Justice department readies raps vs Misuari-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Sunday, September 22, 2013
THE Department of Justice (DOJ) is readying criminal charges against Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding-chairman Nur Misuari for his involvement in the Zamboanga City standoff that entered the 14th day on Sunday.
President Benigno Aquino III made this announcement in a press briefing before returning to Manila Sunday afternoon after staying in the city for the past 10 days to personally attend to the crisis.
Aquino’s pronouncement came even after Misuari denied and disowned the acts of his trusted aide, Habier Malik, who led hundreds of rebels in infiltrating Zamboanga through the shores of Rio Hondo village and nearby villages.
The Chief Executive said the government has witnesses who could testify that Misuari has a hand in the standoff that started last September 9.
DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima has sent a special team of prosecutors to Zamboanga City to handle the filing of appropriate criminal cases against the rebels involved in the attack to include Misuari.
President Aquino said that the prosecutors are gathering more testimonies and evidences to file cases against Misuari and his followers.
Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said earlier that the cases to be filed against the rebels will include violation of Republic Act (RA) 9851, otherwise known as the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
Roxas said that RA 9851 penalizes people who intentionally direct attacks against civilians, properties and people involved in humanitarian and peace keeping mission.
Meanwhile, President Aquino said the immediate response of the government forces demonstrated the capability and resolve of the authorities to stop atrocities similar to that of the MNLF rebels.
He said the troops’ immediate response foiled the mission of the rebels since they immediately intercepted and engaged them in a firefight before they could land at the shores of this city.
“Na-demonstrate ng pamahalaan, ng sandatahang lakas at kapulisan an kayang romisponde anywhere,” Aquino said, citing additional troops arrived to reinforce the soldiers and policemen already stationed in the city.
“Yong kanilang pwersa na dumating dito hindi nakabuo nagwatak-watak agad,” the President added.