Friday, December 5, 2014

Civilian trial to proceed in 19-year-old Philippine murder case

The Philippine Court of Appeals has upheld the exercise of civilian jurisdiction over former military personnel in a shipboard homicide case dating back to 1995. Details are available here thanks to GMA News Online. The victim was an ensign in the Philippine Navy. From the report:
In its original petition with the CA, the accused soldiers claimed the Manila RTC [Regional Trial Court] committed grave abuse of discretion and violated their constitutional right to due process and liberty when it denied their motion to quash the murder case filed against them by the Office of the Ombudsman.
In its June 17 resolution, the CA denied the Navy officers' plea, saying the Manila court did not abuse its discretion.
Apart from ordering the trial to continue, the CA also directed the transfer of the accused Navy officers* from the military custody to the Manila City Jail.
The CA said the transfer of the accused to the Manila City Jail was in compliance with Republic Act No. 7055, which strengthens civilian supremacy over the military by transferring to the civil courts the jurisdiction over certain offenses committed by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Earlier, the CA has already affirmed  with finality its decision that upheld the order of the  Ombudsman dismissing the accused from the service.
* The most senior is a captain. [Footnote added.] 

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