By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday (February 14) ended the conduct of the preliminary investigation against the wife of slain terrorist leader Mohammadhayan (Otto) Maute.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, who chairs the DOJ Task Force Marawi, declared the criminal complaint against Otto’s wife, Najiya Dilangalen Karon-Maute, as submitted for resolution.
Maute was arrested January 23 at Barangay Rosary Heights 3, Cotabato City on the strength of Arrest Order No. 2 issued by the Department of National Defense on June 5, 2017, in connection with the Marawi City siege.
The conduct of the preliminary investigation ended even though Najiya did not file a counter-affidavit against the rebellion complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines-The Judge Advocate General (AFP-TJAG).
Ong explained Najiya decided to no longer file the counter-affidavit after the complainants failed to submit additional evidence which could back their complaint.
“They (complainants) were given a chance to submit additional evidence. They failed,” said Ong who noted that the complainants did not appear at today’s proceedings.
In the complaint, Najiya has been accused of aiding members of the Maute terrorist group based on the testimony of a certain Martino Elyana.
Elyana, who got abducted but managed to escape the Maute lair in July 2017, said he saw Najiya and her husband bring food to members of the group at the Bato Mosque on June 2017.
“However, aside from the statement of Martino Elyana as to the acts committed by the respondent at time he was held captive, complainants did not present any other evidence against the respondent,” read the DOJ resolution which ordered the conduct of the preliminary investigation.
Though the complainants initially wanted to have her inquested, the DOJ pointed out “at the time respondent was arrested on Jan. 23, 2018, there is no evidence or even allegation that she was committing, about to commit, or has just committed an offense.”