Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lookout bulletin issued vs Maute, ASG members in DND arrest order

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 1): Lookout bulletin issued vs Maute, ASG members in DND arrest order

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday issued a Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against 138 Maute and Abu Sayyaf Group members who were ordered arrested by the Department of National Defense (DND).

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II issued the ILBO in connection with the arrest order made by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who also sits as the as administrator of martial law in Mindanao.

It was the first arrest order issued under the implementation of martial law and suspension of writ of habeas corpus in the region following the ongoing clashes between government troops and Maute members in Marawi City.

The four-page order, which has 138 subjects whose names are mostly aliases, was made public by Aguirre in a press conference at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday evening.

It was directed at the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and NBI for implementation.

“As a matter of fact ang tawag dun ay arrest order number one. Because of that I ordered the issuance of an LBO at least dun sa individuals listed in that arrest warrant,” Aguirre told reporters in chance interview.

The DOJ Chief added that he is also determining whether there is still a need to come up with a new order for the Bureau of Immigration, in lieu of a hold depature order, which only the court has the authority to issue.

Aguirre called the new measure as a “DOJ Detention Order” which would compel immigration authorities to arrest and immediately detain those in the arrest order list provided by the Department of National Defense (DND) even without an HDO.
“Kinkailangan natin a new name to warn our Bureau of Immigration officers or anybody na these are dangerous people na they are subject to arrest immediately,” he explained.

As to the involvement of foreign terrorists with the Maute group, he said that they are now verifying the 138 names in the list to determine if they are purely Filipinos.

Asked if there were foreigner included in the list in arrest order, the DOJ chief answered “Wala namang nakalagay doon (kung ano ang specific nationality), pero I believe na marami doon mga Filipinos. Posible din naman na may mga foreign terrorists doon. Sapagkat naidentify natin ang ilang terrorists from Indonesia, from the Middle East, at meron ngang parang galing Saudi Arabia.”

Aguirre added that he is now finalizing the creation of five panels composed of five prosecutors each to handle rebellion and violation of the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act cases that would be filed against those who will be arrested.

He said the panel would be based at the Hall of Justice of Iligan City under the supervision of Undersecretary Reynante Orceo.

"Galing yung aming (Undersecretary), si Usec. Reynante Orceo, ang unang plano namin dyan is we’re going to form five separate panels of prosecutors to hear the inquest and preliminary investigation of these cases, rebellion cases. Pero kahit mga common crimes, pwede rin sila. Kaya lang mga lima ang nakikitang namin na ifoform namin, kasi magkakaroon sila ng rilyebo. Siguro, mga two days yung dalawang panels, and then after two days, magririlyebo naman yung other two panels," he pointed out.

Aguirre said the NBI is still verifying whether the 18 members of the Maute clan living in Metro Manila who surrendered on Wednesday are among those who were ordered arrested by the DND.

Aguirre ordered the NBI to conduct a probe on the identities of the surrenderers.

The group, which include women and children, were accompanied by National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) South Luzon Regional Director lawyer Dalomilang Parahiman.

According to Parahiman, the group includes some of his relatives who are also from Lanao del Sur.

“They are law abiding citizens. Their only crime is their surname is Maute,” Parahiman told reporters, adding that most of these Mautes have been residing in Manila for more than 30 years.

The NCMF official lamented among them are boys aged two and 10 who are even included in the arrest order of the government for having namesakes of Maute group members.

The two boys, together with their families, appeared before the NBI on Wednesday to clear their names because some of them are surnamed “Maute” while others, with the surname “Bandrang” are their relatives.

Aguirre said their identities will be verified and vetted with the lookout order and arrest order issued by the government.

He added that they will be questioned and will undergo medical examination.

Meanwhile, NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said that the two children have been cleared while their relatives are still being processed.

The two-year-old will turn three on Sept. 20, 2014 while the 10-year-old boy will turn 11 on Aug. 26, 2006.

Aside from the two, included in the lookout list of the government is an 11-year-old girl who will turn 12 on July 9 and another girl who turned 13 last March 28.

The arrest order specifically stated that the subjects who have been "identified as members/supporters/spies/couriers" of the terror groups will be investigated on charges of rebellion under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code.

It stressed that the persons in the list were responsible for "indiscriminately killing, kidnapping, bombings in Marawi City and some parts of Mindanao, sowing terror to the populace and agreed upon by them and prompted by common designs, come to an agreement and decision to commit the crime of rebellion."

According to the DND, the said individuals are criminally liable for "publicly taking arms against the duly constituted authorities for the purpose of removing Mindanao from the territory of the government of the Republic of the Philippines by establishing an independent Islamic State."

It also ordered authorities to make sure that charges will be filed before the DOJ or local prosecutor's office against the subjects within three days after they are arrested, as provided by rules on criminal procedure, and also submit written report within the same period.

Lastly, the order pointed out that the rights of the persons ordered arrested - including human rights and custodial rights - are "protected by Philippine law."

Authorities may enforce arrest even without corresponding orders from the court under the martial law declaration and suspension of the privilege writ of habeas corpus.

The government is given three days to file appropriate charges against these individuals

Aguirre stressed that the arrest order could actually be implemented even outside of Mindanao considering that rebellion is a continuing offense.

"The declaration of martial law is only in Mindanao, but the effect of this arrest order is that it can be enforced in Luzon and Visayas. It means that even if these people committed the crime of rebellion in Mindanao, they can be arrested in any part of the country," he explained.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in the entire Mindanao seeks to neutralize Maute terror group members who carried out attacks in Marawi City.

Aguirre said the Chief Executive possessed information and reports that were not known to ordinary citizens which could have been used as basis for the declaration.

“The proclamation is in accordance with the Constitution and necessary to avoid the dismemberment of our nation. The President is entitled to be presumed to be regularly performing the duties of his office, of course those who opposed the decision can go to the SC,” Aguirre noted.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the President has the authority to declare martial in any part of the country or the entire country for a period of 60 days but Congress, voting jointly, may revoke or extend the proclamation.

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