SC moves Maute cases to Taguig court

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2017 05:32 PM | Updated as of Jul 18 2017 06:39 PM

Soldiers guard a bridge going to the conflict area in Marawi City on June 28, 2017. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Supreme Court on Tuesday assigned the Taguig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to hear cases related to the Islamic State-linked Maute group and their ongoing siege on Marawi City. 

In a press briefing, spokesperson Theodore Te said the court, in a resolution dated June 27, designated the Taguig City RTC to hear cases related to the Maute attacks, instead of the Cagayan de Oro City RTC.

The transfer, Te said, was for the court "to speedily act on all prosecutions and incidents arising from the violent incidents in Marawi City involving the Maute Group.”

In June, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II had asked the high court to reconsider its decision to hold in Mindanao the trial against members of the Maute terror group, engaged in clashes with government troops since May 23. 

In a two-page letter, Aguirre urged Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to designate the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City as the court to try and decide all cases related to the Marawi siege, in lieu of the local court in Cagayan de Oro City. 

Te said the High Court also designated the Special Intensive Care Area in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City as the temporary detention facility for suspects linked to Maute cases.

The High Court previously designated Camp Evangelista Patag in Cagayan de Oro City as the holding center for individuals tagged in the attacks.

The Department of Justice had in June charged 11 individuals for alleged involvement in the attacks, including Ominta Romato "Farhana" Maute, mother of terror leaders behind the Maute group, and former Marawi City Mayor Fahad Salic. 

Firefights have continued in Marawi City nearly two months since they erupted, leaving more than 500 dead and roughly 300,000 displaced from the city and nearby areas.