MANILA, July 20 — The Special Intensive Care Area (SICA) of Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City is ready to receive Maute Group terrorists arrested for rebellion and other crimes, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said.
Aguirre made the update after the Supreme Court (SC) granted the DOJ’s request for the transfer of the cases from the Cagayan de Oro RTC to the Taguig RTC as well as the transfer of detention of the suspects from the headquarters of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Camp Evangelista also in Cagayan de Oro to the SICA of Camp Bagong Diwa.
Aguirre said the Department of the Interior and Local Government has told him that they have set aside rooms in the SICA for the trial of the cases.
“I was talking to DILG Officer-In-Charge Catalino Cuy and he told me that two courtrooms inside the SICA are ready,” Aguirre told reporters in a chance interview Wednesday.
SICA is under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
The SC also directed the Taguig RTC to “speedily act on all prosecutions and incidents arising from the violent incidents in Marawi City involving the Maute Group.”
Aguirre earlier said that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno told him in their meeting last month that she also want to expedite the proceedings of the case, hence her proposal to hold a continuous trial system.
He said the DOJ is now readying the composition of the panel of prosecutors who will handle the cases adding that they would also undergo a seminar to update them on the continuous trial system to speed up the resolution of the cases.
”Actually yung mga prosecutors natin, kasi ang sabi ng SC, paagahin yung application ng continuous trial in connection with the Maute cases then magkakaron agad tayo ng seminar for the Manila prosecutors to undergo seminars for continuous trial,” Aguirre told reporters on Wednesday.
The 30 prosecutors who will handle the cases will be divided into two panels of 15 members each headed by a senior state prosecutor.
Under the continuous trial system, postponements of hearings are prohibited unless on exceptional grounds and direct the courts to promulgate the decision to not later than 90 days from the submission of the case for decision.
Also under the set-up, the trial of cases will be held from Monday to Thursday starting at 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and then at 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The implementation of the continuous trial system is part of the initiatives set forth by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno when she assumed the top SC post to enable the speedy disposition of cases and decongest the country’s courts.
Earlier, the DOJ has already indicted several arrested members and supporters of Maute – including Cayamora Maute and Ominta Romato Maute, alias Farhana, parents of the Maute brothers who led the group behind the attack in Marawi City last May 23.
Also charged with rebellion before the Cagayan De Oro RTC were former Marawi City Mayor Fajad Salic; Mohaamad Maute, alias Abu Jadid, alleged bomb maker of Maute Group; and Faridah Pangompig Romato, Aljadid Pangompig Romato and Abdulralman Dimakuta Sevad.
Rebellion is a non-bailable offense.
Over 300 individuals identified as members of the Maute group, the Abu Sayyaf group, and their sympathizers earlier ordered arrested by the government for the crime of rebellion. (Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/PNA)