Sandiganbayan issues 3 arrest warrants vs. ex-Maguindanao gov

MANILA — The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division on Tuesday issued three warrants of arrest against former Maguindanao Gov. Sajid Ampatuan for the charges in connection with the alleged anomalous PHP72.26-million school buildings project.

Associate Justice Rodolfo Ponferrada ordered the arrest of Ampatuan for 137 counts of falsification of public documents, four counts of malversation of public funds, and four counts of graft.

Ponferrada ordered a PHP3.5-million bail bond for Ampatuan’s temporary liberty.

Among these charges were the “gas deal”, which was found to have been contracted with Sajid’s own brother, former Ampatuan town, Maguindanao Mayor Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., involving the amount of PHP23.36 million with the alleged fabrication of statements of work accomplished (SWAs).

Sajid, Ampatuan Jr. and more than 100 others had earlier been detained for the Maguindanao massacre case, which claimed the lives of 58 individuals, including 15 women and 32 media practitioners in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on Nov. 23, 2009.

However, in the Maguindanao massacre case, Sajid was later allowed to post bail for his temporary liberty. PTR/