SOJ’s Aguirre, Supreme Court do not speak with one voice on Maute trial venue

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SC spox Theodore Te
Supreme Court Spokesman Atty. Theodore Te.

The Supreme Court, via its spokesman Atty. Theodore Te, on Monday issued a clarification after Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre announced that the trial for arrested followers of the terrorist Maute Group would be held in two makeshift courtrooms to be established inside Camp Bagong Diwa Special Intensive Care Area (SICA).

Atty. Te said, on the contray, there is no such decision regarding the trial venu from the Judiciary.

Earlier, the Department of Justice filed a rebellion case before the Cagayan De Oro (CDO) Regional Trial Court (RTC) against the mother of two Maute group leaders and 10 others who had been arrested in connection with the ongoing violent standoff between government security forces and members and followers of the terrorist Maute Group in Marawi City.

Te explained to journalists that the Supreme Court resolution designating the CDO RTC as the trial venue stays, unchanged, as Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has not yet approved the request of Justice Secretary Aguirre to transfer the cases to Taguig City Regional Trial Court.

Te underscored that such requests are handled en banc by the high court, and there has been no en banc session yet to tackle this matter, even as he did acknowledge that Chief Justice Sereno and Secretary Aguiree have had a meeting, where Aguirre was advised to submit a supplemental request justifying the prospective transfer of venue from Cagayan de Oro to Taguig.

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