Sandigan issues HDO vs Misuari over P115M ARMM textbook deal | Inquirer News

Sandigan issues HDO vs Misuari over P115M ARMM textbook deal

/ 10:26 AM June 06, 2017
nur-misuari

Nur Misuari. AP FILE PHOTO

The Sandiganbayan has issued a hold departure order (HDO) against former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Nur Misuari, the leader of a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), in connection with his malversation and graft charges over the anomalous procurement of P115.2 million-worth of educational materials in 2000 and 2001.

In a resolution, the anti-graft court’S Third Division issued the HDO against Misuari and his co-accused.

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With the court’s HDO, Misuari and the other accused will have to ask permission from the court if they want to travel abroad.

The HDO forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration was signed by division chairperson Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje Tang, and members Associate Justices Sarah Jane Fernandez and Bernelito Fernandez.

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“The Court, in the exercise of its inherent power to use all means necessary to carry its order into effect, more effectively, to preserve and maintain the effectiveness of its jurisdiction over the case/s and the person/s of the accused so as to render accused at all times amenable to its writs and processes… hereby orders the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration to hold the departure from the Philippines of the above-named accused and to include the name/s of said accused in the Hold Departure list of said bureau,” the court said in the order.

READ: Misuari charged over P115M ARMM textbook deal

The Office of the Special Prosecutor under the Ombudsman filed three counts of malversation of public funds through falsification and three counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Misuari before the Sandiganbayan.

The prosecutors accused Misuari and his co-accused for misappropriating funds of the Department of Education-ARMM by falsifying requisition and issuing a voucher, purchase order, sales invoice, disbursement voucher, schedule of accounts payable, list of due and demandable accounts payable-external creditors, to make it appear a procurement was made.

But prosecutors said the following goods were not delivered, causing undue advantage to the contractors and causing undue injury to government:

  • multimedia information technology package worth P46,261,250 ordered from CPR Publishing House of Caloocan City
  • various educational materials worth P37,959,204 ordered from White Orchids Printing and Publishing House
  • information technology package worth P31 million from MBJ Learning Tools of Caloocan City

In ordering the filing of criminal charges against Misuari, the Ombudsman cited the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) that the payment to five suppliers of textbooks and educational materials were irregular and were conducted without public bidding.

READ: Ombudsman orders filing of malversation, graft raps vs Misuari

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The Ombudsman listed the following flagrant red flags in the procurement: lack of public bidding; undated and unnumbered procurement documents; absence of contracts, inventory and distribution lists; undue haste in the purchase of goods showing the rigged bidding; and non-compliance with eligibility requirements by the suppliers.

Named as co-accused were former Department of Education ARMM executives Director Leovigilda Cinches, Supply Officer Sittie Aisa Usman, Accountant Alladin Usi, Chief Accountant Pangalian Maniri, and COA Auditor Nader Macagaan.

The prosecutors also filed charges against suppliers Lolita Sambeli of White Orchids and Cristeta Ramirez of CPR Publishing.

Misuari has a standing warrant of arrest for rebellion and violation of Republic Act 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity, for leading the MNLF’s deadly siege in Zamboanga city in 2013 that left 200 dead.

The Department of Justice however has expressed interest in lifting Misuari’s arrest warrant in a bid to restart stalled peace talks with the MNLF.

The Pasig regional trial court in November last year suspended Misuari’s arrest warrant for six months after President Rodrigo Duterte extended his hand to talk peace with Misuari. The court extended the suspension for another six months. IDL/rga

 

RELATED STORIES

Misuari tells Duterte: Thanks for ‘restoring my freedom’

Court again stops arrest of Misuari

DOJ favors lifting of Misuari arrest warrant 

Duterte tells Misuari: Let’s talk peace

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TAGS: Graft, Hold Departure Order, malversation, Nur Misuari, Sandiganbayan, textbook deal
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