Aguirre begs SC anew to grant Manila trial for Maute members

JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has asked the Supreme Court to allow the hearing of cases filed against members of Maute group inside the Special Intensive Care Area (Sica) in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Aguirre informed the media Monday, June 19, that he wrote a letter anew to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

"The granting of our most recent request i.e. that the hearing of the Maute cases be heard inside the Sica, assuming that our earlier request will also be granted, will make the transport of the detainees more secured and less taxing in terms of preparation and logistics. We hope that our Honorable Supreme Court will see its merits and grant it," Aguirre in a statement said.

The Justice Secretary earlier asked the SC to designate the Taguig Regional Trial Court to hear and try cases arising from Maute group's terroristic attacks in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, after the court personnel handling the cases expressed their fear had the trial of the cases continue in Mindanao.

He also asked the SC to have the inmates arrested in the course of martial law implementation in Mindanao be detained in Sica instead of Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro as the latter lacks funding to provide the food and other needs of the inmates.

Aguirre said the Chief Justice already expressed her "support" for the Department of Justice's plea.

If the SC, in an en banc session on Tuesday, decides in favor of the DOJ, Aguirre said they will ask the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to establish two courtrooms inside Sica. (SunStar Philippines)