Friday, May 20, 2005

NR0517:Govt aiding foreign terrorists?

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release May 17, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Are foreign terrorists training with the help of AFP and ISAFP; entering and leaving the country aided by corrupt officials of the Bureau of Immigration?

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that his office has received reports that the Bureau of Immigration is guilty of deporting foreign suspected terrorists, and that elements of the military are working closely with foreign terrorists in training extremists in the country and facilitating their entry and exit from the country.

"On the one hand Congress is rushing the anti-terrorism bill, and the emerging draft has all the markings of draconian measure, threatening the civil and human rights of civilians. One the other hand, there are persistent reports that within the Macapagal-Arroyo administration itself, foreign terrorists and their bombing activities are finding full support and backing to justify the imposition of more authoritarian and even dictatorial measures against the civilian populace," he said. "The anti-terror bill the government is cooking up is directed against civilians, but the real terrorists are getting away with the help of corrupt officials and rightists in the military."

The veteran labor turned lawmaker said there is basis to investigate the bureau and its officials, including former commissioner Andrea Domingo, Associate Commissioner Orlando Dizon, Associate Commissioner Arthel Caronongan and Associate Commissioner Daniel Cueto. According to a case filed at the Office of the Ombudsman case No C-C-04-0258, the former are being charged for the following:1) Allowing the entry of suspected foreign terrorists; 2)Questionable deportation of suspected terrorists; 3) Coddling of suspected foreign terrorists and 4) Issuance of immigration documents to foreign terrorists.

Among the terrorists reportedly deported by the BI are Al Ghafari, Al Dhelain and Al Gabry, all of whom are allegedly working with elements of the Philippine military in training extremists. Former BI Commissioner Domingo has been monitored admitting in media reports that the Bureau along with the police and military authorities have seized some $10,000.00 and P500,000.00 and incriminating paraphernalia from Al Gabry. "But nowhere does the BI or the authorities say where the confiscated money has been taken or what has happened to it," he said.

"The case at the ombudsman was filed August 2004, and so far, despite the gravity of the charges, the office of the Ombudsman led by Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo has yet to come up with specific findings. The likes of Domingo are charged with assisting foreign terrorists by allowing them to be deported despite the fact that several explosives, guns and fake travel documents were found on their persons by government authorities, including officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration.

"Immigration officers assigned to international airports are also accused of allegedly facilitating the entry of these suspected terrorists, despite the existence of a blacklist order. Foreign terrorists allegedly find it a breeze to enter and leave the country at will because they secure the assistance of corrupt officials of the BI in exchange for huge sums of money. Also supposedly in on this racket are members of the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Army, and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP)," he said.

"There are sufficient grounds to investigate and monitor the goings -on in the BI. It seems that the authorities allow the entry of foreign terrorists, but immediately allow their deportation once their illegal activities are discovered. There are serious allegations that the deportation, summary voluntary deportation and exclusion of undesirable foreign nationals are money-making rackets of corrupt government officials on the one hand; and deliberate acts collusion with the AFP, PNP, and the ISAFP. There's a long-standing belief that the military and the government itself are behind the so-called "terrorists attacks" in Metro Manila and Davao that have claimed the lives of scores of Filipinos."

The veteran labor leader said that copies of the affidavits exposing the corrupt dealings at the BI filed at the office of the Ombudsman have also been sent to the Offcie of the President, Supreme Court Justice Hilario Davide Jr., Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, US Ambassador Francis Riiciardone and a handful of solons in the Senate and Congress. "It's surprising that such shocking revelations have not made the headlines, especially given Malacanang's relentless noise regarding the supposed threat of terrorism in the country," he said. #


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