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Judge designated to Sulu courts following delay in warrant vs cops in Jolo shooting

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Judge designated to Sulu courts following delay in warrant vs cops in Jolo shooting
This satellite image shows Jolo, Sulu.
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MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has designated an acting presiding judge in two Sulu regional courts, a day after the Department of Justice confirmed that warrant of arrest has yet to be issued against nine police officers accused of killing four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu in June 2020.

Peralta issued Administrative Order 12-2021 on Wednesday designating Siasi, Sulu Regional Regional Trial Court Branch 25 Presiding Judge Alsad Halili Alfad as Acting Presiding Judge of Jolo, Sulu RTC Branch 3 and Parang, Sulu RTC Branch 4.

Alfad is designated as presiding judge in the two courts “to take cognizance of all urgent matters pending in the said court, in addition to the regular duties in his own court.”

The designation is effective immediately until two judges return or until further orders from the SC.

Case vs nine cops over June 2020 Jolo shooting

State prosecutors have filed four counts of murder and planting of evidence charges against the nine Jolo cops on January 4 but more than a week later, no warrant of arrest have been issued against them.

The cops, dismissed from service early in January, were already released from police custody earlier this week. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they have asked the Philippine National Police to take custody of them until warrants of arrests have been issued, but the PNP pointed out they cannot keep them on hold since they are considered civilians following their dismissal.

Court Administrator Midas Marquez told reporters that the criminal case was already raffled to a judge, but there was delay in the issuance of a warrant because the “judge could not return to province because it was on lockdown.”

Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan has placed Sulu province under lockdown until January 14 due to the threat posed by the new coronavirus variant detected in Sabah, Malaysia.

Marquez added that the designation of a judge was needed to act on the filings.

The military had expressed disappointment over the release of the police officers and assured they will help in the implementation of warrants once issued.

DIOSDADO PERALTA

JOLO SHOOTING

MIDAS MARQUEZ

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

SUPREME COURT

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