The Philippines has jailed a Spaniard after he was convicted of gun possession nearly five years after his arrest, the Philippines’ Justice Ministry said on Thursday.
In January 2018, army anti-terrorist troops arrested Abdelhakim Labidi Adib, then 20, at a checkpoint on the southern island of Basilan, a stronghold of armed Islamist militants.
This file photo taken on January 24, 2018 shows Abdelhakim Labidi Adib (C) escorted by Filipino soldiers as he arrives at the Department of Justice (DOJ) building in Manila. – A Spanish national, Abdelhakim Labidi Adib, has been jailed in the Philippines after being convicted of small arms possession nearly five years after his arrest, the Philippines’ Justice Ministry said on Dec. 22, 2022. (Photo by AFP)
They claimed that Labidi Adib, a Spanish citizen of Tunisian descent who described himself as a tourist, had grenades and bomb-making equipment in his backpack.
They also accused him of being a sympathizer with Abu Sayyaf, a local armed rebel group with ties to Islamic State, which has been blamed for deadly bombings and beheadings of kidnap victims.
A second man accompanying the convict escaped, authorities said.
Labidi Adib agreed to plead guilty to three counts of possession of a loaded handgun, for which a Basilan court gave him sentences of between eight and 14 years in prison, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.
Under the Philippine Penal Code, multiple sentences are served simultaneously in order of severity, with a maximum duration of no more than three times the most severe.
“Attorney General Jesus Crispin ‘Boying’ Remulla commended prosecutors for securing the conviction of an alleged terrorist,” the statement added.
Labidi Adib was arrested eight months after Abu Sayyaf gunmen along with other Islamic State allies seized the center of the city of Marawi.
The attack sparked a five-month battle that destroyed much of the city and claimed the lives of more than a thousand people before the city was recaptured by Philippine forces with intelligence support from the US military.
Labidi Abid arrived in the Philippines in October 2017, around the time the Marawi siege ended, the military had previously said.
© Agence France-Presse