05 July 2016

Pakistani terror suspect arrested in Subic

A Pakistani fugitive wanted for terrorism was arrested Saturday night in a joint operation by law enforcers in Subic, according to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

Morente identified the man seized in Subic Bay Freeport Zone as Malik Muhammad Sharif alias Sharif Ahmad.

“The 39-year old Sharif, who was born in Sialkot, Pakistan, is wanted in Islamabad, Pakistan for double murder, attempted murder, terrorism and rioting. According to the Interpol Red Notice, subject carries a sentence of death penalty in Pakistan,” Morente said.

Elements from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Police helped the immigration agents, particularly the BI's Fugitive Search Unit, in their operation.

According to Morente, the operation, which was coordinated with the Anti-Terrorism Council, is part of the BI’s target-hardening campaign.

Morente earlier declared Friday, when he took office, that the bureau will focus on, among others, tighter border control, considering the intensifying, more frequent terrorist acts around the worldwide.

BI, stressed Morente, must “secure Philippine borders by shoring up border control, especially our anti-terrorism and anti-crime efforts, to guard against the entry of foreign terrorists or criminal elements who may want to hide in the country to escape prosecution in their home country, or who might try to engage in lawless activities.”

He gave assurances such violent elements "will not be able to make our country their safe haven.”

Sharif's arrest is just the start of the stepped-up campaign against lawless foreigners seeking to use the Philippines as sanctuary, Morente said. “More arrests will be done in the coming days and weeks, targeting not only fugitives from justice but also foreigners who are abusing their stay in the country by continuing to engage in unlawful activities or who continue to violate our Immigration laws.” (Jaime Sinapit, InterAksyon.com)