‘IS recruiter’ Hamidon cries: ‘I feel deprived of my right’
The woman who allegedly used social media to recruit Islamic State (IS) fighters has accused the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of denying her of her right to counsel.
Wearing handcuffs and escorted by NBI agents, Karen Aizha Hamidon appeared before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday for the first preliminary investigation on the rebellion or inciting to rebellion complaint filed against her.
“I feel deprived of my right for legal counsel as stipulated in the Constitution,” Hamidon told reporters after Friday’s hearing.
The suspect said she was only provided with lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) during the inquest proceedings and during a closed-door interview with the media.
“They’ve afforded me two lawyers, first was Atty. Raymund Nuque, and he was only good for the inquest procedure in DOJ. The second [were] the two lawyers, Atty. Don Chong Viray and Atty. Ricalde, but they were only good for the – they’ve only served for the said interview, it was a closed door,” she explained.
Even while she was not yet required to do so, Hamidon insisted on submitting a handwritten counter-affidavit, but Senior State Prosecutor Peter Ong ordered her to just submit it on the next hearing, which was scheduled on November 10.
However, NBI agent Joshua Raymundo refuted Hamidon’s accusations and said that she was provided with PAO lawyers on October 12, the night she underwent inquest proceedings.
“The night she was brought for inquest proceedings she was provided legal counsel sa PAO. After that, binigyan siya ng PAO, labas na kami dun [she was provided with PAO, we’re already out of the picture]. We don’t know what she means she was deprived of legal counsel,” Raymundo said.
“After that, dapat bahala na siya kumontak lawyer niya. Kilala na niya PAO lawyer niya [she should be the one to contact her lawyer. She already knows her PAO lawyer],” he added.
In a separate interview, Ong said he did not let Hamidon write her affidavit on the spot because she might get the details wrong.
“Kaya hindi ako pumayag, una ako magaling din ako magsulat pero kahit anong galing mo on the spot magkakamali ka. So I wanted to give her all the opportunity,” Ong told reporters after the hearing.
(That’s why I did not let her write her counter-affidavit. First, I am good in writing too, but however good you are, you’ll commit errors if you write on the spot. So I wanted to give her all the opportunity.)
The NBI filed 296 counts of inciting to rebellion for violating Article 138 of the Revised Penal Code or rebellion for violating Articles 134 and 135, in relation to Section 6 of R.A. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
Hamidon was the wife of the late terrorist leader, Mohammad Jaafar “Tokboy” Maguid, and ex-wife of another extremist, Singaporean Muhammad Shamin Mohammed Sidek, who was closely linked to the IS or Isis.
She denied the allegations against her, claiming she was just in-charge of “propagating Islam” in social media.
“My function is only through the usage of social media. I have nothing to do with any of those accusations like Maute, I have nothing to do with that. I strongly deny all of those alleged false accusations hurled against me,” she said. /kga
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