City to dispute DOJ’s move to dismiss 60 in siege charges PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 December 2014 14:20

The City’s legal team is set to challenge the recommendation of the Department of Justice to withdraw charges against 59 alleged Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members accused in connection with the September 2013 attack in Zamboanga.

The 60 are among the over 280 people led by MNLF founder and chairman Nur Misuari facing rebellion and insurrection charges under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code and violation of the provisions of RA 9B51, genocide and other crimes against humanity filed by the city of Zamboanga led by Mayor Beng Climaco, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and private complainants and victims.

The DOJ recommendation to drop the cases against them was filed before the Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 158 for lack of sufficient evidence following a reinvestigation on the case.

City Legal Officer Atty. Jesus Carbon said the city will file a motion for reconsideration before the Pasig RTC within the 15-day period set for such procedure.

Mayor Climaco, according to Carbon has been officially furnished a copy of the DOJ recommendation Monday, December 1st. The same was forwarded to the CLO Tuesday, Dec. 2. “We immediately consulted the panel of prosecutors who filed the case in Zamboanga and we had a meeting Tuesday afternoon in City Hall and together we will study the resolution,” Carbon announced.

Initial study of the resolution, the legal officer said, showed that a number of those included in the list recommended for dismissal of charges have executed the so-called extrajudicial confessions and that other evidences were included as attachments against them.

It is possible, he said, that the DOJ panel of prosecutors has overlooked evidences against the suspects particularly involvement by abetting or aiding or conspiring with other suspects.

Carbon expressed concern that the DOJ has filed an amended information before the Pasig RTC in effect excluding already the 60 suspects even before copies of the resolution were received by the city government of Zamboanga.

Nevertheless, he said, Regional State Prosecutor Peter Medalle contacted Senior State Deputy Prosecutor Richard Anthony Padullon who in turn, assured that the Court will wait for the city’s motion for reconsideration.

The City Legal Officer expressed optimism that the city’s motion for reconsideration will be granted, maybe not for all the 59, but among those included in the list recommended by the DOJ.

He added that his legal team will work closely with the group of prosecutors who prepared the case and go over the records of those accused individually to point out evidences against them. — Sheila Covarrubias