DOJ clears Maute group leader widow of rebellion raps
The Department of Justice has dismissed the rebellion complaint filed by the police and the military against the widow of slain Maute terrorist group leader Mohammad Khayyam “Otto” Maute.
In a resolution dated March 7 but only released recently, the DOJ cleared Najiya Dilangalen Karon-Maute of the charge for lack of probable cause.
Police arrested Najiya on January 23, 2018 in Cotabato City.
She was accused by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines-The Judge Advocate General (AFP-TJAG) of aiding members of the Maute group.
The complaint against Najiya was based on the testimony given a certain Martino Elyana, who said he saw Najiya and her husband bringing food to the rebel group’s members at Bato Mosque in June 2017.
In its decision, the DOJ cited a 1963 Supreme Court decision which stated that the act of sending or furnishing food supplies does not prove intention to aid in committing rebellion or insurrection.
“Applying such ruling to the present case, we find that there is no probable cause to indict respondent Najiya Maute for rebellion. Her act of bringing food with her husband are not overt acts of rebellion,” the DOJ resolution read.
“While we laud the efforts of the PNP and the AFP in apprehending the people responsible for the public uprising and the taking of arms against the government in Marawi City, we cannot agree with their position that respondent Najiya Maute should be indicted for rebellion on the basis of the evidence they have presented,” the resolution added.
The resolution was signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, chairperson of DOJ Task Force Marawi. /muf
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