Sunday, August 26, 2018

Court orders trial of Moro leader for corruption

From the Gulf Today (Aug 25): Court orders trial of Moro leader for corruption

A special court called the Sandiganbayan stood firm on its decision to try Moro rebel leader Nur Misuari for the allegedly anomalous purchase of educational materials totalling more than $1 million when he was the governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The Sandiganbayan set the arraignment of Misuari, the founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) on Sept. 17 for two counts of graft and another two counts of malversation of public funds.

Aside from Misuari, also indicted were regional officials of the Department of Education in ARMM, composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi as well as Marawi City.

The office of the Ombudsman indicted Misuari before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged misuse of more than $1 million in public funds in the anomalous purchase of educational materials for public schools from three private suppliers when he was the ARMM governor from 2000 to 2001

Prosecutors said during their field inquiries, Ombudsman investigators discovered there were alleged “ghost purchases” or that the educational materials were not delivered by the private suppliers.

Also in Mindanao, the military reported that a member of the Daesh-linked Abu Sayyaf terror group was killed while at least 20 soldiers were wounded in an encounter in the town of Patikul, Sulu.

Lieutenant General Gerry Basana, the spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said the soldiers were on security patrol on Thursday morning in a remote “barangay” (village)in Patikul when they clashed with about 40 terrorists.

Besana said the terrorists left behind their dead comrade when the fled after the encounter that also saw at least 18 soldiers wounded from blasts from rifle grenades and two others from gunshots.

The Abu Sayyaf, meaning “bearer of the sword,” gained notoriety through a spate of kidnap-for-ransom cases that have often been marred by the beheading of their foreign and Filipino hostages.

The military also blamed the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute Group that both pledged allegiance to the Daesh extremists in the Middle East for the siege on Marawi, the capital city of Lanao del Sur that prompted President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte to declare martial law over the whole of Mindanao, which is still in effect from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018.

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