Sandigan orders arrest for graft of Ampatuan massacre suspect out on bail

May 16, 2017 - 11:08 AM
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Sajid Ampatuan (in black shirt) with his late cousin Simeon Datumanong, a former congressman and Justice secretary. (InterAksyon file)

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has issued three warrants of arrest for a principal suspect in the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan massacre who is out on bail on multiple murder charges over the slaughter.

The warrants signed by Justice Rodolfo Ponferrada, chairman of the anti-graft court’s 6th Division, are for separate cases of graft, falsification of public documents and malversation filed against Sajid Ampatuan allegedly committed when he was acting governor of Maguindanao from February to September 2009.

Ampatuan, one of several members of his clan accused of planning or carrying out the massacre in which 58 persons, including 32 media workers, were killed is out on an 11.6-million bail bond. He ran for mayor of his hometown Shariff Agulak in last year’s election but lost.

The warrant for the falsification charge set bail at P24,000 for each of the 32 counts, or a total of P3.2 million.

For each of the four counts of malversation, bail was set at P40,000 or a total of P160,000. Bail for each of the four counts of graft, on the other han, was set at P30,000 or a total of P120,000.

The charges have to do with alleged anomalies involving P72 million earmarked for the construction  of school buildings.

Also ordered arrested with Ampatuan are John Estelito Dollosa Jr., Kasam Macapendeg, Osmena Bandila, Norie Unas, Datu Ali Abpi Al Haj, and Landap Guinaid.