THE Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) director, Brigadier General Ronald O. Lee, on Wednesday announced the capture of four suspected Maute Group members or alleged supporters who yielded a cache of weapons during separate anti-criminality raids in Lanao del Sur.
In a report to PNP Chief Gen. Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr., the official said that one of the suspects arrested in Barangay Lumbayanague in Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur was identified as alias “Alawi”.
Lee said that “Alawi” was a former chairwoman of Bgy. Lumbayanague and was arrested for murder charges issued by Judge Sittie Laarnie Umpa of the Marawi City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 9.
The CIDG director said that the 50-year-old suspect has been listed as a “high-value individual” on the Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office’s (PPO) watchlist who was also accused of providing financial support and medical supplies to the Maute Group, which gained notoriety for their involvement in the infamous Marawi City siege in 2017.
Lee said the three other suspects were arrested inside their house in Bgy. Palao Ranao Ranao in Marantak municipality and was raided by members of the CIDG Lanao del Sur Provincial Field Unit with the support of the local police and Army operatives.
Lee said that the raid was conducted on the strength of a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 issued by Judge Alberto Quinto of the Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte RTC Br. 21.
The PNP-CIDG chief said that recovered during the raid were two M-16 automatic rifles, one of them found to be a property of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), one M-14 rifle, one Ingram caliber 9mm machine pistol, one Colt .45 semi-automatic pistol, one M-16 magazine with 20 live ammunition, two M-14 magazines with 29 bullets, a 9mm magazine with 13 ammunition, and a cal. .45 magazine with seven bullets.
Lee said that one of the three collared suspects is a known supporter of the Maute Group under Faharudin Hadji Satar alias “Abu Zacharia” operating in the area of Piagapo. The accused also used to be a former barangay chairman who was monitored to be maintaining a private armed band linked to the Maute Group.
Lee said that the suspect is also a known relative of two leaders of the Magalayon Group involved in kidnapping-for-ransom, gun-for-hire, and gun-running activities in Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte provinces.
Two remaining suspects are still being hunted as of press time.
“The CIDG reaffirms its commitment to protecting the nation against such notorious and lawless elements through intensification and continuous implementation of its anti-criminality campaigns, and this accomplishment is proof of it,” Lee said.