DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 October) – The City Prosecutors Office has sent subpoenas to the three arrested suspects in the September 2 bombing at the Roxas night market that left 15 persons dead and 69 others injured.
Prosecutor Jay Karel Sanchez told reporters Monday that they sent the subpoenas to the suspects after the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) submitted additional evidences last Friday against TJ Tagadaya Macabang, Wendel Facturan, and Musali Mustapha, who were nabbed in Cotabato City on October 4.
Authorities claimed the three, who were presented in a press conference by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in Camp Aguinaldo, are members of the Maute Group that has been linked to the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.
Sanchez said they are giving the suspects 10 days from receipt of the subpoenas to file their counter-affidavits.
“In order to afford these three named respondents their constitutional rights to due process, and of course, statutory rights to preliminary investigation, the panel has already sent subpoenas to these three individuals to afford them of their right to submit their counter-affidavits. The panel will be waiting for these counter-affidavits before we can finally resolve the case,” she said.
The panel is expected to issue a resolution by middle of next month whether they find a probable cause to hold suspects liable for the September 2 blast.
“The resolution will indicate whether the case will be filed against these individuals and what case will be filed. The panel will assess if these individuals are responsible for the bombing,” she said.
Sanchez, however, said that panel was already finalizing the resolution when authorities arrested the suspects.
“I just want to emphasize that the reason for the delay of the resolution is not because of the panel. The panel was already in the midst of finalizing the resolution when the arrest happened. So we found it prudent to just wait or give time to the police officers to produce additional evidence if they indeed desire to do it,” she said.
Last September 14, the police filed multiple complaints against nine suspects – three of them women.
Of the nine suspects, she said, one primary suspect, who remains at large, was named by police authorities. She, however, refused to disclose the suspect’s identity.
Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 deputy director Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon, who heads the Special Investigation Task Group Roxas Night Market, said on September 14 that the suspects are facing multiple murder charges based on the seven affidavits of the slain victims’ families, multiple frustrated murder based on the 31 affidavits submitted by the injured victims, and affidavits of the eight witnesses.
De Leon claimed to have the name of the prime suspect, between 22 to 25 years old, as indicated in the document but he refused to disclose his name and those of the eight others, pending the investigation of the authorities that would lead to the arrest of the other suspects.
Sanchez added she has no knowledge if the three respondents are among the eight identified suspects of the police. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)