By Camcer Ordonez Imam
Cagayan de Oro City – Authorities arrested a woman identified to be the wife of one of the leaders of the Marawi local terror group while in Iligan City, this morning, a report from the Police Regional Office 10 of the Philippine National Police here said.
Police identified the arrested woman as Minhati Madrais, also known as “Baby” and said to be the wife of Omar Maute, one of the founders of the Maute Group, a band of extremists that fought the government forces in Marawi City.
Her name matches that of the passport issued by the Indonesian government taken from her possession.
Police recovered inside the house where Madrais and her children are living were four blasting caps, two detonating cords, and a time fuse, components believed to be used in making improvised explosive device (IED).
Police said a team of law enforcers and military operatives raided Madrais’ residence in Steele Makers Village, Barangay Tubod, Iligan City, based on Arrest, Search and Seizure Order (ASSO) 1.
Iligan City police chief Senior Superintendent Leony Roy Ga said Madrais admitted to investigators she is Omar’s wife.
Ga said intelligence operatives related to them the information about the presence of “Baby” in Tubod.
“We were able to trace her relationship with Omar through the photos provided to us. In some of the photos she was with Omar,” Ga said..
He said Madrais could hardly speak local languages, but can converse in English.
Ga said they are in the process of establishing Madrais’ participation in the terroristic activities of the Maute group, even as he said it is probable that she has a role in the group’s operations due to her relationship with Omar.
He said they would also conduct a forensic examination on the suspect’s cell phone to check if she has any contact with other members of the Maute group, considering that Omar, along with Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, was killed during a military offensive in Marawi.
Based on the police’s investigation, Madrais moved to Iligan from Marawi at the height of the conflict there.
Madrais told police said she was taken to Iligan when the Marawi siege erupted, but could not identify who brought her there.
Ga said Madrais will be charged with illegal possession of explosives. She will be brought to the City Prosecutor’s Office for inquest tomorrow, November 6.
The police chief said they have taken custody of her children but would coordinate with the City Social Welfare and Development for assistance.