The Supreme Court has directed the Cagayan de Oro City Regional Trial Court to handle all cases against members of the Maute group and their sympathizers.
The tribunal, in en banc session on Tuesday, mandated the CDO court to act swiftly on all cases arising from the group’s takeover of Marawi City. It directed the lower court to comply “with the Revised Guidelines on Continuous Trial and all relevant Court Resolutions and Issuances.”
The high court issued the order after the Department of Justice (DOJ) sought the designation of special courts that will handle current and future cases against members of the militant group.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd made the request after meeting with government prosecutors in Mindanao who aired their concern in prosecuting cases against members of the terrorist group. Aguirre stressed that the security and safety of prosecutors and judges should be a primary concern.
The high court also ordered the Court of Appeals in Mindanao, which is also situated in Cagayan de Oro City, to hear and act on all pleadings pertaining to Republic Act 9372 or The Human Security Act which is also known as the anti-terror law.
The CA in Mindanao is headed by Executive Justice Romulo Borja. It has three divisions and nine members.
The tribunal said that arrested terrorists or those charged with violating RA 9372 should be detained at Camp Evangelista in Patag, Cagayan de Oro City. Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez was directed to coordinate with the Commanding General of the 4th Infantry Division to put in place “appropriate security measures.”
The detention facilities must be under the supervision and control of the CDO court.