Wife of suspected JI terrorist enters ‘not guilty’ plea

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January 12 2013

In the December Swat operations, authorities said they recovered from her bag a “high-powered initiator container with a switch.”  But Lee denied the accusation.

By ACE R. MORANDANTE
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The wife of suspected Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist killed in a shootout last December 14 entered a ‘not guilty’ plea during her arraignment January 11 at the Regional Trial Court Branch 14 before Judge George Omelio.

Annabel Nieva Lee, wife of Malaysian National Mohammad Noor Fikrie Abud Kahar who was shot by operatives of the Philippine National Police Special Weapons and Tactics Team (Swat), was charged with illegal possession of incendiary device.

In the December Swat operations, authorities said they recovered from her bag a “high-powered initiator container with a switch.”  But Lee denied the accusation.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director Ronald dela Rosa, in a text to davaotoday.com, said that it’s Lee’s right to enter such plea.

“It’s for the court to decide.  As far as the police is concerned, we are very positive that she was with her husband when she was arrested; and it was her who initially carried the bag containing an improvised explosive device,” Dela Rosa told the media.

Meanwhile, Mayor Sara Duterte said she’ll hold her comments and opinions after the trial.

Lee was transferred to the custody of the Naval Intelligence and Security Group in Camp Panacan from the DCPO.

Secured siya didto.  Sigurado gyud ta nga dili siya mailog didto sa mga terorista.  Kung naa man silay plano nga iliquidate o patyon (si Lee) aron dili na makakuha og information ang gobyerno gikan sa iyaha, dili na nila pwede mahimo,” Dela Rosa said, adding that “Hayahay na mi karon kay wala na mi gibantayan nga high-risk detainee.”

Meanwhile, Bai Ali Indayla, Kabataan Partylist second nominee, said that “there must be a thorough investigation by authorities if there are really JI terrorists in Davao City.”

She noted that the issue might have been used “to justify the presence of US troops in Davao region and the prospect of US government to conduct Balikatan exercises in Davao City.”

Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been very vocal against the holding of war exercises in the city.  The US plan has also been strongly opposed by the people.

The US embassy has earlier announced that the next Balikatan exercises will be held in the communities hit by typhoon Pablo.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas said during a press conference here last month that the US military personnel who are attending a planning exercise for Balikatan 13 — the largest annual US-Phil Military exercise — were redirected to assist the relief operations in the Davao region.  The Balikatan 13 will “focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” Thomas said.

Meanwhile Dela Rosa said that the current peace and order situation in the city is “okay.”  But Mayor Duterte said that the city is still on heightened alert “because Davao is a prime target for terrorists” like all other progressive cities around the globe.

“We have daily operations against illegal drugs and intelligence monitoring of suspected traders,” she said, adding that the increased economic activity in the city “makes our place a prime target for pushers.”  She also said that undercover cops continue to pursue akyat bahay, theft and robbery suspects or leads.  (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)

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