DOJ indicts alleged Maute-ISIS recruiter for inciting rebellion, cyber crime

admin   •   December 13, 2017   •   4045


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed almost 300 counts of inciting rebellion and cybercrime charges against Karen Aizha Hamidon – an alleged recruiter of Maute-ISIS terror group who was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Taguig City last October.

In a resolution, the DOJ has found probable cause to charge Hamidon before the Taguig City Regional Trial Court.

Almost three hundred messages in social media application telegram were discovered in her cellphone wherein she was supposedly trying to recruit Muslims all over the world to join the Maute-ISIS rebellion in Marawi City.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor (SASP) Peter Ong said that each post corresponds to one count of inciting to rebellion.

“If the person incited by Karen has, in fact, went to Marawi and committed rebellion, Karen now will be liable as a principal by inducement. So it will just be one count of rebellion. However, we don’t know if [the person induced] did go to Marawi. So, absent of any evidence that they indeed went to Marawi, that they were really convinced by Karenn to go and commit rebellion, the offense will only be inciting to rebellion,” said the investigating prosecutor.

A P5.9-million bail was recommended for Hamidon who is currently detained at the NBI detention cell.

According to the NBI, Hamidon first became a person of interest in the middle of 2016 when she successfully recruited Indian nationals to join radical groups in Mindanao.

She was a wife of Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, the slain former leader of Ansar Khalifa Philippines, which was responsible for the Davao City night market bombing in September last year.

Hamidon has denied the allegations saying she is an ordinary blogger and preacher of Islam. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Online child abuse leading cybercrime in PH

Marje Pelayo   •   April 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has noted that online child abuse is the top cybercrime in the Philippines.

According to UNICEF Country Representative Julia Rees, the massive presence of Filipino children online makes them “vulnerable to online sexual abuse and exploitation.”

UNICEF argued that such crimes are made possible with new technologies, such as live streaming which puts more Filipino children at risk.

The National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children shows cyber violence is affecting one in two Filipino children aged 13 to 17.

“One in three internet users is a child,” Rees said.

“While the government has been trying to respond to the demand, breadth, scope and agility of the technology-not to mention the extreme accessibility of digital platforms – there must be more that we can do together to protect our children,” she added.

To help protect Filipino children from online abuse, the Australian Embassy in Manila pledged to provide P298 million over the next six years to fund the SaferKidsPH program which aims at reducing online sexual exploitation in the country.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson said, “Addressing online sexual exploitation and abuse of children is a global concern.”

Through the SaferKidsPH project, the Australian government reinforces its commitment to support the Philippine government in its efforts to address cyber abuse and violence which he considers a “complex form of human trafficking.” – Marje Pelayo

DNA test confirms death of last Marawi siege terrorist leader Abu Dar

Marje Pelayo   •   April 15, 2019

Maute-Isis leader Abu Dar

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday (April 15) said a DNA test from the United States authorities confirmed the death of Maute-ISIS leader Abu Dar.

“It is confirmed. It is Abu Dar’s remains,” Lorenzana said in a text message to UNTV News.

Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., Commander of the 103rd IB Haribon Brigade in an interview said the DNA results are indeed conclusive.

“The results were given to us by our US counterparts. We were assisted by the United States in confirming the DNA sample that they got from the cadaver of Abu Dar with those of his sons. So, yes. There is positive confirmation that Abu Dar, who was killed during the operation conducted last March 14,” Col. Brawner said.

The official said Abu Dar was the last remaining leader of the Maute-ISIS group who planned and staged the Marawi siege.

He was among the 10 terrorist leaders shown in a recovered video footage planning for the plot in Marawi City along with ISIS emir Isnilon Hapilon.

For two years, he had been in hiding and it was only in March this year that the military was able to neutralize him.

“This means that the Daulah Islamiyah, the new name of the Maute-ISIS group, will finally be ended with the death of their leader,” the military commander said.

As for his replacement, Brawner said the next in rank to Abu Dar is Abu Zacharia, a little-known Maute leader who, unlike his predecessor, is not a religious leader and “doesn’t have full influence in the entire group.”

Secretary Lorenzana, meanwhile, said they have no information yet as to who is currently leading the remaining Maute terrorists who are still in hiding.

“Well, for now his group is leaderless. We are monitoring who will replace Dar,” Lorenzana said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomes the confirmation of the reported death of Abu Dar, whose complete name was Owaydah Marohombsar.

“This is a significant development in the government’s continuing campaign against terrorism and domestic threat groups,” PNP Chief Police General Oscar Albayalde said in a statement.

Government security forces clashed with members of the Maute terror group on March 14 in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur.

Abu Dar was among the five terrorists killed in the said encounter, the PNP Chief said. – Marje Pelayo

DOJ releases Marawi Vice Mayor arrested for rebellion

Robie de Guzman   •   March 15, 2019

Marawi City Vice Mayor Arafat Salic

MANILA, Philippines – Marawi City Vice Mayor Arafat Salic has been ordered released on Friday after the Department of Justice (DOJ) said his case cannot be subject of an inquest.

Salic was arrested by military and police on Wednesday over rebellion charges after his name was included in the Office of the Martial Law Administrator Arrest Order dated Sept. 4, 2017.

READ: Marawi Vice Mayor arrested over rebellion charges

He was brought to the DOJ on Friday supposedly for inquest proceeding for his alleged participation in the 2017 Marawi siege, but Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong said the procedure is not applicable in the case of Salic.

The State Prosecutor explained that an inquest only applies to warrantless arrest, when a crime is being committed, a person is about to commit a crime or those caught following a hot pursuit.

Ong also pointed out that the martial law arrest order has been revoked by Martial law Administrator, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

With Salic’s release, the complaint he is facing will have to go through a regular preliminary investigation. – Robie de Guzman

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