COTABATO CITY— Members of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are asking the Supreme Court to put up special courts in the region to litigate terrorism and drug personalities.
During the RPOC-ARMM meeting here Wednesday, police and military officials in the region are supporting the call. Among them was Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, ARMM police regional director, who said the move, once granted, would hasten prosecution of law offenders, especially suspected terrorists and illegal drug personalities.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-ARMM Director Juvenal Azurin, for his part, said the move was timely to ensure speedy prosecution of big time drug cases.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, concurrent RPOC chair, said the official request had been forwarded to the High Tribunal.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command chief, who was present during the RPOC meeting, said the security sector would provide ample security to non-resident state prosecutors who would handle terrorism and drug cases.
“There is a need for the speedy prosecution of Islamic State-inspired militants implicated in crimes and druglords arrested for large-scale trafficking,” Galvez told reporters.
Among the cases that need speedy trial, according to RPOC members, included “rido” (family feud) which is prevalent in the region, terrorism and big-time drug personalities neutralized by the PNP and PDEA.
RPOC members said non-resident prosecutors to be deployed in the ARMM would help a lot since they are not related by affinity or by blood to offenders.