Senator Panfilo Lacson on Saturday said the government may have been sending the wrong message to terrorists with the way it handled the arrest of Abu Sayyaf leader Abduljihad Susukan.
Lacson cited news reports that Susukan was at the center of a "surrender deal" reportedly brokered by Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari.
Police arrested Susukan at Misuari’s house Thursday night, days after Misuari -- to whom Susukan allegedly "surrendered" as early as April -- got past security forces in bringing Susukan to Davao City from Jolo.
"Huwag naman sana. Pag pinaghalo ang pulitika at terorismo, talo lahat tayo. Why? Politics has no logic and terrorism has no reason," said Lacson, who sponsored the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in the Senate.
"We had sent the right message to the world that we mean business against terrorism with tough legislation in the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. But we could be sending the wrong message if we allow politics into the mix, as in the case of Susukan."
Susukan, who was brought to Camp Crame for processing Saturday morning, is the subject of several warrants of arrest, allegedly for crimes, including the murder and kidnapping of Malaysians and Chinese citizens.
He surrendered to Misuari, who is President Rodrigo Duterte’s special economic envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.