Misuari seeks court nod for Saudi pilgrimage

Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari has asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to leave the country for 24 days for a pilgrimage in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia in observance of Ramadan. 

In a motion filed before the anti-graft court’s third division on May 2, Misuari through his lawyer Ma. Victoria Lim-Florido said he considers the pilgrimage ”obligatory activities” during Ramadan.

Misuari said he intends to leave on May 23.

“He is a devout Muslim, a political and religious leader looked upon by his people as a role model in observing the teachings of the Holy Quran and... the five pillars of Islam, among them making a pilgrimage to the holy land of Mecca,” Misuari’s motion read.

Misuari said he is not a flight risk as proven by his return to the country after the court allowed him to attend conferences in the United Arab Emirates and Morocco in March.

Misuari was indicted in May 2017 for  two counts each of graft and malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents.

The cases stemmed from the alleged anomalous purchase of educational materials in 2000 and 2001 when Misuari was governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

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