By Czarina Nicole O. Ong
The Sandiganbayan Third Division has issued a hold departure order (HDO) against former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Nur Misuari, who is facing three graft and malversation charges in connection with the reportedly anomalous purchase of different educational packages and materials from 2000 to 2001.
“This Court, in the exercise of its inherent power to use all means necessary to carry its orders into effect, more specifically, to preserve and maintain the effectiveness of its jurisdiction over the cases and the persons of the accused so as to render accused at all times amenable to its writs and processes… the Court hereby orders the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration to hold the departure from the Philippines of the above-named accused,” the HDO reads.
On Dec. 21, 2000, Misuari was accused of causing the payment of P31 million to MBJ Learning Tools for the purchase of information technology (IT) package even though it was not delivered.
Then on July 24, 2001, he was once again implicated for paying P46,261,250 to CPR for the procurement of multimedia IT package despite the fact that these goods were not delivered.
Finally in September 2001, Misuari paid P37,959,204 to White Orchids for the procurement of educational materials even though no such materials were actually delivered.
As for his malversation charges, he was accused of misappropriating the funds of the Department of Education (DepEd -ARMM) in the abovementioned amounts by means of falsifying requisition vouchers, purchase orders, sales invoice, disbursement vouchers, schedules of accounts payable and other similar documents.
Misuari reportedly made it appear that the DepEd -ARMM procured the said educational materials when in truth, “no such procurement was made because there were no goods delivered, to the damage and prejudice of the government and the public interest,” the charge sheets against him read.
He was accused together with Director III Leovigilda P. Cinches, chief accountant Pangalian Maniri, supply officer Sittie Aisa Usman, and accountant II Alladin D. Usi, all from DepEd -ARMM. Commission on Audit -ARMM resident auditor Nader Macagaan, CPR Publishing owner Criseta D. Ramirez and White Orchids president Lolita P. Sambeli were also charged.
The Third Division also issued HDOs against them all.
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