Court suspends proceedings on Misuari cases

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THE Sandiganbayan’s Third Division suspended the proceedings in the anti-graft and the malversation cases filed against former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Nur Misuari and several others upon the request of the prosecution.

In a motion to hold in abeyance the proceedings of the case, the prosecution said it is constrained to move for the suspension for the orderly and synchronized proceedings of the cases against Misuari.

The former governor’s camp earlier filed an omnibus motion asking the court to order a preliminary investigation of the cases saying he was deprived of his right “to adduce controverting documents against the complaint lodged against him,” which the Office of the Ombudsman granted.

In asking the court for a preliminary investigation of the cases, Misuari’s camp said he was not informed of the accusations against him because the Ombudsman’s order dated December 8, 2014 since the submission of a counter-affidavit was sent to the “wrong” address – the office of the ARMM governor in Cotabato City.

According to the defense, the Ombudsman’s resolution in 2016 shows that the allegedly anomalous payments were made within 2003 and 2004 when Misuari was no longer governor.

“Based on the foregoing, it is impossible that accused Nur Misuari could be liable for the anomalous release of the alleged amounts for payments to CPR Publishing and MBJ Learning Tools in July 1, 2004 and 2003, respectively because he was no longer the Regional Governor of ARMM as his term had long expired last September 30, 2001,” the defense said.

The cases against Misuari were filed in May 2017 over the alleged anomalous procurement of multi-media information technology package, information technology package and educational materials. He was charged along with former Department of Education-ARMM officers Leovigilda Cinches, director; Pangalian Maniri, chief accountant; Sittie Aisa Usman, supply officer and Alladin Usi, accountant.

In filing the cases, the Ombudsman alleged that the accused caused the payment of P31 million to MBJ Learning Tools in December 2001 for the supposedly fictitious procurement of information technology package.

Separate cases of graft and malversation through falsification were filed against Misuari with Nader Macagaan, then-resident auditor of Commission on Audit-ARMM and Cristeta Ramirez, owner of CPR Publishing.

The cases involved the anomalous payment of P46.26 million to CPR for multi-media information technology package in July 2001.

Another alleged fictitious procurement was done by the accused to White Orchids Printing and Publishing House for the payment educational materials worth P37.95million.





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