Press Release
July 11, 2012


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today asked the Department of Justice to speed up the disposition of the case of Cotabato City Vice Mayor Muslimin Sema, who survived an ambush by gunmen on January 10, 2012.

"Why is the Justice Department taking too long to act on the charges of frustrated murder filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group against the known mastermind(s) and the gunmen?" Pimentel asked.

The senator from Mindanao urged Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to order her subordinates to expedite the resolution of the case as "justice delayed is justice denied."

Pimentel said the police had positively identified the brains as well as the gunmen in the ambush, yet the DOJ had yet to conclude the preliminary investigation months after the filing of the case.

"The foot-dragging by the DOJ is unfortunate and even suspicious. Are they protecting powerful and influential personalities?" Pimentel said.

Pimentel said the recent assassination attempt on Sema underscored the unstable ace and order situation in Mindanao that the police and local officials should jointly address.

"If a prominent public official like Sema can be ambushed in broad daylight, that speaks volumes about the deterioration of law and order in Mindanao. I am sure that ordinary citizens constantly worry for their safety and security amid the seeming lawlessness in some areas in Mindanao," Pimentel pointed out.

"While the police moved swiftly in investigating the case and in filing charges against Sema's assailants, the case files appear to be gathering dust at the DOJ. Secretary de Lima should prod her prosecutors to dispose of this case as soon as possible in the interest of justice," Pimentel said.

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