[NEWS] (05/15/17) Sajid Ampatuan faces 36 more charges over P16.3-M food scam

Sajid Ampatuan faces 36 more charges over P16.3-M food scam
Vince F. Nonato

Former Maguindanao officer-in-charge governor Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan is facing 36 more corruption charges at the Sandiganbayan, on top of the 161 already filed in April.

This time, the Office of the Ombudsman formally charged Ampatuan and six others over the release of P16,317,559 to a food supplier, Henry Merchandising, which turned out to be “fictitious and/or nonexistent.”

This brings to 197 the total number of charges filed over the past two months against Ampatuan, a prime suspect in the Maguindanao Massacre who is out on bail.

Prosecutors accused Ampatuan of conspiring with provincial officials to “appropriate for themselves” the said public funds from Feb. 2, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2009.

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[NEWS] (05/09/17) Sandiganbayan thumbs down Binay worry over travel arraignment

Sandiganbayan thumbs down Binay worry over travel arraignment
Vince F. Nonato

The Sandiganbayan has denied the plea of former Vice-President Jejomar Binay to modify the standard terms of his conditional arraignment for his upcoming pilgrimage in the Holy Land. 

In an eight-page resolution on Monday, the Third Division rejected Binay’s fear that accepting the standard conditions would make him lose his rights and legal remedies later on.  

As a precondition for permission to go to Israel from May 15 to 29, Binay would have to be conditionally arraigned on Wednesday afternoon under the usual terms imposed on defendants traveling abroad. 

The antigraft court usually requires conditional arraignment before granting travel authority to an accused who has yet to be formally arraigned. This serves as an assurance that he could be tried in absentia in case he fails to return to the country. 

Binay’s camp plans to file a motion to quash the charges if the Supreme Court grants his petition challenging the validity of the Ombudsman’s investigation, which was held when he was still a vice-president immune from suit. But, such a remedy has to be filed before regular arraignment. 
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