Zambo’s cases vs MNLFs set for plea bargaining trial PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 14:54

By VIC LARATO

The Pasig Regional Trial Court judge has set for May 10-11 the plea bargaining hearing on the cases that the city government of Zamboanga  has filed against members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters in connection with their participation in the 2013 Zamboanga siege.

Close to 200 MNLF members headed by their chairman Nur Misuari have been charged with rebellion and violations of the International Humanitarian Law for leading and participating in the Zamboanga siege.

Except for Misuari, who remains scot free, most of the accused MNLF members have been locked up in Taguig jail, awaiting trial of the charges filed against them.

City Legal Officer Jesus Carbon Carbon Jr. said the judge handling the case wanted to the hear the plea barging agreement on May 10-11 even without the consent of the city government on the argument that it is a public crime where there was no private offended party.

Atty. Carbon, an erstwhile regional trial court judge, retorted the argument, stressing that the people of the Philippines, particularly the people of Zamboanga, are the offended party to the case, thus the must be consulted on the matter.

To recall, the MNLF offered a plea bargaining agreement in which the accused will only plead guilty to lower offenses that would eventually lead to their release from the detention cells.

The city government, however, protested and even strongly opposed the plea bargaining proposal, on the grounds that Zamboanga had suffered irreparable damages during the siege, therefore the attackers should suffer as well the maximum penalties as prescribed for the charges against them.— Vic Larato