DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 August) — The Maute patriarch is dead.
The 67-year old Cayamora Maute, detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City since June 8, was rushed to Taguig Pateros Hospital as an emergency case at around 3:07 p.m. Sunday but “was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician,” a statement from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said.
The BJMP said Maute was “experiencing difficulty in breathing and body weakness” at around 4:30 a.m. at his detention area in Camp Bagong Diwa and his health condition monitored, his medications administered to him.
The patriarch was arrested in a checkpoint in Davao City on June 6. He arrived in Taguig on June 8.
In a statement Sunday, General Eduardo Año, Armed Forces Chief of Staff said they learned about Maute’s passing away through the media. “This is an unfortunate incident for his family; but more so to the victims of terrorism in Marawi and their relatives who are awaiting justice and expecting that Mr Cayamora would answer/atone for his involvement in the Marawi rebellion,” he said.
The patriarch of the Maute clan and alleged top leader of the Maute Group had, upon his arrest in Davao City, denied involvement in terrorism or with the group founded by his sons Omar and Abdullah.
In an interview with reporters at the Davao City Police Office on June 6, the Maute patriarch claimed he had not seen his sons for some time now. “Ngayon taon hindi ko maalala (This year, I can no longer remember),” he said.
“Hindi ako kasama sa grupo nila. Kapangalan lang (I’m not part of the group. We only have the same surname),” Maute explained.
The patriarch at that time was suffering from diabetes and had a coughing fit. When he was caught at the checkpoint, he was allegedly on his way to Davao City for a medical check-up.
He said he left Marawi on Sunday, June 3, Day 13 of the clashes between government forces and the Maute Group.
Maute told reporters he wanted a “longer” ceasefire between government and the Maute Group.
An emissary of the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s “Peace Corridor” on June 3 managed to get the Maute Group to agree to a four-hour ceasefire to allow safe passage for trapped civilians. At least 134 civilians were rescued then.
Maute and his second wife, Kongan Alfonso Balawag; their daughter, Norjannah Balawag Maute, and her alleged partner Benzarali Tingao; and the driver, Aljon Salazar Ismael were arrested at a checkpoint in TF Davao in Sirawan, Toril, here on-board a black Toyota Grandia.
Driver Salazar also denied links with the Maute Group.
He said he picked up Benzarali and his partner, Norjannah, at Hotel Filipino in Cotabato.
Bensarali, his college friend, then instructed him to go to Sultan Kudarat to pick up another passengers, who turned out to be the Maute patriarch and his second wife, Balawag. They were supposed to proceed to Tagum City.
But upon reaching Sultan Kudarat, he said the instruction changed and they were to go to Davao City instead. Tagum City is 56 kilometers away from Davao City.
Salazar claimed he did not have any idea about his passengers’ affiliations. “Had I known who they were, I would bring them to the police myself,” he said. (MindaNews)