DOJ has request for 'continuous detention' of suspects in Maguindanao rebellion raps — Agra

March 29, 2010 11:34 pm 

MANILA, March 29 — Acting Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary and concurrent Solicitor General Alberto Agra said on Monday they have a request for "continuous detention" of the suspects in the Maguindanao rebellion case.

Agra issued the statement after Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 77 Presiding Judge Vivencio Baclig, "finding no probable cause," ordered the dismissal of the rebellion charges against former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and the other accused.

A number of prominent members of the Ampatuan family and several other persons were charged with rebellion by the DOJ for their alleged rising up in arms and plans to fight the duly-constituted government in the aftermath of the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

Among the other suspects in the rebellion charges are Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan, former Maguindanao Acting Governor Sajid Ampatuan, Akmad Ampatuan, and Anwar Ampatuan.

They are now detained at the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Detention Center in General Santos City.

The Quezon City RTC Branch 77 also ordered their immediate release from detention.

However, Agra said the DOJ has the option to file a motion for reconsideration before the Quezon City court.

The suspects in the rebellion case were also charged in connection with the Maguindanao massacre that claimed the lives of 57 civilians, including 15 women and 30 media practitioners in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao last Nov. 23.

Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., of Datu Unsay town, Maguindanao, was charged with multiple murders in connection with the brutal slayings. He is being held at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) detention cell in Manila. (PNA) scs/PTR

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