14 of 22 suspects in Davao night market explosion indicted

THE investigating panel found a probable cause to indict the respondents 14 suspects tagged in the bloody Davao night market blast were formally charged before the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office (CPO) for Multiple Murder and Multiple Attempted Murder and Violation of the Human Security Act.

In the 16-page resolution released Monday containing the result of discussions and preliminary investigation, Prosecutor Jay Karel Sanchez said that out of the 22 accused, 14 of them were recommended for trial, while the rest were acquitted for lack of evidence.

The indicted respondents were identified as Abubakar Zulkifli, TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, Wendel Facturan, Musali Mustapha, Datu Masla Sema, Abu Hadid Dilangalen, Jessy Vincent Original, Zack Haron Lopez, Pendatum Coy Mahurom, one alias Cocoy, Abu Calid, Abu Solaiman, Jackson Usi, and Ausa Mamasapano.

They were charged with Multiple Murder and Multiple Attempted Murder after the bomb explosion has resulted to 15 death and 69 others injured.

Also, CPO charged them for commission of Terrorism under Section 3(f) of the Republic Act 9372, otherwise known as the "Human Security Act of 2007" involving Destruction under Article 324 of the Revised Penal Code.

Sanchez noted this is the first time they will be indicting individuals under the Human Security Act because before, in the previous similar incident, they only indict the suspect under the revised penal code but now, their office opted to indict them for two cases.

“This is quite new for our office,” she said.

Among those acquitted are Mohammad Chenikandiyil, Joab Balicas, alias Abrar, Abu Shuhada, Daniel Abu Utman and Jing Pagayao for lack of probable cause.

In the resolution, it states they are members of Ansarol Khilafa Philippines, an organization similar to ISIS, which operates in the country together with the Maute Group.

The panel assigned to the case were Armand Tirol, Jose Paolo Evangelista, and the resolution was approved by the City Prosecutor Nestor Ledesma.

To date, six of the 14 who were indicted are now in jail. Three are in the capital region while the other three are under the custody of Davao City Police Office.

They are TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, Wendel Apostol Facturan, Musali Mustapha, Zack Haron Villanueva Lopez, Jackson Mangulamas Usi, and Ausan Abdullah Mamasapano.

The seventh arrested, Mohammad Chenikandiyil, was among those acquitted of charges.

Macabalang, Facturan and Mustapha were arrested by a composite team from 6th ID PA and Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao for illegal possession of unlicensed firearms and explosives.

Recovered during the arrest were four cellphones, one of which, upon examination, shows a video and audio footage taken during the Roxas Night Market bombing on September 2.
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