During the preliminary hearing on Wednesday of the criminal charges filed against the three suspects in the bombing of the Davao Night Market which happened back in September, all the accused made a plea of not guilty.
The accused are TJ Tagadaya Makabalang, Wendel Facturan and Musali Mustapha.
They are all allegedly members of the Maute Group, which is tagged as the one responsible for the bombing incident.
All 3 are all facing criminal cases for violations of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and the law on Illegal Possession of Explosives.
They denied all the allegations charged against them, and submitted their counter-affidavits to the Department of Justice (DOJ) during the preliminary hearing.
According to Atty. Ma. Eliza Jonalyn Barquez, the legal counsel of all the accused, all three made the denial of the accusations of the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) against them in writing through their affidavits.
According to the PNP-CIDG, the suspects were arrested on October 4, at a checkpoint in Cotabato.
Barquez, however, disclosed that the 3 suspects deny being caught at a checkpoint, alleging that there wasn’t even a checkpoint in the first place.
Peter Ong, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor, confirmed that the case against the 3 accused is now submitted for resolution.
The Secretary of the Department of National Defense, Delfin Lorenzana, shared in a press conference earlier this month that the PNP-CIDG was able to recover materials used to make improvised explosive devices (IED), a cellphone containing a video-recording of the detonation and aftermath of the night market blast, a sub-machine gun and a .45 caliber handgun from the suspects.
The Davao Night Market bombing resulted to 15 casualties and at least 70 people injured. It also resulted to a declaration of a state of lawlessness in the province of Davao by President Rodrigo Duterte.