MANILA — The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) panel of prosecutors seeks to release this week the resolution on the criminal complaint filed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against suspected terrorist Abdelhakim Labidi Adib, who was nabbed in a checkpoint in Basilan.
The two-member investigating panel headed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong and Assistant State Prosecutor Rodan Parrocha had already finished its preliminary investigation over the case last January 31.
“It might come out this week,” said Ong.
Adib sought the dismissal of charges of illegal possession of explosives filed by the Army’s 14th Special Forces Company against him.
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.”
“I vehemently deny and assert that I don’t own and I have nothing to do with the alleged recovered evidence which are the hand grenade and the alleged Improvised Explosive Device (IED),” he stated.
“I was illegally arrested by civilian persons, I was just walking on the road, aside from that I was not doing any crime nor was about to do a crime. Besides, there is no checkpoint. It must be noted that the evidence seized, although alleged to be inadvertently discovered, was not in plain view. It was planted by the arresting officer because I never have those items in my bag nor in my possession,” his 10-page counter-affidavit read.
Just touring PH
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.
He said Abuzaid offered to take him to his tribe and introduce him to its culture.
“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.
After finishing school, he said he moved to Switzerland where he worked and saved money because it was his dream to travel to a faraway country.
He said he chose the Philippines because he heard a lot of “good reviews” about the country.
“I began thinking about going to the Philippines when I heard so many good reviews and feedback about the country that it is a touristic place with beautiful islands and scenery and above all, splendid people who are very accommodating and hospitable,” he said.
“I did not stop thinking about the delicious food which is hard to refuse. I imagine that it is possible to have a happy life, filled with good times and happiness and devoid of many problems,” Adib added.
“Another reason, which at the beginning I did not think too important, was to find a good woman to complete my happiness and make my life with her,” he added.
He said it was not his intention to go to Basilan and that he went to the Philippines only for a vacation.
Adib said he stayed for two months in Cagayan de Oro.
‘Not a happy experience’
From Cagayan de Oro, he said they proceeded to Zamboanga and eventually to Basilan to visit the Yakan tribe.
While in Basilan, he said the three weeks he spent with the tribe were “not a happy experience”.
“There is no food, no shower, no electricity, no proper shelter and it was not a comfortable stay,” he said, adding that he was afraid, especially after the group showed him photos of dead people.
“I decided to go home. I really regret my decision in going to Basilan. Nobody explained to me that Basilan is a dangerous place,” he said.
Before he was allowed to leave, he said the tribe members took his money, about 1,000 franks, mobile phone and some of his personal belongings.
He said he was escorted to Isabela City, Basilan on Jan. 19 where he was arrested by armed men.
He also countered the military’s claim, stressing that he was nabbed on Jan. 20 and not January 22. (PNA)