Misuari charged with graft, malversation over P115.2-M educational materials deal

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page - (By Erwin Colcol, GMA News)

THE OFFICE of the Ombudsman has formally filed charges against former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional governor and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari over the allegedly anomalous procurement of educational materials worth P115.2 million from 2000 to 2001.

Misuari, along with then Department of Education ARMM director Leovigilda Cinches, chief accountant Pangalian Maniri, and Sittie Aisa Usman were charged with three counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act and three counts of malversation through falsification.

In the charge sheets filed before the Sandiganbayan, the Ombudsman alleged that Misuari, along with his coaccused, gave "unwarranted benefits, advantage and privilege" to the following companies for the procurement of educational materials:

MBJ Learning Tools for an Information Technology package worth P31 million,cpr Publishing for a Multi-media Information Technology package worth P46.26 million,white Orchids Printing and Publishing House for educational materials worth P37.59 million. This, even though "no such materials were delivered," the Ombudsman said.

The Ombudsman also alleged that the respondents conspired to "take, appropriate or misappropriate" the said amounts by falsifying the corresponding procurement documents for the educational materials to make it appear that the procurements were made.

The Ombudsman also charged the following for allegedly conspiring with Misuari: Deped ARMM accountant Alladin Usi (2 graft, 2 malversation through falsification); Commission on Audit ARMM resident auditor Nader Macagaan (one graft, one malversation through falsification); Cristeta Ramirez of CPR Publishing (one graft, one malversation); Lolita Sambeli of White Orchids Printing and Publishing House (one graft, one malversation through falsification).

The Ombudsman has recommended a P30,000 bail for each count of graft for each respondent, while it recommended no bail for the respondents in the malversation through falsification charge.

Misuari is also facing rebellion charges over the Zamboanga siege in 2013. Court proceedings on the rebellion charges, meanwhile, had been suspended by the Pasig City Regional Trial Court to allow Misuari to participate in the peace efforts of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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