DOJ taps more prosecutors to handle rebellion cases related to Marawi siege

Ina Reforimina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2017 06:07 PM

Government troops are seen during an assault on insurgents from the so-called Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA- More public prosecutors have been tapped to handle inquest proceedings for rebellion against individuals who may be arrested in connection with the Marawi City siege perpetrated by Islamic State-linked extremists.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has designated five prosecutors from Cagayan De Oro City and Misamis Oriental who shall be called upon “in the event that there are several complaints with numerous respondents involved and the same can no longer be accommodated by the existing pool of prosecutors.”

These prosecutors are Cagayan De Oro Assistant City Prosecutors Alfonso Vicente Jr., Louie Borja and Ansharey Lalia, and Misamis Oriental Assistant Provincial Prosecutors Lito Sanchez and Tadeo Polestico.

Four panels of prosecutors were earlier formed to handle inquest proceedings.

The second panel was reorganized after its chairman, Provincial Prosecutor Mangontawar Gubat, inhibited.

Gubat was replaced by Iligan Deputy City Prosecutor Celso Sarsaba. The members of the panel remain the same. They are Cagayan De Oro Assistant City Prosecutor Abdullah Macagaan and Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Gerald Cecilio Roa.

The panels will again be reconstituted should the Supreme Court (SC) grant the justice department’s request for the transfer of trials of Marawi siege suspects to the Taguig Regional Trial Court (RTC).

The SC had ordered that all trials involving the takeover of Marawi City by the Maute group and its cohorts be handled by the Cagayan De Oro City RTC, while the detention of arrested individuals should be in Camp Evangelista in the same city.

Clashes between government troops and the terrorist Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups began on May 23, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.

More than 300 individuals have been ordered arrested by the martial law administrator, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in connection with the siege.