Sandiganbayan convicts ex-Maguindanao gov Ampatuan to 40 years for graft and corruption

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Davao City (March 24)— The Sandiganbayan convicts  former  Maguindanao Governor Sajid Islam Ampatuan  after finding him guilty of graft, falsification and malversation in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of PHP35.7-million worth of construction materials in 2009.

On Friday, March 22, the anti-graft court sentenced Ampatuan to 40 years imprisonment.

In a 36-page resolution, the Sandiganbayan’s 4th Division convicted Ampatuan of graft, malversation of public funds, and 63 counts of falsification of public documents, and ordered his perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The same sentence was handed down to all former members of Maguindanao Bids and Awards Committee led by Ali K. Abpi Al Haj-Ampatuan and six others for graft and malversation, but they were on charges of falsification of public documents.

The resolution was handed down by Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto and concurred by associate justices Alex Quiroz and Reynaldo Cruz.

Following the guilty verdict it rendered on Friday, the 4th Division ordered the arrest of Ampatuan and Abpi.

The court ordered Ampatuan and Al Haj to jointly pay a fine of PHP35,740,493.

They were also ordered to post an additional bail bond of PHP1.58 million each for their temporary liberty while they appeal the decision of the Sandiganbayan.

The Sandiganbayan gave Ampatuan and Abpi Al Haj a period of until Monday (March 25) within which to each post the bail bond.

The cases of Ampatuan and Abpi Al Haj stemmed from the release of PHP38-million fund for “ghost” or fictitious purchase of construction and lumber materials for supposed repair of various school buildings in Maguindanao province in 2009.-Editha Z. Caduaya/NewsLine.ph

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