Davao blast prosecutors panel set to convene

THE panel of prosecutors that are resolving the frustrated murder and murder charges against identified suspects of the Roxas night market bombing case has yet to convene Wednesday, November 2, to discuss the possible implications of the recent arrest of four new suspects.

Davao City Prosecutor’s Office (DCPO) spokesperson Prosecutor Jay Karel Sanchez, in a text message with SunStar Davao on Tuesday, said the panel is set to discuss the possible adjustments with the newly-arrested suspects.

"It is still up to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group whether they will add the four as respondents of the case by the filing of supplemental affidavits," she said.

It can be recalled that combined elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency jointly served warrants of arrest to another batch of suspects in Cotabato City.

Based on reports, the suspects were identified as Mohamad Lalaog Chenikandiyil also known as Datu Boi; Jackson Mangulamas Usi also known as Abu Mansor/Jam; Zack Villanueva Lopez also known as Haron; and Ansan Abdulla Mamasapano also known as Abu Hamsa are reportedly members of the Dawla Islamiya Fi Cotabato-Maute Group.

The Maute Group is composed of Islamist militants linked to terrorist organizations.

All four suspects are under the custody of local police.

Police confiscated firearms and explosives from the suspects.

Sanchez said the DCPO has not received counter affidavits of the three suspects who were initially presented in the Camp Crame last October 7.

Sanchez said they requested TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, Wendel Apostol Facturan, and Musali Mustapha to file their counter affidavit for the murder and frustrated murder charges which were filed against them by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Sanchez, in a previous interview, said the prosecution sent a subpoena for the named suspects last October 18, stating that they are allowed to file a counter affidavit to the charges against them within the 10-day period that ended Friday, October 28.

Sanchez, however, said in an interview Friday that with or without the counter affidavit of the three suspects, the prosecution will resolve the case with the submitted evidences available.

Prior to the arrest of the three, nine suspects including one identified suspect, five John Does, three Jane Does were initially charged before the DCPO for the same offense.

These charges are connected to the September 2 Davao blast that took 15 lives and wounded 69 others. (KVC)
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