Maranaos with ‘Maute’, ‘Romato’ surnames told to get clearance

COTABATO CITY — The military here has advised Maranaos who have “Maute” or “Romato” for family name to get clearance from authorities certifying they are not involved in the terroristic activities of Maute family in Lanao del Sur and Marawi City.

The call was aired by Army Colonel Jesus Sarsagat, commander of the 603rd Infantry Brigade, following the arrest of nine persons, four of whom have Maute for family name here on Friday morning. Two were minors.

Sarsagat the Maranaos came to Cotabato City from Marugong Lanao del Sur to have an elder family member see doctor.

”They said they also came over to apply for NBI clearance to prove they have no cases involving terrorism in Marawi City,” Sarsagat told reporters.

”They insist they are not in any way connected to the Maute brothers although they have the same family name,” he added.

They were invited for questioning just to clarify things, according to Senior Supt. James Allan Logan, director of PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

He said one of them was a village chairperson in Marugong while the other was a retired school principal who went to NBI to seek clearance and prove they were not related to the Maute brothers now fighting the government forces in Marawi City.

But Sarsagat said the authorities decided to withhold them for questioning because three of them have similar names in the Arrest, Search and Seizure Order of Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana following the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.

Logan said they were indeed applied for NBI clearance and showed official receipts. A check with NBI-ARMM office in Cotabato City confirmed the suspects’ claims.

Sarsagat said the military informant who provided information about the presence of the suspects in Cotabato City came from the same source who provided information which led to the arrest of terrorists patriarch Cayamora Maute in Davao City and his wife Farhana in Masiu, Lanao del Sur three days later.

”We are just making sure the Maute terrorists are neutralized,” he said. EOF/PNA-northboundasia.com