Suspected Indonesian terrorist has to be tried in Philippines first: Padilla
A suspected Indonesian terrorist who was recently arrested in Marawi City has to face charges in the Philippines first before he could be tried in his home country if he is wanted there, a military spokesman said on Friday.
In the "Mindanao Hour" briefing, Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said Mohamadin Ilham Syaputra could also be facing cases in Indonesia.
He noted the suspect admitted he was also involved in a bombing incident in his country.
"But because he has a case here, so he should be tried here. And he will be held responsible for the crime he committed here," Padilla said.
Asked if the foreign terrorists would be extradited to Indonesia, Padilla said it would be up to the Department of Justice to answer. "But as of now, he is facing serious charges here," he said.
Syaputra, a suspected member of ISIS, was arrested on November 1 In Barangay Loksadatu by members of the civilian Barangay Peace Action Team.
Asked of an assurance that Syaputra would not be able to escape, just like what happened to terrorist Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi of Jemaah Islamiyah in 2003 while under the police custody, Padilla said, "I cannot answer that because I'm not a member of the police force."
But Padilla said the Philippine National Police has strengthened its security in the detention cells, particularly for suspected foreign terrorists.
"So we hope those that happened before would not happen now (because) those responsible individuals and offices would be held accountable," he said.
Syaputra came to Mindanao on the invitation of slain terror leader Isnilon Hapilon, he said.
Padilla said the original plan was to bomb military headquarters in Mindanao. But it just happened that the Marawi crisis erupted and they focused there, he added. Celerina Monte/DMS