BJMP 11 opens courthouse for suspected rebels, terrorists

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 August) – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Davao Region opened on Thursday a courthouse for “high-risk” and “high-profile” inmates or those accused of membership in rebel and terror groups.

The facility served as BJMP’s infirmary room before it was refurbished by the Rotary Club of Davao.

In an interview, BJMP 11 director Amelia A. Rayandayan told reporters that the courthouse eliminates the risk involved in transporting inmates to the Regional Trial Court (RTC).

She said this has been one of their concerns “because we know for a fact that we are escorting them from jail to court.”

Among the high-profile inmates detained at the BJMP are alleged members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (7), New People’s Army (50), Abu Sayyaf (3), and Maute Group (5).

Rayandayan said the five alleged Maute members, the suspects behind the September 2, 2016 Roxas Night Market bombing that killed 15 persons and injured 69 others, will be tried at the courthouse on Friday.

They are TJ Macabalang, Wendel Apostol Facturan, Musali Mustapha, Zack Villanueva Lopez and Jericho De Rome who are facing terrorism, multiple murder, and multiple attempted murder charges.

RTC Judge Emmanuel Carpio said they can expect “less problem of security because of a high risk accused shall be tried and heard here in the sala, away from the public so it is a secured place considering this is within the jail facility.”

“So you can expect less hassle and less expenses on the part of all the parties. Hopefully this will serve as one of the hallmarks and good projects for the city of Davao donated by the Rotary Club of Davao City,” he said.

He added it eliminates the danger of the inmates escaping or being rescued by their comrades while in transit. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)