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

UNTV News   •   January 31, 2018   •   2731

“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 to charge Albayalde, ninja cops over 2013 drug raid in Pampanga

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 17, 2020

Former Philippine National Police chief, General Oscar Albayalde

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended the filing of charges against former Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde and 12 so-called ninja cops over the 2013 drug raid in Pampanga.

The DOJ has found probable cause to indict Albayalde and 12 others for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In a statement on Thursday (January 16), the DOJ maintained that the said personalities are in “violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations in connection with the official duties of the latter, and for causing any undue injury to any party, including the government.”

Albayalde, however, has been cleared of other charges, such as misappropriating confiscated drugs, falsifying public documents, and failure to prosecute police officers.

The 12 cops, on the other hand, will also be indicted for other charges including bribery, planting of evidence, as well as delay and bungling in the prosecution of drug cases.

The 12 police officers are Police Lt. Col. Rodney Raymundo Louie Juico Baloyo IV, Police Lt. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr., Police Master Sgts. Jules Lacap Maniago, Donald Castro Roque, Ronald Bayas Santos, Rommel Muñoz Vital, Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio, Eligio Dayos Valeroso, Dante Mercado Dizon; Police Staff Sgts. Dindo Singian Dizon, Gilbert Angeles De Vera, and Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero Jr.

The said officers were allegedly involved in seizing 200 kilos of illegal drugs during an anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.

In a statement, Albayalde welcomed the development and is confident that the truth will still prevail.

“I welcome this development as the chance to once and for all clear my name in the proper forum. Finally, I will have my day in court,” he said. “My conscience remains clear, and I am confident that the truth will bear me out in the end.”—AAC

Duterte wants NBI to probe lambanog poisoning incident in Laguna, Quezon – DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   December 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the reported incidents on lambanog poisoning in Laguna and Quezon over the holidays, a government official said Friday.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed this is in a message to reporters.

The NBI was ordered to submit its findings immediately.

Around 16 people were killed and hundreds of others were hospitalized after ingesting lambanog or distilled coconut wine.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier revealed that five of the seven samples of lambanog tested positive for high levels of methanol.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said that lambanog poisoning is caused by residual methanol, which in high levels becomes highly toxic for humans.

Methanol is a naturally occurring substance present during the distilling process, that should be separated and removed thereafter, the DOH added.

The symptoms of methanol poisoning include vomiting, stomach pain and dimming eyesight.

The FDA has repeatedly issued warnings to lambanog brewers over its high methanol content, and urged the public to exercise extreme caution in purchasing and consuming the alcohol beverage.

It also advised the public to only buy lambanog brews that are registered with the FDA.

The sale of lambanog has been ordered suspended in the town of Rizal in Laguna where most of poisoning incidents were reported.

Usec. Villar inhibits from review of water deals

Maris Federez   •   December 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar will not be joining the team that will review the contract entered into by the government with Manila Water Company and Maynilad Water Services through state regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997.

Villar on Friday (December 13) inhibited herself to dispel doubts and suspicions on the review to be conducted and the renegotiation of the government with the two water concessionaires.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he was the one who requested Villar to inhibit from the review although he deemed it unfair that the official is being subjected to allegations of conflict of interest.

“I requested Usec. Villar to inhibit herself to dispel suspicions that the DOJ contract review may not be completely objective due to an alleged possible conflict of interest. It’s unfair to Usec Villar who has always acted with professionality, but the circumstances call for it.,” Guevarra told reporters.

Guevarra reiterated that any lawyer who would look into the contract between the MWSS and the two water concessionaires would come to the same findings and conclusion — that the deal had been onerous for the government and the public.

Villar, a former Diwa Party-list representative and daughter of former national police chief Edgar Aglipay, is the wife of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar. Villar’s family runs Prime Water Infrastructure Corp. — /mbmf

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