Aguirre wants Taguig court, jail to handle Maute cases, detention
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has asked Supreme Court to designate the Taguig Regional Trial Court as the special court to handle the cases against members and supporters of the Maute terrorist group.
In a letter to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno sent to the Supreme Court Tuesday, Aguirre also asked the high court to designate the Special Intensive Care Area (Sica) in Camp Bagong Diwa as the designated detention facility for the arrested Maute members and supporters.
“[Sica] houses high profile and dangerous individuals,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre made the request after meeting with prosecutors in Mindanao. He said the prosecutors, court officials and personnel have expressed fears for their safety.
The Justice Chief earlier requested that the special court be either in Visayas or Luzon.
The high court, however designated Cagayan De Oro courts to handle the Maute cases to which, Aguirre said is still near Marawi City and Lanao del Sur where Maute members are believed to be hiding.
Aguirre went to Cagayan De Oro City and conducted an ocular inspection of the hall of justice and Camp Evangelista where the arrested terrorist suspects will be detained.
In his letter to Sereno, Aguirre said aside from the danger to the police escorts, court staff, prosecutors and judges, Camp Evangelista does not have the proper detention facilities to accommodate members of the Maute group.
He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines has no adequate training to provide proper jail management and funds for food and other provisions for detainees.
Aguirre added that the Cagayan De Oro Hall of Justice was gutted by fire in January 2015 and is still temporary holding office at the City Tourism Hall.
“The facility is not secured enough to be a venue of a high profile, very dangerous group of individuals,” Aguirre said.
Members of the Maute Group underwent inquest proceedings in Cagayan De Oro on Monday. After the proceedings, they were flown back to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig. IDL
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.