MANILA - An Australian man believed to be a leader of a group of Islamic militants calling for global jihad is now under the custody of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Immigration chief Siegfred Mison said Robert Edward Cerantonio, 29, has been brought to the BI's holding facility in Bicutan where he waits for his actual deportation to Australia.
Cerantonio was arrested by joint elements of the BI and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Cebu on Friday after a warrant for his deportation was issued Thursday.
According to the BI, the Australian police informed them of the cancellation of Cerantonio's passport last July 7 after police intelligence authorities identified him as the one sending messages to suspected terrorists calling for extremism.
Cerantonio reportedly used the Philippines as his safe haven, using the Internet and social media to urge people to undertake extremist activities.
Mison said his activities in the Philippines "pose a risk to public interest."
"Cerantonio was charged for being undocumented and for being an undesirable alien," Mison said.
"Cerantonio will be deported to Australia when all the documents necessary for deportation are complete. Among the documents required for deportation is the NBI clearance to make sure that the subject has no pending case in our local courts," he added.