Nur Misuari no-show at Sandiganbayan arraignment

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2019 07:52 PM

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari. Nickee Butlangan, AFP/ File photo

MANILA- Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding Chairman Nur Misuari was a no-show on Friday at his scheduled arraignment at the Sandiganbayan for his graft and malversation cases over the anomalous purchase of textbooks from 2002 to 2005.

The court reset the arraignment to Feb. 27, 2019 as there was a pending motion for reconsideration filed by Misuari on the denial of his motion to dismiss.

In the motion for reconsideration, Misuari’s lawyer said there were “errors of law or fact” on the timeline of events regarding the purchase of P77 million textbooks and other educational materials through the regional office of the Department of Education.

Lawyer Manolo Flores reiterated in the motion, among other arguments, that Misuari served as Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor from 1996 up to 2001.

“When the alleged anomalous transactions (which gave rise to the so-called textbook scams allegedly perpetrated by certain Dep-Ed ARMM officials) were consummated in 2003 and 2004 and Misuari was no longer a public officer, he was no longer holding any position in government, much less as the ARMM governor,” Flores said.

In the opposition to the motion filed by government prosecutors, it was noted that Misuari's arguments were already mentioned in his motion to dismiss which was already denied by the court.

But the prosecution still addressed Misuari’s argument that he was no longer governor by stating that he signed documents like requisition vouchers amounting to P31 million and P46 million, purchase orders and disbursement vouchers in 2000 and 2001.

“Based on the foregoing, it is clear that accused Misuari participated in the commission of the offenses charged in the sense that without his approval, the transactions subject of the cases will not push through,” Deputy Special Prosecutor Omar Sagadal said.