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Misuari convicted of graft over 'ghost' purchases of learning tools

A Sandiganbayan division on Friday found former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Nur Misuari and six others guilty of two counts of graft over the ghost purchases of P77 million worth of learning tools from 2000 to 2001.

The Sandiganbayan Third Division sentenced Misuari, who attended the promulgation via video conferencing, to six to eight years of jail time for each count of graft on top of perpetual disqualification from public office, according to Allan Gatus' report on Super Radyo dzBB.

The same punishment was also handed down to Misuari's six co-accused namely Leovigilda Cinches, Pangalian Maniri, Sittie Aisa Usman, Alladin Usi, Nader Macagaan and Cristeta Ramirez.

A separate tweet by GMA Integrated News' Joseph Morong said the same ruling clears Misuari of malversation of public funds.

In his previous defense, Misuari, also a former leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), said he had nothing to do with the P77 million worth of purchases of learning tools because these were consummated during the time of his successor, Parouk Hussin, or from 2003 to 2004.

Misuari sought the dismissal of his case in September 2018, citing no evidence that can link him to the irregular transactions. He also raised the issue of inordinate delay.

The Sandiganbayan, however, denied Misuari's plea and urged him to present his defense in a trial. 

Misuari filed a motion for reconsideration on the Sandiganbayan resolution on January 14, 2019, reiterating that he should not be charged for a transaction finished when he was no longer ARMM governor. —KBK, GMA Integrated News