MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) is inclined to ask the Supreme Court (SC) to designate special courts outside Mindanao to try cases against members of the terrorist Maute group, which has been on a rampage in Marawi City since clashes with government troops began on Tuesday.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Mindanao prosecutors he
met in Davao City voiced concerns for their safety if trials
would be held in Marawi City or nearby provinces.
Aguirre said if the request is granted, it would not only ensure the safety of public prosecutors but that of judges as well.
To date, 89 Maute members have been indicted for kidnapping and
kidnapping with murder, while four Maute members face charges for illegal possession of improvised explosive device and incendiary devices.
These criminal informations were filed Tuesday, May 23, with the
Malabang, Lanao del Sur Regional Trial Court (RTC).
President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the entire Mindanao under martial law because of the clashes.