THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed criminal charges against a suspected Spanish terrorist arrested in a checkpoint in Basilan last month for possession of a grenade and rifle.
In an eight-page resolution dated Feb. 8 but was released to media on Monday, the DOJ panel of prosecutors, led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, found probable cause to indict Abdelhakim Labidi Adib for violation of three counts of Section 3 Presidential Decree No. 1866, as amended by Section 1 of Republic No. 9516 before the Regional Trial Court 9th Judicial Region, Isabela City, Basilan.
The indictment follows charges of illegal possession of explosives filed by the Army’s 14th Special Forces Company against Adib.
Adib, 20, a Spanish national of Tunisian descent, was arrested last Jan. 22 at a military checkpoint in Basilan.
Government troops claimed he was accompanied by an Abu Sayyaf Group member who was one of their targets.
His companion, however, escaped by jumping off a cliff.
Seized from his possession were a hand grenade, rifle grenade, detonating devices, and blasting caps.
In his counter-affidavit, Adib refuted the allegations against him, claiming that the evidence presented was “planted by the arresting officer.”
He said he arrived in Manila last Oct. 10, 2017, and went to Davao where he visited several attractions before proceeding to Cagayan de Oro.
Adib said in Cagayan de Oro, 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 the defense of the respondent that he went to Mindanao as a tourist looking to find a woman to love, saying such it is “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 outweight 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 are ‘explosives’ since they are capable of producing destructive effect on contiguous objects or causing injury to death to any person,” it added. p: wjg