Sajid Ampatuan faces more raps over food scam
Former Maguindanao officer in charge (OIC) Gov. Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan is facing 36 more corruption charges at the Sandiganbayan, on top of the 161 already filed in April.
This time, the Office of the Ombudsman formally charged Ampatuan and six others over the release of P16,317,559 to a food supplier, Henry Merchandising, which turned out to be “fictitious and/or nonexistent.”
Ampatuan, a prime suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, is out on bail.
Prosecutors accused Ampatuan of conspiring with provincial officials to “appropriate for themselves” the public funds from Feb. 2, 2009, to Sept. 30, 2009.
They allegedly made untruthful statements in 34 disbursement vouchers to make it appear that the funds were being paid for the purchase of various food supplies.
“In truth and in fact, the above accused fully well knew and which they were legally bound to disclose, that no such purchase was made as the purported supplier Henry Merchandising was a fictitious and nonexisting entity,” the charge sheets read.
The 36 charges consisted of one count of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, one count of malversation of public funds and 34 counts of falsification of public documents.
Charges were also filed against OIC provincial engineer Landap Guinaid, despite being killed last July 28 in an ambush in the provincial capital of Shariff Aguak.
Another major defendant is former provincial administrator Norie Unas, the star witness in the electoral sabotage case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
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