Nur Misuari seeks preliminary investigation, deferment of scheduled arraignment » Manila Bulletin News



By Czarina Nicole Ong 

Former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Nur Misuari has filed an omnibus motion before the Sandiganbayan Third Division seeking to order a preliminary investigation and defer his scheduled arraignment.

Misuari, who was charged with graft and malversation through falsification in connection with the reportedly anomalous purchase of different educational packages and materials from 2000 to 2001, cited his right for the conduct of a preliminary investigation.

Nur Misuari

His charges were filed before the Sandiganbayan on May 22, 2017 on the basis of a resolution from the Office of the Ombudsman dated June 17, 2016. However Misuari claimed that he was not informed of the accusations hurled against him.

The joint order dated December 8, 2014 from the Ombudsman for Mindanao, which required him to submit a counter affidavit, was sent to the Office of the Regional Governor, ARMM in Cotabato City.

He said in his motion that the address was “completely wrong because Misuari was definitely not holding office there, since on said date it was Mujiv Hataman who was the regional governor.”

Misuari was also never notified of the complaint and of the evidence submitted against him. Because of this, Misuari was “shocked” to know from the media that the present cases were already filed against him before the Sandiganbayan, and that a warrant of arrest was already issued against him.

He voluntarily surrendered on September 19, 2017 to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Davao City, and he posted his bail bond before the Regional Trial Court in Davao City that same day.

Misuari still has no clue about the scheduled date of his arraignment before the court, so he is hoping that the court refer his cases for preliminary investigation and defer his arraignment, should there already be a schedule.

A preliminary investigation, as defined by Sec. 1, Rule 112 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial.

Misuari said in his motion that his request for preliminary investigation is to protect himself from “hasty, malicious and oppressive prosecution, and to protect him from an open and public accusation of crime.”

The hearing for Misuari’s motion has been scheduled on November 17 at 1:30 p.m.

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