Sandigan affirms arrest order vs Ampatuan
Sandigan affirms arrest order vs Ampatuan
Sandigan affirms arrest order vs Ampatuan
by Daylight Abas25 April 2023
Photo courtesy: Don Edward

The Sandiganbayan has upheld its earlier order to arrest former Maguindanao governor Sajid Ampatuan in connection with his conviction on more than a hundred criminal counts involving multi-million peso provincial government transactions in 2009.

In a resolution issued on April 20, the anti-graft court's Sixth Division refused Ampatuan's request to continue enjoying his provisional liberty while he pursues legal procedures to challenge his conviction.

The anti-graft court stated that, aside from failing to attend the promulgation of the verdict in the cases on Feb. 9, Ampatuan has yet to surrender before the court, despite the fact that his conviction has been legally recorded in the court's docket for 15 days.

As a result, the court ruled that Ampatuan has lost his ability to post extra bail for his ongoing provisional liberty and to pursue legal remedies.


The court previously rejected Ampatuan's claim that he was unable to attend the proclamation due to acute gastritis and gout.

The Sixth Division referenced a section of the Rules of Court that stipulates that an accused who fails to attend without justification during the proclamation of judgment in his case forfeits his legal remedies and is arrested.

Moreover, the same rule specifies that the accused may reclaim his good standing with the court if he surrenders within 15 days of his conviction and provides justification for his absence during the judgment's publication.

According to the Sandiganbayan, Ampatuan has not yet surrendered to the court despite filing an instant motion seeking post-conviction remedies within the 15-day term.


It stated that the defendant failed to comply with the criteria that would allow him to regain his good standing and exercise his legal rights.

The Sixth Division stated that the Ampatuan camp did not file a move for reconsideration or notice of appeal within the 15-day term, making the Feb. 9 verdict convicting him of the crimes final and executory.

According to the Sandiganbayan, Ampatuan may still appeal his conviction to the Supreme Court.

Previously, Ampatuan was found guilty on four counts of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019, often known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as misappropriation of public funds under the Revised Penal Code (RPC).


He was also found guilty on 126 charges of falsifying public papers under RPC Article 171.

Ampatuan was sentenced to six to ten years in prison for each act of graft and barred from holding public office.

He was sentenced to 17 years and four months to 18 years and eight months in prison for each count of malversation, as well as forced to pay a fine of P62.182 million, or the entire amount of public money that he allegedly misappropriated.

The amount was added to another P62.182 million in civil liabilities that Ampatuan was ordered to repay to the government with a 6% annual interest rate.


The offender was sentenced to six to seven years in prison for each count of falsification.

He was also fined P5,000 for each case of the infraction, for a total of P630,000 for the 126 offenses.

In addition to Ampatuan, the court found former provincial bids and awards committee member Ali Abpi guilty of bribery, malversation, and falsification.

Meanwhile, the anti-graft court had already acknowledged unsubstantiated claims of Abpi's death, but his lawyer has yet to produce his death certificate.

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