SC chief designates acting presiding judge to Jolo court
MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has designated an acting presiding judge to a Jolo court a day after Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that due to a lockdown, no judge could act on the case against the nine policemen accused of killing four Army intelligence officers last year.
Under Administrative Order 12-2021, Peralta designated Siasi, Sulu Regional Trial Court Branch 25 Judge Alsad Hailil Alfad as an acting judge of Jolo, Sulu RTC Branch 3 and Branch 4 of the Parang, Sulu RTC, in addition to his regular duties in his own court.
Peralta said his order is “effective immediately” and that he would remain as an acting judge of the Jolo and Parang courts “until the return of Judge Grace Tillah-Alasco and Judge Shene Canete, or until further orders from this Court.”
The PNP has released the accused police officers after the court has failed to issue an arrest warrant and despite requests from the Department of Justice.
PNP Chief Debold Sinas said the accused were released because the police could be sued for illegally detaining them.
The nine policemen are Senior Master Sergeant Abdelzhimar Padjiri, Master Sgt.Hanie Baddiri, Staff Sgts.Iskandar Susulan, Ernisar Sappal and Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, Cpl.Sulki Andaki and Patrolmen Moh Nur Pasani, Alkajal Mandangan and Rajiv Putalan.
They are facing a case of four counts of murder and planting of evidence for the killing of Army Maj. Marvin Indammog, Capt.Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime Velasco Jr. and Cpl.Abdal Asula.
The Sulu provincial government placed the province on lockdown as part of the health measures following reports that the new Covid-19 variant has hit Sabah, Malaysia.
Sabah is barely a day’s travel by boat from Sulu.
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