Ampatuan Jr. receives 210 years in jail for 21 graft cases

By: Dempsey Reye - | November 25,2023 - 08:30 AM


andal ampatuan

Andal Ampatuan Jr. (Inquirer File Photo)


Andal Ampatuan Jr., the former political magnate in Maguindanao and one of the main culprits behind the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, received a jail sentence of up to 210 years on Thursday.

This verdict was issued by the Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division, which found him guilty of 21 counts of graft for failing to deliver over P44-million worth of fuel to the provincial government in 2008.

Ampatuan, also known as Datu Unsay and former mayor of Ampatuan town in the province, was likewise banned for life from holding public office after it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that he conspired with his coaccused.

On top of these, he was ordered to pay a total of P44.18 million, equivalent to undelivered fuel, with an annual interest of 6 percent.

Ampatuan’s co-accused, former project engineer Omar Camsa, and former assistant provincial engineer Samsudin Sema, were also found guilty of falsification of public documents. They were sentenced to a jail term of six to seven years and fined P5,000.

READ: BREAKING: Andal Ampatuan Jr., kin guilty for Maguindanao massacre of 57 people

The antigraft court handed down its decision exactly 14 years after the Maguindanao massacre that left 58 individuals dead, including 32 journalists and media workers. In 2019, Ampatuan and several other suspects, including family members, were found guilty of multiple counts of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

On the other hand, the graft case against him was based on the Maguindanao provincial government’s purchase of diesel in 2008 from a gasoline station he owned in Shariff Aguak municipality. The fuel was supposed to be used for road rehabilitation projects in the province, led by his late father, Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.

The older Ampatuan was also charged, although the case against him was dropped when he died of a heart attack in 2015 while being tried for the Maguindanao massacre.

READ: Sandigan junks Ampatuan’s motion for reconsideration

According to the court, the prosecution proved that Ampatuan conspired with his father and other provincial officials to award the fuel purchase contract to his gas station.

Evidence showed that the provincial government released cash advances as payment for the fuel, although it was revealed later that “no complete delivery” was made.

The Sandiganbayan also cited the findings of a team from the Commission on Audit (COA), which said that the gasoline station could not have delivered over 1.14 million liters of diesel to the Maguindanao provincial government. According to the COA team, this was impossible since only 618,000 liters were delivered in 2008 to Ampatuan’s gas station.

“While the Court cannot determine if there was no delivery at all or if there was only partial delivery of the fuel products to the Provincial Government of Maguindanao, the said acts of the accused also undoubtedly caused undue injury to the Provincial Government of Maguindanao because public funds were released as payment for goods not completely delivered,” the court said.

The ruling was penned by Associate Justice Sarah Jane Fernandez, Sixth Division chair, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Karl Miranda and Kevin Narce Vivero.


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TAGS: graft and corruption, Maguindanao Massacre

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