Fear of Maute revenge after patriarch dies in prison
DAVAO CITY – Civilians fear that Maute clan and local ISIS militants may seek revenge and target innocent people, particularly Christians, following the demise of its patriarch.
The detained patriarch of Maute clan – whose radicalized members occupied along with local ISIS militants occupied Marawi City – had died following a long battle with illnesses while in prison, officials said.
Officials last week said Cayamora Maute was rushed to hospital after complaining of difficulty in breathing, but he died along the way. Maute was suffering from various illnesses and among them were diabetes, respiratory tract infection, pneumonia and hypertension.
His body was brought later in the day by relatives to the Masjid Al-dahab, a mosque in Manila.
Maute, father of ISIS leaders Omar and Abdullah Maute, was arrested on June 6t his year at an army checkpoint in Davao City’s Toril district together with one of his wives Kongan Alfonso Balawag and daughter Norhana Balawag Maute, their driver Aljon Salazar Ismael and another man, Benzarali Tingao.
A pistol and an improvised explosive, including some P360,000 in cash, a pistol and a fragmentation grenade, were allegedly seized from their van while attempting to enter Davao. The patriarch was also carrying several identification cards with different names. The army said Maute was included in the wanted terrorist list.
During his capture, Maute denied knowledge of the gun or the grenade and said he was sick and on their way to hospital. He said he had not seen his two sons in recent months and was not aware of the violence involving the Maute brothers. The driver, whose family runs a fleet of passenger vans, also denied ownership of the gun and grenade, and had been eventually released by authorities.
One of Maute’s wives, Ominta – alias Farhana Maute – was also arrested along with other wounded militants on June 10 this year in Masiu town in Lanao del Sur province. She remains in prison.
Both Maute brothers and dozens of jihadists who pledged allegiance to ISIS, are still fighting security forces in the besieged city since May 23 when they attempted to declare Marawi a province of the Islamic State.