Sandiganbayan affirms 90-day suspension of Mayor Ampatuan

December 02, 2019

THE 90-day suspension of Mayor Datu Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan of Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao is final.

The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division upheld its first ruling, dismissing the motion filed by Ampatuan.

Ampatuan is charged with malversation and falsification of public documents in connection with the P72 million worth of public funds, which was  used to purchase construction and lumber materials for the repair of a school-building — a purchase that turned out to be non-existent.

The Anti-Graft Court dismissed Ampatuan’s argument that he was not given the opportunity to participate in the preliminary investigation since an examination of the records shows otherwise.

“During the preliminary investigation, the Office of the Ombudsman afforded the respondents the opportunity to file their counter-affidavits. Among the respondents who filed their counter-affidavit was accused Ampatuan,” the  ruling said.

“Clearly, he was given the opportunity to participate and actually participated in the preliminary investigation. Wherefore, accused Ampatuan’s Motion to Reconsider the Resolution dated October 1, 2019 is hereby denied for lack of merit,” it added.

The Sandiganbayan has sent a copy of the suspension order to the Department of the Interior and Local Government for implementation.

Ampatuan is facing 128 counts of falsification of public documents and four counts each of malversation of public funds and graft charges.