Pasig courts to hear cases vs MNLF members

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Monday, April 14, 2014


CASES against 280 leaders and members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in relation to the aborted takeover of Zamboanga City in September last year will now be heard by Pasig City courts.

Acting on the recommendation of the Office of the Court of Administrator, the Supreme Court (SC) granted on April 1 the request of Taguig City Judges Lorifel Lacal Pahimna and Leili Cruz Suarez to transfer the trial to other courts due to security reasons.

In a resolution, the SC tasked the executive judge of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to raffle off the rebellion and violation of international humanitarian law cases to the following courts: branches 158 and 261 in Pasig City, branches 69 and 163 stationed in Taguig City, and branch 162 located at San Juan City.

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This is the second time that the SC transferred the hearing of the cases. In October last year, the High Court ordered the Taguig RTC to handle the cases instead of the Zamboanga RTC to ensure safety of witnesses.

MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari, who has yet to be arrested, said the MNLF was left out in the peace accord being forged at the time by the Aquino administration and another rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), prompting his forces to attack Zamboanga.

The month-long standoff between government forces and the MNLF faction left some 200 people dead and thousands still taking shelter in evacuation centers.

President Benigno Aquino III earlier vowed to crush those who would wield arms again to derail the attainment of lasting peace in Mindanao following the March 27 signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in Malacañang. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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