Three years after the tragic Roxas Night Market bombing incident, the prosecutor handling the case said they have presented strong evidence against the accused.
The star witness, Taguig City Prosecutor Vincent Villena told reporters in an interview during the third year commemoration of the bombing incident at the Memorial Marker in Roxas Avenue yesterday, is one of the accused “who actually witnessed almost everything.”
“I am very confident that the evidence that we presented will sustain a verdict of conviction. With the evidence, we will really prove it beyond reasonable doubt,” said Villena.
He said they have already filed a motion to discharge the star witness as one of the seven accused.
The accused are currently detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa, specifically in a detention facility with detainees whose cases were transferred from provinces.
The case was transferred from Davao City to Taguig City in Metro Manila for security reasons.
The perpetrators are allegedly part of the Maute group as testified by the state witness. Villena added that the bombing is part of an initiation as mentioned by the star witness.
The accused are currently asking the court if they could post bail, claiming weak evidence.
“They tried to attack the credibility of the state witness but of course, you can hardly destroy truth,” Villena said. “(We) are very confident that (the bail) will be denied.”
Aside from the star witness, other witnesses already presented by the prosecution include some blast victims and police officers who investigated the case.
With the testimony of the star witness, the police officers, and victims who actually identified the perpetrators, Villena said “I am very much confident that it (petition to bail) will be denied.”
They are awaiting for the decision of the judge on the bail petition.
A victim who had her leg amputated from the bombing said they will never allow to have the accused be bailed out.
“They took many lives. I no longer have the same life after the bombing incident because my leg was amputated. I even feel like I am also dead in my current condition because I can hardly move now. I also lost my livelihood after the incident and now rely on my parents,” said Eldie Ampaso, 29, a sweet corn vendor at the Roxas Night Market when the incident happened.
On Sept. 2, 2016, the bomb exploded in a busy Friday night, killing 15 persons and wounded 70 others. A holy mass was offered yesterday in commemoration of the tragic incident.
Villena said they are hoping the decision of the case will be out by the end of the year.
“As we noted, the court is really dedicated to finish the proceedings. There is even an instruction as a matter of policy to the handling prosecutor to not entertain any delay in the proceedings,” he added.
Yesterday’s commemoration was attended by City Administrator lawyer Zuleika Lopez, some survivors and families and friends of the ill-fated victims.