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Jakarta Post

Indonesia seeks access to reported citizen charged under Philippines new antiterror law

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, October 16, 2020   /   11:35 am
Indonesia seeks access to reported citizen charged under Philippines new antiterror law Philippine soldiers escort a hearse during the funeral procession of a victim killed in the Jan. 27 cathedral bombing in Jolo, Sulu province, on the southern island of Mindanao, on Jan. 30, 2019. (AFP/Nickee Butlangan)

The Indonesian government has written to the Philippines authorities requesting data and consular access to Rezky Fantasya Rullie, a woman reported to be an Indonesian national charged with violating the latter's newly signed antiterrorism law.

Rezky, also known as Nana Israni, was arrested on Oct. 10 during a joint military and police operation in Sulu province in the southern Philippines. Security forces found a suicide vest and bomb components in the house where they arrested her, according to media reports.

The Foreign Ministry filed the request through the Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI) in Davao, said Judha Nugraha, the ministry's director for citizen protection.

“The KJRI in Davao is still waiting for the data and consular access [from the Philippines authorities],” Judha said on Thursday.

“The data and access to meet [Rezky] are vital to verify her identity and citizenship, considering that she did not claim to be an Indonesian citizen during the interrogation process with the Philippine authorities.”

Read also: Duterte's anti-terrorism law challenged in Philippines' top court

Rezky will serve as a "test case" for the Philippines' new 2020 Anti-Terrorism Act, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in July, arabnews.com reported.

“This is the first major case, I think, where certain persons suspected of being foreign terrorists are being charged with violating our new antiterrorism law,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told Arab News.

Philippines authorities claimed that Rezky, who was pregnant when arrested, volunteered to carry out the planned suicide bombing to take revenge for her late husband Andi Baso, an Indonesian militant killed by authorities in Sulu last year.

The antiterrorism law, which gives security forces sweeping power to go after people they deem to be terrorists, has met with backlash in the Philippines since its deliberation, with critics fearing that it could open the door to a crackdown on Duterte's opponents. The deliberation prompted a rally in Manila back in June.

More than 30 petitions have reportedly been filed to the Supreme Court from individuals and groups looking to challenge the law. Duterte, however, has insisted that the law would be used to protect the Philippines from terrorism, adding that law-abiding citizens had nothing to fear from the legislation

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