DOJ to form special panels to prosecute terrorists

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) will form two special panels that will prosecute members of terror groups Maute and Abu Sayyaf accused in the Marawi City siege that killed more than 300 individuals.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday said the DOJ is already in the process of choosing at least 30 prosecutors to undergo training for the continuous trial of the rebellion cases against the terrorists.

This is amid the pendency of the DOJ's motion urging the Supreme Court (SC) to designate as temporary courts the Taguig Regional Trial Court (RTC) or Special Intensive Care Area in Camp Bagong Diwa, instead of the court in Cagayan de Oro City.

The SC in a resolution dated June 6 directed the Cagayan de Oro RTC to hear and try cases arising from Maute group's terroristic attacks in Marawi City. It also designated Camp Evangelista to be the temporary detention facility of the arrested accused.

According to Aguirre, the two panels, composing of 15 prosecutors each, will be headed by a senior prosecutor.

A number of Maute and Abu Sayyaf members have already been indicted by the DOJ since martial law was proclaimed on May 23.

Among them are Maute clan matriarch Ominta "Farhana" Romato Maute, former Marawi mayor Fahad Salic, Faridah Pangompig Romato, Aljadid Pangompig Romato, Abdulralman Dimakuta Sevad and alleged Abu Sayyaf medics Jadzrie Saabdula and Jamal Jamil. (SunStar Philippines)
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