By VIC LARATO
The judge hearing the charges of rebellion and International Humanitarian Law violations against the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari and members involved in the Zamboanga siege was proposing a teleconference trial.
City Legal Officer Jesus Carbon Jr. revealed this during the press briefing in City Hall Monday, stressing that there has been no significant development yet on the charges against the MNLF attackers due to several legal impediments.
Among these impediments, Atty. Carbon said, is where to subscribe the more than 200 witnesses, whether to bring them all to the regional trial court in Pasig City, which will cost the city government a huge amount of money for their transportation, food and accommodation expenses.
In addition, the city legal officer said there are about 250 accused MNLFs that could pose security risk if they will be hauled altogether to the court during the trial.
Given these impediments, Carbon said the woman RTC judge was proposing a teleconference trial, wherein she will be seated in her bench in Pasig City while hearing the witnesses testifying live via streaming from the city and the accused from their detention cells.
But this will be decided during the pre-trial scheduled next week, Dec. 2.
Teleconferencing is the real-time exchange of information between people who are not in the same physical space. It involves the use of either a simple conference type speaker phone, to more involved installed microphone and speaker systems that allow an entire boardroom to converse through normal conversational tone.
According to Atty. Carbon, the Pasig judge believed that one reason for the delay of the case was the city government’s opposition to the plea bargaining offers of the accused MNLFs.
Under the plea bargaining proposals of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels accused in connection with the Zamboanga siege, the rebellion and international humanitarian law violations filed against will be reduced to lower or minor crimes that goes with it much lower penalty.— Vic Larato