Spanish national denies link to terror groups, seeks dismissal of raps

UNTV News   •   January 31, 2018   •   2639

“He is just a tourist and not a terrorist.”

This is what the 20-year old Spanish national has to say in response to the charges filed against him before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Assisted by a lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Abdelhakim Labidi Adib submitted his counter-affidavit and sought the dismissal of illegal possession of explosives complaint.

He denied owning the bag which the army special forces claimed to contain two grenades and other components of an explosive device.

He said he has no links to Abu Sayyaf or other Islamic terrorist groups and that he is an atheist.

“He is young. That’s why he is adventurous. He was in Basilan because of a friend he knew in Cagayan de Oro,” said PAO Atty. Jonalyn Barquez.

Adib narrated that he was just walking with a male companion when he was arrested in Basilan.

He said he only knew him as “Abuzaid” whom he met in Cagayan de Oro City.

Also, there was no checkpoint and the two of them were arrested and the military took their bags.

This contrary to the claim of the army that his companion escaped from the checkpoint.

“He has a guide. He has a companion during the time he was arrested but that companion is already gone and he was not charged with anything,” Barquez said.

Adib admitted that he had the idea of going to the Philippines for a long time after hearing positive reviews about tourist destinations in the country and the Filipino hospitality.

He said “Abuzaid” invited him to visit the Yakan Tribe in the jungles of Basilan and he agreed.

“He has nothing to do with them. And that is merely a hearsay because there is no evidence,” Barquez added.

He said that at first, they were nice to him but some people in the tribe took his cellphone, money and other personal belongings.

Finding the place uncomfortable, he decided to go home and got arrested while on his way to Zamboanga.

The DOJ Prosecutor has now submitted his case for resolution. – Roderick Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

DOJ summons Colmenares, youth party-list groups over raps filed by PNP-CIDG

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 21, 2019

Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has summoned Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares, members of youth party-list groups over raps filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

The PNP-CIDG has filed trafficking and child abuse complaints against the said individuals over missing high school student Alicia Lucena.

Complainant Relissa Lucena said her daughter was recruited by Anakbayan.

However, Alicia surfaced on August 14 and has denied claims that she was missing and was kidnapped by Anakbayan. She said she joined Anakbayan voluntarily.

Assistant State Prosecutor Christine Perolino has required Colmenares along with Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago, Anakbayan spokesperson Alex Danday and other members of the youth groups to appear during the preliminary investigation of the DOJ on August 27, September 10 and 24. —AAC

DOJ: Ex-Calauan mayor Sanchez, thousands others set for release

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 21, 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez will likely to be released from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

According to Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, Sanchez is among the thousands of inmates who are eligible for recomputation of good conduct time allowances (GCTA).

“He may actually be released already. No idea how soon,” Guevarra told reporters.

The GCTA is based on Republic Act No. 10592 and Supreme Court ruling which states that the length of an individual’s imprisonment can be reduced based on their good conduct in prison.

“So many prisoners’ good-conduct time allowances would be subjected to recomputation. Maybe one after the other they would be released,” Guevarra said.

Sanchez was sentenced to seven terms of reclusion perpetua in 1995 after he was convicted for the rape and murder of student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her boyfriend, Allan Gomez in 1993.—AAC

Ombudsman probes PAO’s Acosta, Erfe for alleged corruption

Robie de Guzman   •   August 16, 2019

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman on Friday confirmed it is investigating Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta and Forensic Laboratory chief Dr. Erwin Erfe for alleged graft and corruption.

In a statement, the Ombudsman said it is currently conducting preliminary and administrative adjudication against Acosta and Erfe on corruption allegations within PAO including the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine issue.

The case stemmed from the complaints filed early this year by lawyer Wilfredo Garrido Jr. who sought for the suspension of Acosta and Erfe for allegedly committing corruption, falsification, malversation and illegal use of public funds or property.

The two PAO officials supposedly made money in alleged illegal purchases of office supplies for their crusade against Dengvaxia in 2018.

Acosta was also accused of using PAO budget to hold seminars at luxury hotels as she supposedly receives a commission for every gathering.

The Ombudsman said that after Garrido’s complaints were evaluated and docketed in April 2019, an order was immediately issued, directing the respondents to file their respective counter-affidavits.

“Records from the criminal and administrative cases show that respondents are facing criminal charges for violation of Sections 3(e) and 3(j) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices), Falsification by Public Officer, Malversation and Illegal Use of Public Funds or Property,” the statement read.

Administrative charges for Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty, Grave Abuse of Authority and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, were also leveled against Acosta and Erfe,” it added.

Acosta and Erfe have denied the allegations in a consolidated counter-affidavit they filed last April 30.

The Office of the Ombudsman said several other pleadings were filed by the respective parties during the course of the investigation, including the one signed by alleged “DOJ PAO lawyers.”

The Ombudsman said that as of August, the parties were directed to file their respective verified position papers containing their positions, supporting evidence and defenses.

“The corruption allegations against the high-ranking PAO officials will be judiciously scrutinized and the cases shall be resolved solely on the basis of the evidence presented by the parties,” Ombudsman Samuel Martires said.

Malacañang earlier said it will not interfere with the case.

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