Sep 162014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/09/08MANILA2049.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MANILA2049
2008-09-03 08:43
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO4086
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2049 2470843
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 030843Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1722
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 002049

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT, EAP/MTS, EAP/RSP, DS/ATA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/03/2018
TAGS: ASEC CT PGOV PREL PTER RP
SUBJECT: RAJAH SOLAIMAN MOVEMENT TERRORIST DEPORTED TO PHILIPPINES

Classified By: Amb. Kristie A. Kenney, reasons 1.4 b, d.

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Ruben Omar Pestano Lavilla, Jr., a key
leader of the Philippine terrorist group Rajah Solaiman
Movement, was deported to Manila on August 30, after he was
arrested on July 24 in Bahrain. The deportation was an
important success for Philippine officials, who worked
through the United Nations 1267 process to have Lavilla
returned to the Philippines. Lavilla, who masterminded the
2004 Superferry and 2005 Valentine’s Day bombings in Metro
Manila that killed at least 120 people, is included on the
United Nations and U.S. terrorist lists. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) On August 30, Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM) top
leader Ruben Omar Pestano Lavilla, Jr. was deported to the
Philippines after being arrested in Bahrain July 24.
According to Philippine Justice Undersecretary Ricardo
Blancaflor, Lavilla was arrested after he applied for a job
at the Philippine Embassy in Bahrain and officials there
discovered he had outstanding warrants in the Philippines for
murder and rebellion, but how long Lavilla had been in
Bahrain and his previous occupation there are unconfirmed.
The arrest came shortly after Lavilla was designated a
terrorist under the United Nations 1267 Resolution.

¶3. (C) Lavilla is wanted for his alleged role in organizing
the bombing of Superferry 14 in Manila Bay on February 27,
2004, when a ship carrying 900 people exploded 90 minutes
after departing Manila. Another RSM member confessed to
planting the explosives and implicated Lavila as the
mastermind, saying that RSM had carried out the bombing on
behalf of the Abu Sayyaf Group, which had failed to extort
PHP 1 million in protection money from the shipping company.
Lavilla fled the Philippines after the Superferry bombing,
but continued his involvement in RSM activities. He is
suspected of having planned from abroad the 2005 Valentine’s
Day bus bombing in Metro Manila, which killed four people and
injured 36 others.

¶4. (C) Lavilla is believed to be a key figure in RSM, a
group of radical Islam converts formed in 2002 that operates
in Manila and northern Luzon. In the past, the group has
collaborated with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in waging urban
terrorism in major Philippine cities. In June 2005,
Washington imposed financial sanctions against the RSM, which
reportedly receives funding from Jemaah Islamiyah, the ASG,
and private sources in Saudi Arabia. In 2006, the Embassy
Manila awarded $500,000 in USG reward money to two informants
who assisted in the capture of RSM founder Hilarion Ahmed
Santos.

¶5. (C) The Philippine government has worked diligently the
last three years to have the RSM listed as a terrorist
organization by the United Nations. Following the United
Nations Security Council listing of the RSM and eight of its
leaders on the 1267 Committee’s terrorist list of
“individuals and entities affiliated with Al-Qaeda, the
Taliban, and Osama bin Laden,” on June 4, 2008, the State
Department listed RSM as “specially designated global
terrorists.”

¶6. (C) Philippine officials told Embassy personnel that
they were proud of their ability to make the 1267 process
work and that they were able to have Lavilla deported so
quickly to the Philippines. The Philippine officials also
remarked that they are considering watchlisting some
individual Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commanders as
terrorists, but that there is an internal debate within the
Philippine government as to the effectiveness of taking that
step. Existing legislation such as the Philippine Human
Security Act is seen by some officials as actually providing
terrorists with protections due to various provisions for
compensation in the event of unjust incarceration.
Consequently, the Philippine government is looking at the
1267 mechanism as a possible vehicle for individual MILF
terrorist designations.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET websiQ
http://www.state.sgov.gov/
KENNEY

   

 

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