MANILA- The Sandiganbayan has warned former Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari for failing to report to the court within 5 days since his trip to the United Arab Emirates and Morocco in March.
The warning came in a resolution by the anti-graft court's 3rd division dated May 22, 2019, even as the court allowed Misuari to travel again for a trip to Saudi Arabia for the holy month of Ramadan last month.
“Accused-movant Nur P. Misuari is, however, sternly warned that any repetition of the non-compliance of any of the conditions imposed for his travel shall be dealt with more severely,” the court said in its resolution.
Misuari is facing 2 counts of graft and 2 counts of malversation through falsification of public documents over the supposedly anomalous purchase of educational materials when he was governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
Misuari told the court that he was not able to present himself after the trip, a court requirement for those traveling abroad, because he had to prepare for his meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte to appraise him about the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, apart from security concerns.
The prosecution, however, did not accept the reasons Misuari gave and asked for the forfeiture of his P920,000 travel bond as well as the issuance of an arrest warrant.
The court resolved that it found Misuari’s reasons valid and consequently denied the requests of the prosecution.
“However, it must be emphasized that this leniency should not be interpreted as a relaxation of the conditions that may be imposed for foreign travels of accused-movant Misuari in the future,” the court said.
The court noted in its past resolution allowing Misuari to travel to UAE and Morocco that his role in the peace efforts in Mindanao is of national significance.