FORMER Marawi mayor Fahad Salic was arrested for rebellion Wednesday evening at a checkpoint in Misamis Oriental in connection with the Marawi siege by the Maute terrorist group.
“He is in the list of people I ordered arrested,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told Manila Standard.
Asked how Salic was connected to the Maute group, Lorenzana said the former mayor was “related by affinity.”
Lorenzana said Salic’s wife, Rasmia, is a cousin of Maute brothers Omarkhayam and Abdullah.
Lorenzana, however, declined to give details as to how exactly Salic supported the Maute group.
“He is married to a Maute. I cannot say more as we are still in the process of apprehending others. We will disclose all in due time,” the Defense chief said.
“I do not want to talk more about this because it will divulge some confidential information that will compromise our efforts,” Lorenzana added.
The father of the Maute brothers, Cayamora Maute, said he hopes for a lasting peace in Mindanao, particularly in Marawi City where his sons and their armed followers have wrought havoc.
Arrested Tuesday morning, Maute said he has not seen his sons for some time and had no idea what their plan for Marawi City was.
“Nothing can be compared to a lasting peace [in Marawi] there should be no conflicts,” he said. “I hope for a longer ceasefire. He refused to say if he would convince his sons to surrender, however.
Maute said he was suffering from diabetes and could barely walk.
“My medical checkup was canceled. I have difficulties in breathing and walking,” he said.
He also disavowed any participation or knowledge in the Maute terrorist group’s activities.
“I am not a member of the group, we just share the same family name,” he said.
Maute also said his sons shared President Rodrigo Duterte’s aim to rid the country of illegal drugs.
“They are one with President Duterte’s cleaning [effort against drugs],” he said.
Alain Salazar Ismael, the driver of the Maute patriarch’s group, said he has no idea that his passengers were members of a terrorist group.
He admitted that he knew Benzar Ali Tingao since they went to the same school.
“I fetched the group in La Filipino Hotel in Cotabato City, then we went to Sultan Kudarat to fetch Cayamora,” he said.
The commander of the 10th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Noel Clement said that they have increased security measures in the city to ensure the safety of the people.
“Our troops [are on] full alert, especially now that the patriarch of the Maute group is detained here,” he said.
Mayor Sara Duterte lauded the authorities for their alertness in identifying the Maute patriarch at their checkpoint in Sirawan Toril, on Tuesday morning.
Mayor Duterte also asked Davao residents to show their support for the police and military and to immediately report any suspicious-looking individuals or packages.
The Palace on Wednesday welcomed news of the arrest of the Maute family patriarch, whose sons are currently fighting government forces in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
“The apprehension of the Maute patriarch is a significant step to prevent and suppress future terrorist acts, and we thank Task Force Davao for its quick response,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently offered P5 million each for the capture of Abduhalah and Omar Maute, leaders of the Maute group that has pledged allegiance to ISIS.
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