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DOJ files criminal charges vs alleged Spanish terrorist

A suspected Spanish terrorist who was nabbed in a checkpoint in Basilan last month was formally charged yesterday by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Basilan.

An eight-page resolution dated Feb. 8 which was released to media three days later, found probable cause to indict Abdelhakim Labidi Adib for illegal possession of explosives.

The Philippine Army’s 14th Special Forces Company filed the charges while the DOJ panel of prosecutors led by Senior Asst. State Prosecutor Peter Ong established three counts of violations of Republic Act No. 9516 before the Regional Trial Court 9th Judicial Region in Isabela City.

Adib, 20, a Spanish national of Tunisian descent, was arrested on January 22, 2018, at a military checkpoint in Basilan.

Government troops said Adib was accompanied by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group member who was included on the list of military targets. Adib’s companion, however, managed to escape by jumping off a cliff.

Seized from Adib were a hand grenade, rifle grenade, detonating devices, and blasting caps.

In his counter-affidavit, Adib refuted the allegations by the military, claiming that the evidence presented against him was “planted by the arresting officer.”

Adib arrived in Manila on October 10, 2017, and went directly to Davao where he visited several attractions before proceeding to Cagayan de Oro city.

While in Cagayan de Oro, Adib said he met a certain “Abuzaid” who claimed to be a member of the Yakan tribe.

“I went here in the Philippines as a tourist. I have no intention whatever to aid anyone in any terrorist activity, especially in causing trouble to the community,” Adib said.

But the DOJ rejected Adib’s defense that he went to Mindanao as a tourist looking for a woman to love. It said  such claim was “unbelievable, especially so that Basilan is internationally known to be a turf of the Abu Sayyaf Group.”

“As regards to respondent’s defense of denial, the same cannot outweigh the positive declarations of complainant’s witnesses that the grenades and the electric blasting cap were found in and recovered from his possession,” read the resolution and approved by Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr.

“The hand grenade and rifle grenade recovered from the possession of respondent is ‘explosives’ since they are capable of producing destructive effect on contiguous objects or causing injury to death to any person,” it added.# With report from the Philippine News Agency