DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 5 July) – Military arrested in Cagayan de Oro City Wednesday morning two suspected supporters of the terrorist Maute Group, both relatives of Farhana Romato-Maute, mother of the Maute leaders Omar and Abdullah who was arrested last month in Lanao del Sur.
In a statement, the Martial Law Special Action Group (MLSAG) of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division apprehended Farhana’s niece, Monaliza Solaiman Romato, and her daughter, Tahera Romato Taher, at 4:30 a.m. in Barangay Macasandig in Cagayan de Oro in a search, arrest and seizure operation.
Upong the issuance of a warrant by Regional Trial Court Branch 18 executive judge Dennis Z. Alcantar, the authorities, who were accompanied by barangay officials, searched the house rented by a certain Irene Romato Idris at Residencia Apartment, Aluba, Brgy. Macasandig where they found the two suspects.
Authorities recovered from their possession four M203 grenades, one blasting cap, nine-volt battery with battery holder, one piece C4 explosive, eight detonating cords, 19 pieces 100-watt incandescent bulbs, jungle knife, suspected ammonium nitrate placed inside a plastic bag, and suspected red colored ammonium nitrate placed inside a plastic bottle.
The confiscated items were immediately brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) for proper filing of case and disposition.
According to a report from the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), Monaliza allegedly took over the role of her aunt, Farhana, after she was arrested last month, providing “financial and logistical support to the Maute Terrorist group and her house in Cagayan de Oro served as a sanctuary and transit point for Maute terrorist members.”
It said Monaliza is the mother of a certain “Colingling” who serves as “intel/liaison” of the Maute Group in Cagayan de Oro and provided sanctuary to Maute members such as Farida Romato, Al Majid Romato and Al Jadid Romato during their stay in the city before they were arrested in Iloilo Port last June 18.
“Her link with Maute was likewise traced to Mohammad Noaim Maute alis ‘Abu Jadid/Majid’, a trained Maute terrorist bomber tasked to conduct bombing in Cagayan de Oro City during the previous Ramadan when she supported her stay in the city.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)