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Sandiganbayan won’t junk raps vs. ex-gov Ampatuan over ‘ghost’ firearms purchase

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The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division has refused to quash the charges against former Maguindanao governor Datu Sajid Ampatuan over his involvement in the alleged P98.25 million ghost purchase of farm inputs.

“After an assiduous evaluation of the arguments raised by the accused-movant in his motion to quash and the opposition thereto of the prosecution, the Court denies the said motion,” read the resolution of the anti-graft court.

The court disagreed with Ampatuan’s claims that his constitutional right for the speedy disposition of cases was violated by the Office of the Ombudsman which took almost four years charges were filed before the Sandiganbayan.

“After meticulously evaluating the surrounding circumstances of this case vis a vis the teachings of the Supreme Court pertaining to inordinate delay, the Court rules that the amount of time spent by the OMB in conducting its preliminary investigation of this case cannot be considered vexatious, capricious, and/ or oppressive,” it ruled.

Ampatuan is facing before the 3rd Division graft and malversation charges concerning the 2009 purchase of palay, corn seeds, and fertilizers from Tamoni Enterprises amounting to P98.5 million.

However, graft investigators alleged that he and his co-accused falsified documents to make it appear that the items were delivered when in fact none were made.

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