Roxas market blast suspects’ trial first to be held at Ma-a jail

THE TRIAL of the five suspects in the Roxas night market bombing will be the first ever case to be held right inside the Davao City Jail in Barangay Ma-a following yesterday’s opening of the court room inside the city jail’s premises.

 Judge Emmanuel Carpio, the executive judge of Regional Trial Court (RTC) in the city, told reporters yesterday that they decided to hold the hearings on the cases of the five alleged Maute Group at the city jail given the security risks posed to the public every time the accused are being transported for the trial.

 With the court room already in place at the city jail, Carpio said “(we) can expect that there will be less problem of security because high-risk accused shall be tried and heard in the sala away from the public so that it is a secure place considering that it is a jail facility.”

 “You can expect less hassle and less expenses on the part of all the parties. There will be no problem about security anymore because there is no need for the accused to travel from the jail facility to the courts,” Judge Carpio said.

 More often than not, Carpio said, the travel time and the distance may be a good chance for the accused to escape or be rescued by some lawless elements.

 He further said the cases related to the Roxas Night Market accused will be heard inside the jail’s court room “unless ultimately there might be a move for this accused to be transferred in Metro Manila.”

 The five accused are set to be arraigned today in the multiple murder with multiple frustrated murder cases in connection to the Sept. 2, 2016 Roxas night market bombing.

 Yesterday, the Davao City Jail court room was formally turned over by the Rotary Club of Davao City to the Davao City.

 Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) XI director Jail Sr. Supt. Amelia Rayandayan said this project is one way of securing the trial of the high-risk and high-profile inmates.

“We have been transporting them from jail to court and it is quite risky. There is a need for us to secure these persons,” she said.

 Randayan said having the court inside the city jail is also for public safety, noting that the high-risk and high-profile detainees pose security threat as they are considered as high-value targets.

 “We have to secure them. No need for them to be transported to and from the court. It’s quite risky transferring these persons deprived of liberty under the custody of BJMP,” she said.

Jail Inspector Edo Lobenia, the chief of BJMP’s community relations service office, said the court room is not only for the five inmates involved in the Roxas night market bombing but would also include the trial and the hearing of cases of other high-risk and high-profile inmates in the city.

“We have number of high-risk and high-profile inmates in Davao City,” he said.

 According to the statistics on the record, he said, the city jail has 50 members of New People’s Army (NPA), seven members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), five Maute members, and 27 inmates from the organized crime groups.

 He said holding the trial inside the jail avoids the hassle of escorting the suspects in going to the court as it requires a lot of personnel, particularly in the augmentation of personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other security sectors involved.

 Lobenia noted the normal security escort in every inmate for court hearing is one-is-to-one (1:1) ratio, but with the high profile inmates there is a need for a one-is-to-one-plus-one (1:1+1) ratio.

Posted in under_HEADLINES2