DoJ sets hearing on suspected Maute members

Posted on July 31, 2017

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) in Manila has taken the lead in the case filed against 58 suspected members of the Maute terrorist group and an alleged lone recruiter.

State prosecutors, led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter L. Ong, headed the inquest proceedings of the 59, who were flown in from Zamboanga del Sur, at the main office of the DoJ last Friday.

Among the 59 facing rebellion complaints is Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) member Nur Supian, who was identified by the 58 as their recruiter.

The DoJ said the preliminary investigation hearing will continue on Aug. 14, 2:00 p.m. The suspects are expected to file their counter-affidavit or their defense on the next hearing.

Justice Undersecretary Erickson H. Balmes, in a message, said the arrested “claimed that they were MNLF/MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) but MNLF/MILF denied them.”

The MNLF and the MILF have committed to the peace process and both were represented in the Bangasamoro Transition Commission that drafted the latest proposal for a new Bangsamoro political and geographic entity.

All the 59 suspects are currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Once the case reaches court trial, it will be handled by the Taguig Regional Trial Court as ordered by the Supreme Court. -- Kristine Joy V. Patag