Maute patriarch transferred to Metro Manila

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Cayamora Maute soon after his arrest. (News5 file photo)

MANILA, Philippines — The father of the Maute brothers, who founded the extremist group now battling government forces in Marawi City, has been transferred to Metro Manila with his wife, daughter and son-in law, who were arrested with him in Davao City.

Brigadier General Gilbert Gapay, deputy commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said Cayamora Maute, his second wife Congan Alfonso Balauag, daughter Norhana and son-in-law Benzarali Tingao were flown out of Davao City around 9:45 p.m. on an Air Forces C-130 transport Wednesday that landed at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.

They were “then brought to a detention facility, the location of which I cannot divulge due to security reasons,” he added.

However, a seven-vehicle convoy that included two military trucks and police and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology patrol vehicles was seen speeding towards Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, arriving there around 12:40 a.m. Thursday.

There has been no official confirmation if the Maute patriarch was in the convoy but sources said he was taken to the “Special Intensive Care Area” of the BJMP detention facility inside Camp Bagong Diwa.

The elder Maute and his relatives were in a rental van that was stopped at a checkpoint in Troil, Davao City.

The driver of the van has been released.

Gapay said Cayamora is among the more than 100 persons in an arrest order issued by the Department of National Defense in connection with President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, which was triggered by the Marawi clashes.

But aside from this, he was also the subject of a standing arrest warrant for illegal detention and multiple murder.

This is aside from fresh charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives filed against him and his three relatives over weapons allegedly seized from them when they were arrested.

Gapay said the transfer to Metro Manila was intended to preclude any rescue attempt similar to what the Maute group pulled off earlier for jailed comrades.