Omar Maute’s wife nabbed; name not in arrest order, just “@Baby”

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 05 November) – The wife of a slain leader of the Maute Group was arrested Sunday morning in Iligan City in a house occupied by her and her six children.

Arrested at 8017 Steel Makers Village in Tubod, Iligan City  at around  9:30  a.m. Sunday was Minhati Madrais alias Baby, the Indonesian wife of Omarkhayam Maute, one of the key leaders of the Maute Group. The latter was reported killed along with Isnilon Hapilon of the Abu Sayyaf during military operations in Marawi City on October 16.

The military opened portions of Marawi City’s Ground Zero on 25 October 2017 for journalists to see what it took to liberate the country’s lone Islamic City from ISIS-inspired terrorists after five months of fighting. MindaNews photos by MANMAN DEJETO

A press statement from the office of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Northern Mindanao said Chief Supt. Timoteo Gascon Pacleb, regional director, had ordered all personnel in the region to intensify operations against the Maute Group as the threat level in terrorism in the area is “high.”

Joint operatives of the regional PNP, Iligan police and Joint Task Force Ranao launched the operations based on the information on the presence of  “a certain @Baby” in the house.

The report said @Baby was “included in the list under Arrest, Search n Seizure Order (ASSO) 1.”

What was actually issued on May 29 by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the martial law administrator, was Arrest Order No. 1 for alleged rebellion, pursuant to Proclamation 216 dated May 23 which placed Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities under martial law.

The ASSO was used during martial law under then President Ferdinand Marcos

MindaNews checked Lorenzana’s Arrest Order No. 1 and found no Minhati Madrais on the list. But the list contains an “@Baby.”  Madrais name was not also on Arrest Order No. 2 issued on June 5.

Recovered from the house of Maute’s wife, according to the PNP’s press statement were “four blasting caps, two detonating cords, one time fuse.”

She was reportedly holding an expired Indonesian passport.

Madrais, her four daughters and two sons were brought to the Iligan City Police Office “for proper disposition and coordination with DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) 10 for the custody and care of the 6 children.”

Maute and Isnilon were killed in the main battle area in Marawi City in the early hours of October 16.

The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation had confirmed on October 21 that the DNA sample from a body recovered by the Philippine military in the battlefield in Marawi “matches that of Isnilon Hapilon,” the “Emir” of the ISIS in East Asia.

There has been no confirmation as yet on the DNA sampling taken from the body identified in photographs dispatched by the military as Omar Maute. (Froilan Gallardo with a report from Carolyn O. Arguillas / MIndaNews)