Iligan court drops complaint vs widow of militant involved in Marawi siege

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 03 September) – The police in Iligan City made “some procedural lapses” when they arrested the widow of Filipino militant Omarkhayam Maute, prompting a local court to dismiss the complaint of illegal possession of explosives against her.

Tearing down buildings in Marawi City. MindaNews file photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Merlynn Uy, Northern Mindanao Regional Prosecutor said the local court in Iligan ordered the release last June 26 of Minhati Madrais, 39, an Indonesian national, because the arrest was “defective”.

Police arrested Minhati along with her four daughters and two sons at Steele Makers Subdivision in Tubod, Lanao del Norte in November 2017.

The raiding team alleged they seized four blasting caps, two detonating cords and one time fuse from her house in Tubod.

At that time of Minhati’s arrest, the entire island of Mindanao was placed under martial law after her husband and other Daesh militants staged a siege in Marawi City that lasted five months.

Uy said the police raiding team forgot that despite the state of martial law at the time, Minhati’s arrest did not fall into the category of “warrantless arrest”.

“What was suspended during martial law was only the [privilege of the] writ of habeas corpus,” she said.

The prosecutor said the court dismissed the complaint against Minhati and ordered her release after seeing that the arrest was illegal.

After her release, the Philippine government immediately turned Minhati over to Indonesian authorities who returned her to her hometown in Bekasi, east of Jakarta. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)