Davao LGU lauds conviction of Roxas Night Market bombing suspects
MANILA, Philippines — Davao City’s local government has lauded the court’s decision to convict seven people involved in the gruesome bombing of the Roxas Night Market in September 2016, saying that it was a victory for the city’s people.
According to a statement from acting Mayor Sebastian Duterte on Tuesday, the decision by the Taguig City Regional Trial Court Branch 226 to convict the suspect “underscores the delivery of justice” for the victims.
The court on Monday convicted TJ Macabalang, Wendel Facturan, Musali Mustapha, Jessy Vincent Original, Zack Lopez, Jackson Usi, and Ausa Mamasapano for the brutal bombing that claimed the lives of 17 persons.
“The City Government of Davao welcomes the conviction of individuals who perpetrated the September 2, 2016, deadly terror attack on Roxas Night Market that resulted in the death of 17 people,” Duterte said in a statement.
“Four years after the grisly attack, we continue to mourn with the families of the victims and the survivors. Day in and day out, these families are constantly reminded of the horror brought by the bomb explosion to their lives,” he added.
Last September 2, 2016, night market shoppers near the Ateneo de Davao were rocked by an explosion that was believed to be caused by an improvised explosive device. Military and police officials pointed the act to the extremist terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, although the latter said it was not them responsible for these actions.
But despite these developments, Duterte said that the decision seems lacking because no strong laws against terrorism were used during the legal proceedings.
The law amending the Human Security Act of 2007 — the Anti-Terrorism Act, which Duterte’s father President Rodrigo Duterte advocated for — was passed only in 2020.
“Although the perpetrators were convicted as murderers, they would have been convicted as terrorists as well — if only the Philippines has a good anti-terror law,” the younger Duterte said.
“And if only the Philippines has a good anti-terror law, the kind of justice for the victims of that terror attack would have been even more meaningful not only to their families but also to the peace-loving Dabawenyos who want to ensure that their future is free from the threats of terrorism,” he added. “We believe that the decision underlines the urgency to enforce strong laws against people and groups that espouse terrorism.” [ac]
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