Sandiganbayan shoots down Ampatuan’s motion to dismiss charges on anomalous food purchases
The Sandiganbayan 5th Division shot down the appeal of former Maguindanao governor Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan to dismiss the charges against him in connection with the purchase of food supplies in 2009 through a ghost company.
Contrary to Ampatuan’s claim, the anti-graft court ruled in the resolution that the Office of the Ombudsman could not be accused of delay in filing the charges before the Sandiganbayan.
“It is quite evident, from the outset, that accused-movant factored into the computation of the alleged eight-year inordinate delay, the time spent by the COA (Commission on Audit) in the audit of the questioned transactions,” the court ruled.
“There is no showing that this COA special audit was done with any prompting or directive from the Ombudsman,” it pointed out.
Excluding the period the COA conducted its investigation, the court said it only took the Ombudsman around two years and five months before filing the charges before the Sandiganbayan.
Ampatuan is facing one count of graft, one count of malversation, and 34 counts of falsification.
The charges stemmed from the purchase of food supplies from Henry Merchandising from February 2 to September 30, 2009 which amounted to P16,317,559.
The Ombudsman said Ampatuan and his co-accused made it appear the purchases were made even though the company does not exist.
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