The Daily Manila Shimbun


Father of Maute brothers, 4 others arrested at Davao checkpoint

June 6, 2017

The father of Maute brothers, who are leading the attack on Marawi City with Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon,  and four others were arrested in a checkpoint operation in Davao City on Tuesday. Major Mario Tena, Task Force Davao spokesman, said based on an initial report, Cayamora Maute, father of terrorist group leaders Omar and Abdullah Maute, was apprehended at the vicinity of Barangay Sirawan, Toril district in Davao City around 10 am. Meanwhile, the military is verifying the reported death of Omar Maute during last month’s operation in Marawi City. Last year, the military said based on their intelligence report, Omar Maute was among those who were killed during the bombardment in Butig, Lanao del Sur. Tena said Cayamora was on a vehicle with his second wife identified as Kongan Alfonso Balawag, his daughter Norjannah Balawag Maute, her husband Benzali Tingao and driver Aljon Salazar Ismael when they were  intercepted by government authorities at Task Force Davao checkpoint. Tena said authorities become suspicious as Cayamora’s face was covered by a mask during the inspection. He said the suspects were arrested after operatives noticed that Cayamora matched the face of one of the identified wanted local terrorist members on the poster used by troops in every checkpoints. Tena said members of Task Force Davao also recover more or less 300,000 pesos from the suspects. He said the arrested suspects were turned over to the Davao City Police Office for proper disposition and documentation. AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Ano said there is  “a big possibility” Omar is still alive. We are still validating the report, around May 28 is the incident when Omar reportedly died, yes in Marawi,” he said In a radio interview, Ano said the terrorist group are confined at the area of Banggolo in Marawi City. “If you will notice from day one, our encounters here were spread in Marawi, but while the day passes by we were able to confine them. Now, they are confined on what we called as Banggolo area which is almost 10 percent of the total area but it has the most number of buildings,” he said. Ano said the military were able to recover some establishments previously occupied by snipers following the heavy firefight since Monday. “Actually since last night and yesterday we had heavy fighting. Other buildings especially those that were previously occupied by the snipers were already recovered,” he said. “It only means that our offensive will continue, because these well emplaced snipers halt our troop movement,” he added. Ano said the military recovered sniper rifles of the terrorist group members. (Robina Asido/DMS)