The Supreme Court approved on Tuesday July 18, the request of the DOJ (Department of Justice) through Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to transfer the trial, prosecution and detention of the arrested members of the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group, including those who are part of the Marawi siege, from Cagayan De Oro to Tagug City.
The letter of request by the DOJ was dated June 19, 2017, asking for the Taguig Regional Trial Court to be the assigned court to manage the cases against the Maute Group, rather than the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan De Oro, for everyone be able to act speedily on all prosecution and incidents occurring from the violent, brutal incidents in Marawi City.
For those who are in detention, they will be facilitated in a Special Intensive Care Area (SICA) LOCATED IN Camp BagongDiwa in Taguig, after being previously held in a military headquarters in Camp Evangelista in Patag, Cagayan De Oro.
This is considered as a great news for the DOJ and its panel of prosecutors in Cagayan De Oro. This will solve a lot of problems most especially in terms of security concerning the lawmen handling the cases filed against the Maute Members. And now that a Maute leader was arrested in Cagayan De Oro, considering that there is a lack of adequate detention facilities inside Camp Evangelista, this would allow members of the military of Camp Evangelista to focus on operations against the Maute.
This was Aguirre’s second request after the Supreme Court turned him down the first time.
At least 30 prosecutors will start to undergo training as part of the DOJ’s preparations for the presumed race trial of the Maute members who will all be charged with rebellion, including are the 12 arrested in Pagadian City and 3 others caught at the Iloilo Port. The detainees are still in Cagayan De Oro for inquest proceedings and will be brought to Manila afterwards.
The trial would be a continuous system that will allow delays and postponements unless on exceptional justification as part of the initiatives set forth by Chief Justice Sereno when she took upon the top Supreme Court post to enable the speedy disposition of cases and to relieve the congestion of the country’s courts.
A senior prosecutor will supervise two panels with 15 prosecutors each was tapped for the trial of the rebellion cases.
Also under the set-up, the trial of cases will be held from Monday to Thursday starting at 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and then at 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Maute Members and sympathizers who are presently under the government’s keeping include, Ominta Romato Maute, former Marawi City mayor Fajad Salic, alias Abu Jadid, suspected bomb maker of the Maute Group – Mohammad Noaim Maute Faridah Pangompig Romato, Aljadid Pangompig Romato and Abdulralman Dimakuta Sevad, and the parents of the Maute brothers Omar and Abdullah who founded the Maute Terror Group, Cayamora and Farhana Maute. .