DOJ: Drop charges vs 59 in Zamboanga siege
MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Justice recommended the dropping of rebellion charges against 59 suspected members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in connection with the Zamboanga siege last year, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima confirmed Thursday.
Speaking to reporters, De Lima said the recommendation was a result of the reinvestigation conducted by the DOJ upon orders of the Pasig Court.
“Tingin ng court, may mga akusado na hindi na-establish ang role [sa siege]. Yung iba basta lang pinapunta doon sa Zamboanga, mga followers,” De Lima said.
De Lima said they were still determining who else among the 284 accused should be dropped from the charge sheet.
“Mas okay sa amin na konti lang ang lilitisin,” she said.
A source earlier said most of the 59 accused were caught during the crossfire between the rebels and military and were mistakenly identified as MNLF members.
“Yung iba, wala talagang ebidensya,” the source said. The Pasig Regional Trial Court handling the case asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines to comment on the DOJ recommendation.
“It is up to the court to dismiss the charges against the 59 or not,” the official said. The 59 accused are among the 284 charged with rebellion.
Among the accused are MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari and MNLF commanders Ustadz Habier Malik, Bas Arki and Assamin Hussin. All of them are still in hiding.
De Lima said the manhunt against the MNLF leaders was ongoing.
Originally posted: 12:52 PM | Thursday, November 27th, 2014
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