5 persons surnamed Maute held at checkpoint in Sultan Kudarat
DAVAO CITY – Nine persons – five of whom were surnamed Maute – were held at a military checkpoint in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on Friday.
Soldiers decided to hold the 9 individuals – two of them children – because their identification cards bore the Maute family name, Senior Supt. James Allan Logan, the chief of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, told a local radio station.
Logan said the 9 individuals were on a black Toyota Innova with license plate MEX 811 and had just come from Cotabato City when held.
He said they were flagged down at the military checkpoint in Barangay Macaguiling in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
“When the IDs of five of them were checked, it showed that they had Maute for family names,” Logan said.
He said all 9 individuals were brought to the CIDG-ARMM office in Cotabato City where they were undergoing questioning.
He said Alimatar Guro Maute, Apok Pili Maute, Mohamad Ali Maute, and Saida Guro Maute had told CIDG investigators they came from the ARMM compound, where they applied for clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation office.
Logan said they presented NBI receipts, which showed that the clearances they had applied for will be released after more than week.
“We are still trying to establish their real identities. They were from Marogong, Lanao del Sur,” he added.
Tasnim Maute Mamongcal, a daughter of Alimatar and Pili, told the Inquirer by Facebook chat that they were not related to the Mautes, “Mohammad-Ali Maute is my brother and Saida Maute is an aunt,” she said.
But Mamongcal said while they shared family names with Abdullah and Omarkhayyam Maute, leader of the Islamic State-inspired armed group that laid siege to Marawi on May 23, they were not related in any way.
“No, we are not from Marawi. We are from Marogong. We do not have any connection with them. It just so happened that we had same family names,” Mamongcal said.
She confirmed reports that her relatives were in Cotabato City to secure clearances from the NBI “because it’s difficult to have a Maute for a surname these days.”
“I had my clearance already. They went to Cotabato City purposely to get clearances from NBI,” she said.
Mamongcal said her relatives already had clearances from the Army in Marogong but they still wanted to get more certification they were not terrorists.
“We wanted more evidence that we are not in any way connected to the Maute group,” she added.
Mamongcal, however, clarified that her relatives were not jailed.
“They were put in a hotel by the CIDG,” she said, adding that her mother has heart ailment.
Mamongcal said the mayor of Marogong – Haroun Maruhom – had already been notified of the holding of her parents and could be on his way to Cotabato City already.
Despite the incident, Mamongcal said her family remained strong.
“Yes, we feared going out because of our surname but we knew we did not do anything wrong. We are not terrorists and we do not have anything to do with the terror attack in Marawi,” she said.
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