More martial law arrests coming, says AFP
DAVAO CITY—Martial law administrator Delfin Lorenzana’s Arrest Order No. 2 would be followed by many more.
The military’s Eastern Mindanao Command said it expected to make more arrests under martial law following the capture on Wednesday of a former Marawi City mayor suspected of supporting the Maute group.
Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson of the police in Northern Mindanao, said the former mayor, Fajad Salic, was aboard his vehicle when it was flagged down by operatives of the Police Public Safety Company manning a checkpoint in Barangay San Martin, Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental on Wednesday.
Salic was among those named in the Arrest Order No. 2 issued by Lorenzana, who is also defense secretary.
President Rodrigo Duterte had declared martial law in the entire Mindanao on May 23, suspending the writ of habeas corpus and other laws that protected citizens from warrantless arrests.
Salic was suspected of involvement with the Maute group, which had declared itself to be a follower of the Islamic State, a terror group that had established caliphates in Iraq and Syria.
Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, deputy commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command and spokesperson for the martial law enforcement, said even before the Marawi fighting broke out “there were reports that he (Salic) was a staunch supporter [of the Maute].”
“[That] he was providing logistics and finances during the formative years of this Maute group,” Gapay said.
Gapay said the military would be more aggressive. “Expect more arrests in the coming days,” Gapay said.
In a previous interview with Inquirer, Salic denied involvement in the attack on Marawi, saying he would be risking the lives of his own family if he did so.
“I can’t possibly cause the destruction of Marawi City, where my family and relatives live,” Salic said.
Salic’s elder brother, Solitario Ali, also denied any links to the Maute group.
He said he got in touch with Maute leaders thrice only for the government. —JOSELLE R. BADILLA AND JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
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