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Ombudsman asks Sandiganbayan: Don’t junk raps vs. Misuari over ‘ghost purchases’

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The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division has been asked not to dismiss the charges against former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Nur Misuari concerning his alleged involvement concerning the alleged ghost purchases of educational materials from 2000 to 2001.

The Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor has filed an opposition against Misuari’s motion to dismiss the two counts of graft and two counts of malversation filed against him.

In its opposition, the prosecution pointed out the arguments being raised by Misuari in his motion should be better raised during the trial.

“These are matters of defense which are within the Honorable Court’s judicial authority to appreciate and rule upon only after a full blown trial,” it explained.

“The grounds relied upon by the accused are questions of fact which should be established by evidence during the trial proper,” it added.

Under the charges, Misuari is accused of making anomalous purchases from CPR Publishing House, MBJ Learning Tools, and White Orchids when he was still ARMM governor

However, Misuari pointed out in his motion to dismiss his term ended on Sept. 30, 2001 and that the deals were made during the term of former ARMM governor Parouk Hussin.

Apart from this, Misuari said CPR Publishing House got paid in 2004, MBJ Learning in December 2003, and for White Orchids in July 2004 and September 2005.

He also reminded that he was detained by Philippine National Police-Special Action Force Training Center in Sta. Rosa, Laguna when the three companies got paid.

“It is likewise clear as day that accused Nur Misuari did not receive any money or funds subject matter of the complaint as the demand for payment was made when he was no longer performing the functions of the Office of the Regional Governor of ARMM,” he said.

The MNLF leader also accused the Office of the Ombudsman of inordinate delay for having violated his constitutional right for the speedy disposition of his cases.

“Such protracted investigation from the filing of the complaint up to the time the information were actually filed in court constitutes inodrinate delay on the part of the Office of the Ombudsman; thereby, effectively removing from it the authority to file the information and to pursue the instant criminal cases,” he said.