Ex-gov found guilty

THE Sandiganbayan Fourth Division has found guilty beyond reasonable doubt former Maguindanao Gov. Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of construction materials for schools in 2008 and 2009.

The anti-graft division sentenced Mangudadatu to eight years to 12 years imprisonment for graft, six months to eight years imprisonment for each of the 63 counts of falsification and reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment for malversation of public funds.

The Sandiganbayan also barred Ampatuan from holding any public position and was ordered to pay a fine of P37.74 million or the equivalent amount that was allegedly lost by the government.

The court allowed Ampatuan to post a bail of P1.58 million until this Monday if he wants to appeal his conviction.

The cases stemmed from Ampatuan’s alleged action of giving undue advantage to Abo Lumberyard and Construction Supply from whic materials for the construction of schools in Maguindanao were procured.

The prosecution charged that there was no actual delivery of construction materials because the company was bogus.

“Accused Ampatuan’s assertion of good faith is not supported by the weight of the evidence on record. The irregularities enumerated—that at the time he signed the 63 D.V.s (disbursement vouchers) no proof of deliveries were attached thereto and thus payment were not due to Abo Lumberyard…” the 36-page ruling said.