Arrest warrants out vs Misuari, 3 others-A A +A
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Regional Trial Court here has issued arrest warrants against Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari and three others in connection with the standoff that killed scores of people in September.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed this on Wednesday, adding that cases of rebellion and violation of international humanitarian law were also filed in court on Monday against Misuari and 60 of his followers.
The cases are now pending before the sala of Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court branch 13 Judge Eric Elumba, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Wednesday.
"The charge of rebellion arises from their acts, while being heavily armed with high caliber weapons, of attempting to hoist the MNLF flag in front of the Zamboanga City Hall to signify their declaration of independence from, and for the purpose of removing the allegiance to the Philippine government or its laws," she said.
MNLF rebels were also accused of taking up arms and committing "acts of murder, pillage, disorder, looting, arson and destruction of private and public properties."
The standoff, which started in September 9, left more than 200 people dead and sent over 100,000 individuals to evacuation centers.
De lima said no bail was recommended for Misuari, including MNLF commander Habier Malik, while P200,000 was recommended for the followers.
The arrest warrants for Misuari and Malik were out Wednesday, including those of Bas Arki and Assamim Hussin, radio and television reports said.
The DOJ has since asked the Supreme Court to transfer the venue of cases in Metro Manila to ensure security of witnesses.
Malacañang agreed, with presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda saying Misuari's "security" was one of the considerations for transferring the trial in the National Capital Region.
"We recognize that the jurisdiction of a criminal case is territorial also where the crime was committed. That's why we have to ask the Supreme Court for a petition for a change of venue," said Lacierda.
Government forces are still trying to locate Misuari who never came out since he allegedly ordered the Zamboanga siege. (Virgil Lopez/SDR/Sunnex)