59 nabbed ‘Maute recruits’ insist they were signing up for MNLF

July 29, 2017 - 7:55 AM
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The alleged Maute recruits undergo inquest proceedings at the Dept. of Justice. (News5)

MANILA, Philippines — A complaint for rebellion was filed before the Department of Justice against 59 men, including four minors, rounded up in Zamboanga City and Ipil town, Zamboanga Sibugay for allegedly having been recruited by the Maute group, one of the extremist bands battling government forces in Marawi City.

However, the suspects, who were flown to Manila from Zamboanga City on Friday, insisted that they had signed up not for the Maute group but the Moro National Liberation Front.

The alleged Maute recruits board a C-130 transport plane for Manila. (Westmincom photo)

The first group of 32 suspects was captured in Ipil, the remaining 25 in Guiwan, Zamboanga City. All are from Sulu and Basilan.

The minors have been turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The rest are detained at the Metro Manila District Jail extension in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

No weapons or contraband were found on them.

They were supposedly being taken to Lanao del Sur when intercepted.

However, all the suspects denied this, saying what they knew was they were on their way to the MNLF’s Camp Jabal Nur for training. They also denied receiving money, saying it was they, in fact, who had paid for their transportation.