A QUEZON City court has convicted an alleged member of the Maute terrorist group for illegal possession of an explosive device.
In a 20-page decision dated Sept. 25, Judge Eleuterio Larisma Bathan sentenced Unday Macadato or “Solaiman Omar” to 20 to 40 years in jail.
The court said Mr Unday had failed to prove his claim that the grenade found in his possession was planted and did not belong to him.
“He failed to disprove with concrete evidence the existence of the subject hand grenade in his possession or control,” according to a copy of the ruling.
“In fact, he failed to substantiate his defense of planted evidence, in spite of accused Unday’s testimony claiming that there was a CCTV camera there in F. Manalo in Cubao where he was arrested,” it added.
Authorities arrested Mr. Unday in Cubao, Quezon City in May last year after. Police caught him in the act of loading his firearm and recovered from him a bag containing a flag/handkerchief with a logo of the Islamic State and a grenade.
He claimed he was not Mr. Unday and that his name was“Solaiman Omar.” He claimed not to speak Tagalog, but was able to testify using the language during his trial, the court said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas