3 years after the Davao bombing, prosecutor confident no bail for suspects

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DAVAO CITY  (MindaNews / 01 Sept) – Three years after the Sept. 2, 2016 bombing at the Roxas night market here that killed 15 and injured 69 others, Taguig City prosecutor Vincent Villena is confident that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Taguig City will deny the motion to bail filed by the seven suspects who are allegedly members of a terror group.

Villena told reporters after the mass at the blast site on Sunday that the evidence and the statements of the witnesses, including that of a state witness who was part of the group that plotted the incident, were strong for the trial court to dismiss the motion.

“We are very confident that it would be denied because we presented a witness who was part of that group who actually witnessed everything, almost everything, so we filed a motion to discharge him as one of the accused,” he said.

Survivors and relatives of victims of the September 2, 2016 bombing at the Roxas Night Market in Davao City offer flowers and prayers during the mass on 01 September 2019. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV /

He said the RTC in Taguig might come out with a decision whether to grant or deny the bail in October this year.

The seven alleged members of the Maute Group behind the bombing are Wendel A. Facturan, Musali U. Mustapha, TJ T. Macabalang, Zack Jaron V. Lopez, Jessy Vincent G. Original, Jackson M. Usi and Alisa A. Mamasapano.

All seven were transferred from the City Jail in Maa, Davao City to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City in February 2018 after the Supreme Court approved the requests of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-Davao, City Peace and Order Council, City Prosecutor’s Office and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for the transfer of detention and venue of trial for the “high-risk inmates”.

He said the RTC in Taguig might come out with a decision whether to grant or deny the bail in October this year.

Aftermath of the explosion at the night market along Roxas Avenue at around 9:50 p.m. Friday, 02 September 2016: 15 dead, 69 injured. MindaNews photo by Carolyn O. Arguillas

“All of the accused will be given the opportunity to defend themselves in court,” he said.

He added the RTC in Taguig is determined to come out with a decision this year.

He said the prosecutor handling the case was instructed to hasten the proceedings.

Villena added he is confident evidence against the accused “would sustain a verdict of conviction.”

Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles blesses the memorial marker during the mass to commemorate the September 2, 2016 bombing at the Roxas night market that left 15 dead and 69 others injured. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

“Meaning to say talagang mapapatunayan namin beyond reasonable doubt, kasi maganda yung pagkakapresenta namin sa state witness (We can prove beyond reasonable doubt, the manner we presented the state witness was good),” he said.

He said the survivors and the families of the slain victims are determined to seek justice. All of them testified seeing the accused entering the massage area at the night market to leave a backpack containing the bombing that evening.

Seven of the 15 slain victims were massage therapists. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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