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Charges vs 59 suspected Maute members junked

By JEFFREY G. DAMICOG

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has dismissed the rebellion charges against 59 suspected members of the Maute terrorist group.

“The DoJ will not be a part of any injustice,” assured Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II in a statement.

“If in the assessment of our Panel of Prosecutors there is no basis to charge a person in court, such a finding should be respected,” he pointed out.

Aguirre explained the panel prosecutors chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong dismissed the case after finding no probable cause to indict them.

“They did not find the military witness as credible,” said Aguirre.

With this, the secretary said the panel of prosecutors have ordered their release including four minors from detention in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Last July 27, the rebellion complaint was filed against them before the DoJ following their arrests on July 25.

Among them, 32 were arrested at a checkpoint in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, while, the remaining 27, four of them minors, were apprehended on Daisy Road in Guiwan, Zamboanga City. They were all arrested last July 25.

In their counter-affidavits, the respondents said they were not told that they were being recruited to beef up the ranks of the Maute.

They said they were recruited to join the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and eventually become integrees in the military.

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