In a hearing on Friday, the anti-graft court’s Third Division moved the arraignment to August 30 as the Office of the Ombudsman did not object to Ampatuan’s motion.
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Sandigan defers Ampatuan’s arraignment for graft
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - August 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has granted a request of former Maguindanao governor Sajid Islam Ampatuan to postpone his arraignment for criminal charges in connection with the allegedly fictitious purchase of palay and corn seeds in 2009.

In a hearing on Friday, the anti-graft court’s Third Division moved the arraignment to Aug. 30 as the Office of the Ombudsman did not object to Ampatuan’s motion.

Ampatuan’s arraignment was originally set on Aug. 2, but it was cancelled after the Supreme Court suspended work in all courts due to inclement weather.

The Sandiganbayan reset the arraignment to Aug. 23.

In his motion filed last week, Ampatuan said the municipality of Shariff Saydona Mustapha would be holding its founding anniversary from Aug. 22 to 30.

As the town mayor, Ampatuan said his presence is needed in the first two days of the celebration, noting local and national government officials will be attending the event.

Ampatuan is facing cases of violation of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and malversation of public funds.

Filed by the ombudsman in January, the charges against Ampatuan stemmed from the supposed disbursement of P98 million by the provincial government of Maguindanao to a private firm for the procurement of palay and corn seeds as well as fertilizers.

The ombudsman said the procurement of farm inputs was fictitious as no payment was made to the private firm Tamoni Enterprises.

The ombudsman said Ampatuan, who was governor of Maguindanao at the time, and his co-accused provincial officials reportedly falsified documents to make it appear that the project was delivered and the amount was paid to the private firm.

GRAFT AND CORRUPTION SAJID ISLAM AMPATUAN
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