THE Provincial Prosecutor in Sulu on Wednesday charged before the regional trial court in Jolo five suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) linked to the Jan. 27 bombing of the Jolo Cathedral, an official from the Department of Justice (DoJ) said.
DoJ Undersecretary and Spokesperson Markk L. Perete said Mukamma L. Pae (who also goes by the name Kammah L. Pae), Albaji Kisae Gadjali, Rajan Bakil Gadjali, Kaisar Adjali, and Salit Alih were charged by Officer-in-Charge-Provincial Prosecutor Rommel Cancio with multiple murder with multiple frustrated murder.
“The evidence and witnesses necessary to prosecute the case are in Jolo. Hence, it would be more efficient to hold trial there unless compelling reasons exist for the transfer of trial to Manila. As of now, we have yet to receive any request from our prosecutor to effect such transfer,” Mr. Perete told reporters.
Mr. Perete on Feb. 4 said the Prosecutors’ Office in Sulu completed the inquest proceedings of the five suspects, following complaints by the Sulu Police Provincial Office, and submitted it for resolution.
He also said seven other identified suspects and several “John and Jane Does” remained at large.
Mr. Pae is believed by authorities to have aided an Indonesian couple linked to the suicide bombing of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Jolo, Sulu. He was also identified by the authorities as a member of the Ajang-Ajang faction of the Abu Sayyaf.
He surrendered to authorities amid a police operation over the weekend.
The Jan. 27 twin blasts claimed the lives of 23 people and wounded 95 others. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas