Datu Ali Abpi, Al Haj, and Provincial Engineer Officer-in-Charge Engr. Landap Guinaid.