But city welcomes court decision on Roxas Night Market attack
THE CITY government has welcomed the conviction of the seven men in the bombing of the Roxas Night Market on Sept. 2, 2016, which killed 17 people and injured scores others.
In a statement, Acting Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte said the verdict, which imposed a life sentence on the accused, “underscores the delivery of justice for the fatalities of the bomb attack, the survivors, their loved ones, the entire City of Davao and all the Dabawenyos who endured the impact of the said terror attack.”
The accused for multiple murder and multiple attempted murder were TJ Tagabaya Macabalang, Wendel Apostol Facturan, Musali Urbano Mustapa, Jessy Vincent Guinto Original, Zack Haron Lopez, Jackson Mangulamas Usi and Ausa Abdullah Mamapasapano.
Duterte said: “Four years after the grisly attack, we continue to mourn with the families of the victims and the survivors. Day in and day out, these families are constantly reminded of the horror brought by the bomb explosion to their lives.”
The accused were also ordered the families of those who died P250,000 each and another P150,000 each for the 69 who were injured.
On the case of the other accused, who were not identified as they remained at large, the court said that the police should serve the arrest warrants against them as the case against them was put on archive.
However, in the same decision which was promulgated on September 28, Judge Marivic Vitor of the Regional Trial Court Branch 266 in Taguig City found that there was lack of evidence that the accused committed the crime of terrorism under Sectio 3 (f) of the Human Security Act of 2007, or Republic Act 9372.
In deciding to junk the terrorism aspect of the case, Judge Vitor pointed out that the prosecution failed to show that there were proofs showing that “the accused are actuated by the desire to coerse the government to give in to an unlawful demand.”
In the statement, Duterte, who took the reins of government as his elder sister, Mayor Sara Z. Duterte, is on medical leave between September 28 and October 5, said the failure to convict the accused on the terrorism aspect of the case was caused by the absence of a good anti-terror law when the case was put to trial.
“And if only the Philippines has a good anti-terror law, the kind of justice for the victims of that terror attack would have been even more meaningful not only to their families but also to the peace-loving Dabawenyos who want to ensure that their future is free from the threats of terrorism,” he added.
On July 3, Duterte’s father, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, signed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 which replaces the Human Security Act of 2007, the law used in filing the terrorism aspect of the case against the accused.