Sayyaf Rebels’ Conviction in RP Leads World to Combat Terrorism

Currently, the Philippines already convicted 39 terrorists in the country, including the recent 14 members of the Abu Sayyaf group who have been found guilty of kidnapping 20 innocent individuals. The group has long been linked to the international al-Qaeda network.

With such number of convictions, it only shows the Philippine government’s strong position to pin down militant groups creating havoc to the country.

Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor claimed the Philippines currently holds one of the highest number of convicted terrorists in the world.

Judge Lorifel Acap-Pahinma sentenced 14 members of the Abu Sayyaf group to life imprisonment for taking hostage of 20 people in a resort in Palawan in 2001.

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Blancaflor, spokesman for the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), reported around 25 others are waiting for their verdicts with cases of terrorism.

He counted convicted cases in the world with Great Britain having no convictions as of the moment. Spain had four convicted terrorists involved in the Madrid bombings, although the mastermind is still at large. In the U.S., only four were given life sentences. In Asia, Indonesia and the Philippines have many convicted terrorists. Manila has the highest with 39.

Blancaflor said the Philippine government has a stronghold in looking after the terrorists, even if they hide in remote places, sooner or later they will be found and convicted for their wrongdoings.

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Recently, a judge convicted the 14 Abu Sayyaf terrorists accused of kidnapping an American missionary couple and 18 others, killing five victims at the Dos Palmas resort in Puerto Princesa, Palawan in May 2001 with 20 life sentences each.

The court identified the 14 as Abdulazzan Diamla, Daud Baru, Ahmad Baky Abdullah, Bashier Ordonez, Sonny Asali, Alzen Jandul, Bas Ismael, Haber Asari, Kamar Ilias Ismael, Marvin Vincent Rueca, Margani Iblong Hapilon, Tuting Hannoh, Adzmar Aluk and Guillermo Salcedo.

Aside from the conviction of 20 life sentences each, they were ordered to pay their victims moral and exemplary damages.


by Maynard Joseph Delfin