Thursday, November 25, 2010

Actions taken thus far by DOJ on Maguindanao Massacre and the case of U.P. botanist Leonard Co - Secretary Leila M. de Lima

Editor's note: The following are the salient points of Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima’s press briefing on November 24, 2010 on the following pending issues:

Maguindanao massacre cases 
  • The Justice Secretary issued today Department Circular No. 800 dated 22 November 2010 designating Undersecretary Francisco F. Baraan III as the Supervising Undersecretary for the Prosecution Panel in the Ampatuan cases, “People v. Ampatuan, et. al.” and such other cases related thereto, “to ensure effective coordination between the private and public prosecutors and close monitoring of the case developments.” Specifically, Usec. Baraan is tasked to regularly meet with the Prosecution Panel, attend case briefings and hearings, and make appropriate recommendations for the efficient prosecution of the cases.
Leonardo F. Co, et. al. case 
  • The Justice Secretary created a Fact-Finding Investigation Panel under Department Order No. 799 composed of Asst. State Prosecutors Diosdado B. Solidum and Bryan Jacinto S. Cacha from the National Prosecution Service and Chief DID Atty. Romulo Asis of the National Bureau of Investigation.
  • The panel which is tasked to conduct a “thorough investigation on the facts and circumstances surrounding” the death of Leonardo F. Co, et. al. shall coordinate with the NBI, Leyte and the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Leyte and such other offices and agencies to gather, assess and evaluate evidence. They are given 30 days from receipt of the Order within which to submit their written report and recommendation on whether an appropriate complaint for preliminary investigation may be filed.

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