MANILA — A high-level delegation headed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II is now in Cagayan de Oro City to oversee the preparations of DOJ prosecutors for the start of the inquest proceedings against detained Maute-ISIS personalities.
“As we celebrate our Independence Day, we are starting the inquest proceedings for the personalities allegedly involved in the violent attacks on Marawi City and its residents. This is your DOJ’s way of liberating the people of Marawi City as well as the whole nation from the fear of the attacks happening again. When the perpetrators are brought to justice and are made to suffer the full measure of our laws, the Filipino people can once again be free from fear,” Aguirre said in a statement.
Joining the delegation are DOJ Undersecretaries Antonio Kho Jr., and Renante Orceo, who was tasked to set up the temporary office of the City Prosecutor’s Office of Marawi City in Iligan City and supervised the airlift of the equipment and supplies to the Marawi prosecutors.
Earlier, the Supreme Court has designated the Cagayan De Oro Regional Trial Courts to handle the cases filed against the Maute group members while the military’s Camp Evangelista will serve as the detention of the arrested suspects.
The inquest proceedings started at 1 p.m. at Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City and the parties subject of the inquest proceedings are tied to the violent attacks on the people of Marawi City.
The Justice Secretary said once they have been subjected to inquest proceedings, the DOJ will work towards having the high value parties transferred to Manila to better secure them.
Aguirre commend the prosecutors and everyone who are part of the DOJ Teams tasked to handle the inquest proceedings for their willingness to work even during this holiday in the name of justice and for all the innocents who suffered during the dastardly attack on Marawi City.
The Justice Chief will also meet with Cagayan De Oro City Prosecutor’s Office Officer-in-Charge Merlyn Uy to brief him of the level of preparations undertaken in setting up their temporary office.
In a related development, Aguirre ask the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) through officer-in-charge Catalino S. Cuy to provide manpower, food provisions and other related resources for the arrested Maute members and supporters that will be detained at Camp Evangelista in Cagayan De Oro City.
In a letter, Aguirre told Cuy that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has no budget to provide for the daily needs of the detained Maute members.
“As such, may we request for the BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology), through your office, to provide the adequate manpower, food provisions and other related resources for the apprehended members of the Maute group and other lawless elements sympathizing to their cause inside Camp Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan De Oro City,” said Aguirre’s letter which will be sent to Cuy Monday.
Authorities already have in their custody Cayamora and Farhana Maute, parents of brothers Omar and Abdullah who are leading the terrorist grup holed up in Marawi City. Arrested with them are some of their relatives while the authorities confiscated cash and various types of firearms from their group.
Aguirre will return to Manila on Tuesday while Kho was tasked to stay in Cagayan de Oro for as long as his supervision is needed. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/ PNA-northboundasia.com