By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to conduct a preliminary investigation on the complaint filed against Marawi City Vice Mayor Arafat Salic over his alleged involvement in the 2017 Marawi siege.
Assistant State Prosecutor Rodan Parrocha, who is handling the case, said that the first hearing of the preliminary investigation is set on April 3.
Parrocha added there was no need to issue a subpoena to Salic since the vice mayor was already informed about the hearing last March 15 when he was brought to the DOJ in Manila supposedly for inquest for rebellion.
However, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong ruled that it was improper for inquest and the case was deemed a regular filing which has to undergo preliminary investigation.
Ong explained inquest is only made for warrantless arrests which is done if a crime is being committed, a crime has just been committed, the crime is about to be committed, or if the person escaped from detention.
In the case of Salic, Ong pointed out that the respondent is being accused of a crime which happened back in May 2017 when the Maute terrorist group attacked Marawi City.
As a consequence, Ong said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has no right to detain Salic who was arrested by government forces on March 13 in Marawi City.
Salic’s legal counsel, lawyer Mohammad Nabil Mutia, said the vice mayor was supposed to report for work at the Marawi City Hall when he was arrested.
Mutia has assured that Salic is not engaged in the narcotics trade even after he was named in the list of narco-politicians released by President Rodrigo Duterte.