Capture of ISIS 'commander' shows AFP, PNP cooperation

By Priam Nepomuceno

February 20, 2018, 11:00 am

MANILA -- The recent arrest of the Egyptian national tagged as a commander of the international terror group ISIS demonstrates the resolve of the military and police to defeat and neutralize terrorists in the country.

"This inspiring result of the joint AFP-PNP operation is a testimony not only of the resolve of the government to monitor, deter, and defeat terrorists and their infrastructure. It is also proof of what a robust intelligence sharing and collaboration can do to keep our nation and its people safe," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said late Monday.

In the same vein, Arevalo reiterated his call to the public to be more vigilant and cooperate actively in the campaign against terrorists and their allies.

“The AFP and the Philippine National Police continue to sound the call for the sustained vigilance, cooperation, and active involvement with your security forces to strengthen our defense posture against terrorists and criminal elements,” he added. AFP and PNP units arrested Egyptian Fehmi Lassqued and his Filipina live-in partner Anabel Salipada during operations in Ermita, Manila on Friday.

They were brought to the Department of Justice for inquest proceedings as they were charged with illegal possession of explosive devices and firearms filed by Regional Police Intelligence Operations Unit (RPIOU) of the National Capital Region Police Office.

The charge sheet signed by Supt. Carlito Narag Jr., RPIOU chief, sought the indictment of the suspects for violations of Republic Act 10591 and RA 9516, laws on illegal possession of firearms and explosives, respectively.

It cited as evidence the explosive devices seized from the couple during their arrest, including four pipes, two batteries, three capacitors, two integrated circuits, three battery clips and 11 resistors and also the .45-caliber pistol and ammunitions recovered from them.

Lassqued has been staying in the Philippines since July 2016 and has been traveling in and out of the country using a fake Tunisian passport when he is actually an Egyptian national. (PNA)