MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will continue to extend legal help to Filipino-American Ralph De Leon who was recently charged guilty of terrorism-related charges and to his family “during this difficult period.”
“The Philippine government is naturally disappointed but respects the jury’s decision. It must have been difficult for the jury as well as the family of Ralph De Leon,” DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said during the briefing on Monday.
He added, “No one expected a stand-out student of California State University in San Bernardino, California to be [recruited by a terrorist organization]. Most especially his parents whose hope was for a better life for their family in America, they certainly did not expect this nightmare.”
De Leon was arrested in November 2012 together with Miguel Santana and Arifeen David Gojali. He was found to be guilty of three charges: conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping or maiming overseas, and conspiracy to murder “officers and employees” of the United States.
“Indeed, the overreach of the recruiting arms of terrorists organizations have become clear and present dangers for many communities around the world,” Jose said.
The terrorism charges against De Leon is still scheduled given that the judge cannot provide a verdict yet.
“We shall also continue to await the prosecutors’ actions on the two charges that have stalled against De Leon,” Jose said.
He added, “Our consulate in Los Angeles will confer with Ralph, his lawyer and parents so they can fully assist during the sentencing phase and comfort the parents during this difficult period.”