MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has junked the criminal complaint against an Egyptian national with alleged links to ISIS “for lack of merit.”
The 7-page resolution dated March 5, signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, stated no probable cause was established against Fehmi Lassqued and his Filipina partner, Anabel Moncera Salipada.
Military intelligence reports had alleged that Lassqued, who slipped into the country in July 2016, was an ISIS official and used to represent the group in talks with Syrian and Turkish government officials.
The two were arrested by a joint force of policemen and soldiers on February 16 at an apartment in Ermita, Manila during a search in their room on the strength of a search warrant issued by the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 139.
The Philippine National Police earlier said several explosives components, a caliber .45 firearm, and live ammunition were seized from the couple during the operation.
In dismissing the case, the DOJ sided with the defense of respondents that the items were not taken from them.
Respondents claimed they were taken out of the room, Room No. 409, when the search was conducted.
“Basic and well-established is the rule that the party alleging has the burden of substantiating his allegation and any declaration or assertion not so substantiated is, at best, a self-serving statement or declaration which is inadmissible in evidence for being hearsay,” the resolution stated.
The DOJ gave weight to respondents' claim that the photographs presented by the police as evidence did not establish they were taken inside Room 409.