PGMA orders ATC to strengthen all cases filed vs suspects in cathedral bombing

July 18, 2009 2:22 pm 

COTABATO CITY, July 18 -– President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has instructed the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) to strengthen all cases filed against those responsible for the July 5 bombing of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral here that claimed the lives of six innocent civilians.

The President issued the guidance during the Anti-Terrorism Council meeting held Friday at the Cotabato City Hall.

ATC Task Force spokesman and Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor said cases of multiple murder and multiple serious injuries as well as damage to properties have been filed against the suspects.

“We have a strong case and evidence against the suspects,” Blancaflor stressed.

“The President had issued very clear guidelines to the ATC. She wants us to strengthen all cases to be filed especially the case build-up but with due observance and respect for human rights,” he said.

According to Blancaflor, the President stressed that any arrests made must have the proper arrest warrants so as to avoid any violation of the rights of the suspects.

Blancaflor also informed that the Council also filed a separate case of illegal possession of explosives against the suspects in the Iligan bombing, and multiple murder and multiple serious injuries against the suspects in the Jolo, Sulu bombing.

Present during the meeting were Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Victor Ibrado, National Police Chief Director General Jesus Versoza Jr., and local government and city officials, as well as other top officials of the local anti-terrorism council task force. (PNA)

LGI/OPS/rsm

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