Maute patriarch an expelled MILF member — Eastmincom

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 June) — The father of two brothers leading the Maute Group that has been fighting government forces in Marawi City since May 23 is a disgraced member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a military official said Wednesday.

Cayamora Maute, 67, was expelled from the MILF for “grave misconduct,” said BGen Gilbert Gapay, martial law spokesperson for the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom).

Cayamora Maute, 67, father of the leaders of the Maute Group, Omar and Abdula, inside the Davao City Police Office on 6 June 2017. Cayamora was arrested at the Sirawan, Toril checkpoint of Task Force Davao. Also taken from their vehicle were cash, a .45 caliber gun, ammunition, and a fragmentation grenade. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

The elder Maute, father of Abdullah and Omar Maute, was arrested at the Task Force Davao checkpoint in Toril, Davao City on Tuesday along with four other persons.

“Based on the propensity of the sanction, Cayamora Maute did really something illegal. We are still following up details on that and verifying what really was the cause of his expulsion from the MILF,” he told the AFP-PNP press conference on Wednesday at the Royal Mandaya.

Gapay, who served as brigade commander from 2014 to 2016 in Lanao del Sur, surmised that Cayamora’s expulsion from the MILF could have prompted him to form his own group, initially as a subgroup of the Jemaah Islamiyah until its leader known as alias “Sanusi” was killed by the military in November 2012 in Marawi City.

“After neutralization (of Sanusi), the Maute Group laid low,” he said.

During this time, he said the Maute group turned bandits, serving as a private army of some politicians in Lanao del Sur and protector of drug lords.

“Kaya they were able to generate resources to further their terroristic activities,” he said,

Gapay said Cayamora, a Maranao, played a great role in the formative years of the Maute Group, providing his sons “guidance and protection.”

“Considering [the] Maranao family, the patriarch is being looked up to and serves as a leader when it comes to family matters,” he said.

“It took years before they can develop their terroristic capability, and all those formative years, they had their father to give them direction, guidance and influence on his sons of the family. It is because of this that Cayamora Maute has a great participation in the terrorist group,” he said.

He said Cayamora’s capture will bear on the Maute Group but won’t necessarily stop the clashes in Marawi or prompt his sons to “do something to rescue their father. But I’m sure this is a big blow to them.”

“Unang una, ang morale ng mga magkakapatid. Alam nila ang kanilang ama ay nadakip at nasa custody (First of all on the morale of the Maute brothers. They know their father was arrested and is under custody),” he said.

Gapay said the police are preparing rebellion charges against the arrested suspects.

Cayamora has a standing warrant of arrest, along with 89 other members of the Maute Group for five counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

Norjannah Balawag Maute, Cayamora’s daughter with his second wife Kongan Alfonso Balawag, also has a warrant for violation of Presidential Decree 1866 for illegal possession of blasting caps and triggering devices issued by the Regional Trial Court 12 in Malabang, Lanao del Sur. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)

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