WATCH | Father of top Maute Group leader arrested in Davao

Photos of several suspected terrorists from the Maute clan. From left -- Cayamora Maute, Farhana Maute, Abdullah Maute, Omarkhayam Maute and bottom row, from left --Mohammadkhayam Maute, Abdulrahman Maute, Abdul Azis Maute, and Hamza Maute/Photos released by the Cebu City Police Office

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE – 10:21 a.m., JUne 7, 2017) The 67-year-old father of the top leader of the Maute Group was arrested during a checkpoint in Davao City with his relatives.

Cayamora Maute, who was earlier identified by authorities as the father of Abdullah Maute, the eldest of the Maute brothers and the leader of the rebel group also known as Daulah Islamiyah, was apprehended by the police at about 10 a.m., Tuesday, in Toril District inside a rented black Toyota HiAce Grandia van.

Responding to the development, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella called the arrest “a welcome development to break the cycle of lawlessness in some areas in Mindanao.”

“The apprehension of the Maute patriarch is a significant step to prevent and suppress future terrorist acts, and we thank Task Force Davao for its quick response,” he added. “Let us therefore continue our vigilance and never lose sight of our common objective of bringing peace and development in the entire country.”

Cayamora reportedly went to Davao from Cotabato for a medical checkup. The police found the Maute patriarch lying at the back of the driver’s seat with his body covered with a malong or a traditional tube skirt and his face with a surgical mask.

Police said they were able to confirm that the one they had arrested was Cayamora after they compared him to the photos of wanted Maute family members earlier released to the public by authorities.

Photo of Cayamora Maute that was earlier disseminated by authorities and his picture after he was arrested in Davao on Tuesday

Davao Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan said Cayamora had confirmed his identity.

“First of all, basing on the picture muna and secondly, the person confirmed his identity. Of course we will have other identification procedures later on through his fingerprints and other scientific means of identification,” said Gaerlan during a press briefing later in the day.

He said authorities were investigating if Cayamora is among Maute Group’s top leaders.

“He has the right to remain silent and we will not pursue that matter unless he is assisted by his lawyer,” added Gaerlan, referring to Cayamora.

Authorities said Cayamora was with his second wife Kongan Aljonso Balawag, daughter Norjannah Maute Tingao, and son-in-law Bensarali Tingao on board the van driven by Esmael Aljon Salazar, which came from Hotel Filipino in Cotabato City.

Recovered from Cayamora and his companions were P300,000 in cash, IDs, and other documents, which authorities said could be used as evidence.

Cayamora, who was said to be a former senior official of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and his companions were interrogated by the police.

Authorities said the Maute patriarch would be detained at the Davao City Police Office while investigators were preparing charges of rebellion against him. His companions were also being investigated for possible links to terroristic activities.

Police records show that Cayamora has standing warrants of arrest for serious illegal detention, illegal possession of explosives, and kidnapping.

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