Lookout alerts raised on Maute suspects, panels formed to file raps
MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday said five panels of prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DOJ) would handle the criminal cases against terrorists behind the bloody siege of Marawi City, even as he issued immigration lookout bulletins against 125 persons believed to be members of the Maute Group.
“We’re going to form five separate panels of prosecutors to hear the inquest (proceedings) and preliminary investigation of the rebellion cases. They can also handle common crimes,” Aguirre told reporters in an ambush interview.
“We want to have five (separate) panels to allow them (prosecutors) to have relievers. Maybe they can work for two days straight and then take a rest,” he said.
He said Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo flew to Iligan City on Tuesday and met with the local prosecutors following President Duterte’s decision to place Mindanao under martial law in the wake of the attacks mounted by the Islamic State-linked Maute terror group.
According to the justice secretary, each DOJ panel will be composed of five state prosecutors who will temporarily hold office at the Hall of Justice in Iligan.
Meanwhile, Aguirre said he has issued an immigration lookout bulletin order for 125 individuals suspected to be members of the Maute group.
He said the persons were the subjects of the arrest order issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
He also directed the Bureau of Immigration to verify information that some of those on the list were actually foreign nationals after authorities reported that foreign-looking men were seen with the heavily armed Maute members who attacked Marawi.
Said Aguirre: “It’s possible that some of them are foreign terrorists because we have (received information that) several of them were from Indonesia and even from the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia.” SFM/rga