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Maute relatives nabbed in Iloilo, flown back to CDO for probe

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Maute relatives nabbed in Iloilo, flown back to CDO for probe

The Coast Guard arrested Farida Pangumping Romato (center), her brother Aljadid Pangumping Romato (right), and Farida’s alleged boyfriend Abdul Rahman Dimacuta (left) at the Iloilo port on Sunday (June 18, 2017) for alleged ties to the Maute group (Photo from the Facebook page of the Philippine Coast Guard)

First published: 3:30 p.m., June 19, 2017

ILOILO CITY — Three travelers intercepted at the port of Iloilo on Sunday and held for suspected ties with the Maute terror group were flown to Cagayan de Oro City early Monday.

A 10-seat Islander plane of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) took off from Iloilo International Airport at 5:30 a.m. carrying Farida Romato, 23; her brother Al Jadid Romato, 20, and Abdul Rahman Dimacuta, 25 and supposed boyfriend of Farida.

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The three were accompanied by Coast Guards from Northern Mindanao, according to Lt/Sgt. Edison Diaz, PCG station commander in Iloilo.

Arrest Order No. 1

Diaz said Farida was among the people covered by Arrest Order No.1 issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana after President Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao.

The Romatos admitted that they were relatives of brothers Omarkhayam and Abdullah Maute, leaders of the terror group battling government forces in Marawi City.

But they denied involvement in the terror group, Diaz said.

He said the three were taken to Cagayan de Oro for further investigation.

About 20 Coast Guards intercepted the three at the Iloilo port around 3:15 p.m. on Sunday after they arrived on board the MV St. Therese of Child Jesus of the 2GO shipping company.

Intelligence agents had monitored the three to have boarded the ship and set the interception in Iloilo.

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The ship departed Cagayan de Oro on Sunday evening for Iloilo City and Manila.

False names

The three had tickets to Manila, but used false names, Diaz said.

Farida told investigators that she and her companions were meeting their parents in Cavite where they had a business.

Diaz denied reports that the woman was a sister of the Maute brothers.

He said only clothes and other personal belongings were recovered from the three.

In Cagayan de Oro, no reporter was allowed to enter the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) office, which was inside the camp of the military’s 4th Infantry Division.

No one from the CIDG would confirm if it had the three suspects in its custody. —With a report from Jigger J. Jerusalem  SFM/rga/atm

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TAGS: 2Go shipping company, Abdul Rahman Dimacuta, abu sayyaf, Acts of terror, Al Jadid Romato, Armed conflict, arrest, Cagayan de Oro City, clash, Coast Guard, Coast Guard Iloilo, Coast Guard Station in Iloilo City, Counter-terrorism, Criminality, detention, Encounter, Farida Romato, gun battle, Iloilo City, Insurgency, investigation, law enforcement, Lt. Edison Diaz, manhunt for terrorists, Marawi City, Marawi City attacks, Marawi conflict, Marawi crisis, Marawi siege, Martial law, Maute group, Mindanao martial law, MV St. Therese of Child Jesus, National security, Philippine Coast Guard, public order, Public safety, pursuit operations, rebellion, Security, ship passengers, suspected Maute Group members, Terrorism, War
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