MANILA—The Department of Justice (DOJ) will continue its investigation to determine if there are other members of the terrorist group in the country after the arrest of two suspected members of terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Taguig City.
“We are going to continue in partnership with our intelligence units to verify if there are other persons involved,” said DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III.
Last March 25, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) arrested Husayn Al-Dhafiri, Kuwait citizen; and Rahaf Zina, a Syrian national, who were both active ISIS members.
The two whose arrests stemmed from the deportation request of the Kuwaiti Embassy, are currently detained at the National Bureau Investigation (NBI) while awaiting the finalization of the deportation proceedings against them.
“Baka they wanted to continue briefing or investigating so baka they might be transferred to the custody of the police or military,” Aguirre noted.
Based on intelligence reports provided by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the information given by the Kuwaiti government, Al-Dhafiri is a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS.
Al-Dhafiri is allegedly involved in explosives manufacturing and possibly on operational planning against Kuwait, while Rahaf is the widow of the slain Abu Jandal Al-Kuwaiti, who is the number two military commander of the ISIS operating in Syria.
Aguirre said the couple had been in the country since January 28 using working visas which was facilitated by a local company called Q8 Solutions.
Citing verifications made by the BI of Al-Dhafiri’s travel records, the DOJ chief noted that the Kuwaiti has been in the Philippines several times in 2016 using a tourist visa.
For his part, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente assured that the bureau is conducting an investigation against the company.
Since their arrival last January, Morente learned during the debriefing of the couple that the couple went to Davao for four days and to Cebu for three days.
During the couple’s stay, Morente admitted that it is possible that the two may have met with members of local terror groups like the Maute.
“That is a possibility and that is being investigated by our intelligence service,” he assured.
“I think this company (Q8 Solutions) was being investigated by the House (of Representatives) Rep. Joey Salceda in 2016 for illegal recruitment,” the BI chief added.
Salceda last year filed a resolution asking the House of Representatives to conduct an inquiry into the alleged PHP530 million fraud involving the embassy of Kuwait and a private company identified as Mawared Services and Winston Q8 Certification Solutions Inc. handling Kuwait-bound overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Morente said Al-Dhafiri would be deported to Kuwait while Zina would be deported to Qatar since it was her last known location before she arrived in the country.
“A note verbale was submitted by the Kuwait embassy seeking his deportation,” Morente said.
He said they are coordinating with the security services of Kuwait and Qatar for the turnover of the two.