DOJ submits for resolution raps vs. Tunisian ISIS member

MANILA The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to submit for resolution the criminal complaint filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines against an alleged member of the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who was nabbed by authorities last week.

During the preliminary investigation on Wednesday, Tunisian national Fehmi Lassqued and his Filipina live-in partner Anabel Salipada submitted their counter-affidavit to Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, against the illegal possession of explosive devices and firearms complaint filed by Regional Police Intelligence Operations Unit (RPIOU) of the National Capital Region Police Office.

Both Lassqued and Salipada denied the allegations in separate counter-affidavits filed through the assistance of public attorneys.

The two were arrested in Ermita, Manila last Feb. 16 by joint operatives of the PNP and the Philippine Army, pursuant to a search warrant issued by the Makati City Regional Trial Court.

In his counter-affidavit, Lassqued refuted the allegations against him, claiming that he has nothing to do with the alleged recovered evidence presented during the inquest proceedings.

I vehemently deny the formal charge against me considering that the complaint of the Regional Police Intelligence Operations Unit is without basis in law. I don't own and I don't have in my possession those items allegedly recovered, specifically the gun, bullets and the alleged ammunitions. I just saw it for the first during the inquest proceedings, read the four-page counter affidavit of Lassqued.

Lassqued said on the day that he was arrested, he was taking a break from his Spanish class in Ayala Triangle Tower One in Makati when six persons approached him and informed him that they were arresting him and they had papers from the police.

They frisked me and nothing was recovered from me except for my money, around PHP20,000, and my cellphone. I even informed them that I am attending a class and it is just our break time but they never listened to me, he said.

I don't know the reason why I am being arrested by the police officers. I was shocked to know later at the inquest that I am being charged for violations of Republic Act (RA) No. 10951 or illegal possession of firearm and ammunition and RA 9516 or illegal possession of explosives, he added.

Ong ended the hearing on Wednesday and submitted the case for resolution.

The charge sheet signed by Supt. Carlito Narag Jr., RPIOU chief, sought the indictment of the suspects for violations of RA 10591 and RA 9516.

It cited as evidence the explosive devices seized from the couple during their arrest, including four pipes, two batteries, three capacitors, two integrated circuits, three battery clips, and 11 resistors and also the .45-caliber pistol and ammunitions recovered from them.

Lassqued has been staying in the Philippines since July 2016 and has been traveling in and out of the country using a fake passport.

He admitted that his passport was indeed fake but he clarified he had no plan or motive to do anything bad while in the Philippines.

Source: Philippine News Agency