Hamidon denies recruiting for Maute


A 36-year-old woman on Friday denied she was involved in recruiting foreign Maute fighters.

“I have nothing to do with all those accusations. I have nothing to with that (involvement with Maute group). I strongly deny all the false accusations hurled against me,” Karen Aizha Hamidon told reporters in a chance interview after appearing at a preliminary investigation called by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong.

PROSELYTIZING, NOT RECRUITING Karen Aizha Hamidon, 36, gets handcuffed during the preliminary investigation on rebellion and inciting to rebellion charges filed against her by the National Bureau of Investigation. Hamidon claims she merely wanted to spread Islam, and did not recruit foreign fighters for deployment to the battle in Marawi. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

“I was just helping propagate Islam,” she added.

Hamidon, who was arrested in her condominium unit in Taguig City last October 11, was slapped with 14 counts of rebellion or inciting to rebellion in relation to Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10175), by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Counter-Terrorism Division.

On the day she was arrested, NBI agents discovered Hamidon’s messages on messaging app Telegram asking local and foreign Muslims to join the Maute fighters.

The Maute group, which had pledged allegiance to the terror group Islamic State (IS), attacked Marawi City last May 23 in a bid to put up an IS province in Mindanao. Foreign fighters were among those killed during five months of fighting.

Hamidon was represented by lawyer Maria Elisa Jonalyn Barquez of the Public Attorney’s Office.

She admitted to being the wife of the late Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, also known as Tokboy and Abu Sharifa, the former leader of the Ansar Khalifa Philippines.

Ansar Khalifa is said to have been responsible for the deadly night market attack in Davao City in September last year.

She also did not deny that she was the former wife of Muhammad Shamin Mohammed Sidek, who is detained in Singapore for his links to the IS.

Hamidon is scheduled to file her counter-affidavit on November 10.


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