Misuari, others charged with graft, malversation

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The Office of the Ombudsman has filed charges of graft and malversation through falsification against former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Nur Misuari and several others over the allegedly anomalous procurement of multi-media information technology packages, information technology packages and educational materials from several private companies.

Based on the three counts of graft filed before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, the respondents allegedly caused the payment of a total of P115.2 million for the procurement of the infotech packages and educational materials.

Named respondents along with Misuari on one count of graft were four individuals then serving at the Department of Education (DepEd)-ARMM namely: Director III Leovigilda Cinches, chief accountant Pangalian Maniri, supply officer Sittie Aisa Usman and Accountant II Alladin Usi.

The Ombudsman alleged in the charge sheet that in December 2001, the respondents connived with one another to cause the payment of public funds amounting to P31 million to MBJ Learning Tools for the procurement of information technology packages despite the fact that no such goods were delivered, thus giving unwarranted benefits to MBJ and causing undue injury to the government.


The corresponding requisition and issue voucher, purchase order, sales invoice, disbursement voucher, schedule of accounts payable and list of due and demandable accounts payable-external creditors were allegedly falsified to make it appear that DepEd-ARMM procured goods from MBJ, when no goods were delivered.

Misuari, Cinches, Maniri, Usman and Usi are facing another count of graft along with Nader Macagaan, who was a resident auditor of the Commission on Audit-ARMM at the time, and Cristeta Ramirez, identified in the charge sheet as the owner of CPR Publishing.

In this case, the Ombudsman alleged that in July 2001, the respondents, in connivance with one another, caused the payment of P46.26 million in public funds to CPR for the procurement of multi-media information technology packages when no such goods were delivered, thus giving unwarranted preference to Ramirez to the prejudice of the government.

Along with Ramirez, they were named respondents in the second count of malversation through falsification.

The Ombudsman alleged that they conspired to misappropriate P46.26 million in DepEd-ARMM funds for the fictitious procurement of the goods mentioned earlier.

Lastly, in a separate charge sheet, the respondents were charged with graft along with Lolita Sambeli, who at the time was the owner of White Orchids Printing and Publishing House.

The Ombudsman alleged that in September 2001, the respondents connived with Sambeli and caused the payment P37.9 million in public funds to White Orchid for the procurement of educational materials.
No such materials were delivered, however.

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