Mother of Maute extremist leaders faces rebellion charges

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday, June 13 formally filed rebellion charges against the mother of brothers Abdullah and Omar Maute, the suspected leaders of the extremist group.

The matriarch, identified as Ominta Romato “Farhana” Maute, is believed to be the financier of the Maute group. She was nabbed last Friday, June 9  in  Masiu, Lanao del Sur.

Also indicted was former Marawi City Mayor Fajad Salic, who was arrested earlier on Thursday, June 8, at a checkpoint in Misamis Oriental. Salic is included in an arrest order issued by Defense Secretary and martial law Administrator Delfin Lorenzana

Apart form Farhana and Salic, nine others were also charged over their alleged ties with the extremist group: Sumaya Bangkit Masakal, Radiea Tugosa Asire, Mariam Ibnu Abubakar, Zafeerah Rosales Musa, Nehreen Macaraya Abdul, Nora Moctar Limgas, Mardiyya Haji Ali, Sumayya Lawi Ali, and Noronisa Haji Camal.

The suspects underwent inquest proceedings on Monday in Cagayan de Oro City.

Days earlier, the military and police arrested the Maute patriarch, Casamora Maute,  at  a checkpoint in Davao City. Cayamora is believed to be the provider of funds and logistical support  to the extremist group.

Cayamora was arrested on June 6 with his other wife Kongan Balawag, his daughter Norjanah Maute, his son-in-law Benzarali Tingao, and van driver Aljon Salazar Ismael.

Apart from rebellion charges, Cayamora was also charged for illegal possession of firearms. He was currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

On May 23, the pro-Islamic State (IS) Maute Group laid siege of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the entire Mindanao.

Authorities recorded casualties of at least 26 civilian amid the ongoing confrontation, while about 1,000 remained trapped inside the war-torn city. 58 government troopers and 202 militants were also killed.

Duterte refused to talk

Two days before Farhana’s arrest, Duterte said the mother of Maute brothers wanted to talk to him amid the ongoing clashes in Marawi City.

“Kaya sabi nila na mag-usap iyong nanay ni Maute, sabi ko, ‘No, I will not.’ I will not talk anymore (They said the mother of the Maute brothers wanted to talk. I said, no, I will not),” a furious Duterte said.

Speaking before the soldiers at Camp Leono in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, Duterte lamented the deaths of the soldiers and policemen.

“I will not talk anymore kasi marami na ang sundalo kong namatay. Marami nang police ko namatay. P*******a, huwag mo akong bolahin diyan sa usap-usap na ‘yan (I will not talk anymore because many of my soldiers and police have died. Son of a bitch, don’t fool me with those talks),” he added.

Duterte said he’ll only talk to the next generation of Mautes after the war.

Expressing his anger anew, Duterte blamed the Mautes for bringing a “very corrupt ideology” in the Philippines by letting the IS enter Mindanao.

“Why would you destroy your own community? You must be fools. Why bring ISIS, foreigners who just want to kill people? And they expect us to talk to them,” Duterte said.



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