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Sandiganbayan affirms Sajid Islam Ampatuanâs graft conviction
The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division denied his motion for reconsideration on grounds that his latest arguments have already been considered and weighed.
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Sandiganbayan affirms Sajid Islam Ampatuan’s graft conviction

Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - September 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Denying his appeal for a reversal of the anti-graft court’s ruling, the Sandiganbayan has affirmed its decision to convict former Maguindanao governor Sajid Islam Ampatuan of graft.

 The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division denied his motion for reconsideration on grounds that his latest arguments have already been considered and weighed.

 “The arguments advanced by accused-movants have been raised in their Memoranda and have been addressed in the Court’s 22 March 2019 Decision. Hence, there is nothing in the present motions that convinces the Court to reconsider its ruling,” the Sandiganbayan said.

 Ampatuan, along with one of his co-accused former provincial budget officer Datiuali Apbi, argued in their appeal that the anti-graft court erred in finding them guilty of graft and malversation of public funds. 

“As held in the assailed Decision, at the very least, the prosecution’s evidence is enough to sustain accused-movant’s conviction on account of their collective gross inexcusable negligence,” Sandiganbayan noted.

 “The Court also finds no merit in accused Ampatuan’s claim that the lack of testimonial evidence poses a serious flaw on the sufficiency of the evidence presented by the prosecution,” the anti-graft court added, stressing that “it does not matter whether the prosecution’s evidence is testimonial, documentary, or both – so long as the evidence presented sufficiently establishes accused-movants’ guilt beyond reasonable doubt,” Sandiganbayan added.

 Ampatuan and Abpi were sentenced to life imprisonment for graft and malversation of public funds and ordered to pay a fine of P35.747 million, which is equivalent to the amount they allegedly malversed.

 Filed by the Office of Ombudsman in May 2017, the cases stemmed from the release of public funds for the supposed purchase of construction materials to repair various school buildings in the province.

GRAFT AND CORRUPTION SAJID ISLAM AMPATUAN
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