Terror convict Umar Patek, left, accompanied by his wife Gina Gutierez Luceno alias Rukayah, speaks in a press conference at Porong Prison in Sidoarjo, East Java on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/Umarul Faruq)

Philippine Wife of Bali Bomber Umar Patek Gets Indonesian Citizenship


NOVEMBER 21, 2019

Surabaya. The wife of high-profile terror convict Umar Patek has been granted Indonesian citizenship with the help of the National Counterterrorism Agency, or BNPT, as part of the agency's deradicalization program.

Gina Gutierez Luceno alias Rukayah, who was born in the Philippines, received her citizenship documents at the Porong Prison in the East Java town of Sidoarjo on Wednesday.

BNPT head Suhardi Alius handed the documents himself at the prison, where Umar is serving his 20-year sentence.

"The citizenship was granted after many considerations by the State Intelligence Agency [BIN], [counter-terror squad] Detachment 88 and other related agencies. They took into account what Umar Patek had contributed [to the deradicalization program] so far," Suhardi said.

He said Umar came to him asking for assistance to gain Indonesian citizenship for his wife two and a half years ago. The agencies followed up the request on humanitarian grounds, Suhardi said.

Umar is serving a 20-year jail sentence for his role in the October 2002 twin Bali bombings that killed at least 202 people, mostly foreigners. 

He and Bali bombing mastermind Ali Imron were put under the deradicalization program and have since distanced themselves from their previous ideological views and helped law enforcement agencies take down Jemaah Islamiyah, the shadowy terror group responsible for the attack.

Before the Bali bombings, Umar had once lived on Basilan Island in the Philippines after joining Abu Sayyaf's Islamist rebels.

"We thank the government for granting the citizenship that we have been pursuing since 2011," Umar said.

He said he married Rukayah during his stay at the mujahedeen camp in Mindanao in the Philippines.

Umar, 53, said his wife had kept herself close to him by living in a boarding house near the prison.

"I am calling for terrorists to put an end to their actions. Indonesia is a peace-loving nation and grants the rights to worship to all citizens," Umar said.