‘He’s no terrorist. He’s a preacher who blogs’

By Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Edison Delos Angeles |July 13,2014 - 11:05 AM

Cebuana arrested with suspected Jihad preacher defends her man

Wearing a thobe, a traditional garment worn in the Middle East, Joane Montayre stays in a detention cell on a charge of estafa at the Subangdaku Police Station in Mandaue City. She said she’s married to Australian national Robert Edward Cerantonio who was arrested with her Friday morning. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

He is a preacher, not a terrorist. He uses his blog to teach Islam, said 32-year-old Joean Montayre, the woman who was arrested with  suspected “jihad” recruiter  Robert Edward “Musa” Cerantonio.

Detained in a Mandaue city jail after both were arrested Friday night in their rented house in Lapu-Lapu city, Montayre insisted that her Australian mate was innocent.

Montayre, a Cebuana from Mandaue City, said she converted to Islam in 2007 or way before she met the Cerantonio.

She said they got married last year three days after they met at the Mactan Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City.

Police who arrested her said she had a standing arrest warrant for estafa.

In a radio interview, Montayre said she works as a fashion designer while the Australian was in the country to study local languages.

“As far as I know, he’s good, humble and very intelligent. He came here to study our language and Philippine history. The Internet is full of garbage. Anybody can put accusations there against anyone,” she said while inside the detention cell of the Subangdaku Police Station.

Cerantonio was flown immediately to Manila and taken to Camp Crame. Police said he would be subjected to deportation proceedings because he was an undocumented alien.

Montayre denied claims that Cerantonio is in the country to recruit fighters for the cause of Islam.

“The Internet is full of junk. They can easily make false accounts under your name. The Internet is not reliable to be used as basis in condemning some,” she said.

Montayre admitted that Cerantonio is a regular blogger, but he discusses several issues in his blogs. She recalled that he had mentioned jihad or holy war in his blogs simply because he was talking then about “hot issues” concerning the Muslim communities in various parts of the world.

“He (Cerantonio) knows a lot of issues because he is always reading. He is here to study languages in the Philippines,” she said.

Montayre said she has no plans of catching up with Cerantonio in Manila if ever she gets released from detention.

“If we would no longer see each other, then what can we do? We Muslims believe in ‘pre-destiny’. Whatever comes to us, we accept it with a good heart. In the first place, who would have thought that we would see each other. The world is so small after all,” she told CDN.


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