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Nur Misuari founder of MNLF found guilty in P77-M graft case

By: Jane Bautista - Reporter - Philippine Daily Inquirer | May 25,2024 - 10:38 AM

Nur Misuari


MANILA, Philippines — Nur Misuari, the founder of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) was found guilty for two counts of graft in connection with procurements totaling P77 million from nonexistent companies toward the end of his term as governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

In a 68-page decision promulgated by the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division on Friday, Misuari, 85, and six other co-accused were sentenced to a maximum of eight years in prison. Except for Cristeta Ramirez, owner of company CPR Publishing, the rest, being government officials around the time of the procurements in 2000 and 2001, were barred permanently from holding public office.

Also convicted by the antigraft court were Nader Macagaan of the Commission on Audit and Leovigilda Cinches, Pangalian Maniri, Sittie Aisa Usman and Aladdin Usi of the Department of Education’s ARMM office.


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No record of companies

In 2000, Nur Misuari authorized the procurement of a P31-million IT package from MBJ Learning. The next year, he authorized the procurement of another IT package, this time from CPR, worth P46 million.

The Sandiganbayan said there was no public bidding in the procurement from MBJ. It added that “unwarranted benefit, advantage and preference” was given to that company because there was no canvassing of at least three other suppliers.

Furthermore, the antigraft court found no record of MBJ from the city government of Caloocan, where the business is supposed to be located.

The court also found no tax record of the company from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and no registration from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As for CPR, yet another company supposedly based in Caloocan, the Sandiganbayan said it also found no record of that supplier from both the city government and the BIR.

The court learned further that CPR’s business address was also MBJ’s business address, which, upon further checking, turned out to be the home address of Ramirez.

Misuari’s lawyer, Ma. Victoria Lim-Florido, said on Friday that he would appeal the graft conviction.

Rebel leader

Nur Misuari, whose term as governor of the now-defunct ARMM region was about to end in 2001, staged an uprising in Jolo, Sulu, in an attempt to stop the holding of elections the next year.

The rebel leader had previously entered into a peace agreement with the administration of President Fidel Ramos which eventually led to his election as ARMM governor in 1996.

Misuari was subsequently arrested in Malaysia and deported to the Philippines. He was released on bail in 2008 after six years in detention.

But five years later, his supporters led another attack in the Sept. 9, 2013, siege of Zamboanga, which ended on Sept. 28 with 183 rebels and 23 government troops killed, following a standoff of more than two weeks.

Nur Misuari subsequently went in hiding in Jolo, Sulu, but resurfaced during the administration of Rodrigo Duterte after the latter offered to negotiate peace with the rebel leader.

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TAGS: graft, Nur Misuari

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