By Bonita Ermac
MARAWI CITY – The military ruled out a lockdown as the scenario prior to the arrest of Vice Mayor Arafat Salic at the City Hall here on Wednesday but enhanced checkpoint operations.
Colonel Romeo Brawner, Jr., 103rd brigade commander confirmed tension was felt following Salic’s arrest on Wednesday morning.
“We noticed that there was tension brewing since kumalat iyong balita at apparently may kumuha nung picture ni vice mayor na nakasakay sa army vehicle when he was being brought to the brigade and this circulated. A lot of people were calling,” Brawner said.
Brawner and the Philippine National Police (PNP) officials assured that the situation is still normal and they remain on top of the situation.
“There was no lock down implemented but enhanced checkpoint operations to be able to arrest the other members of the family who are in the arrest order,” Brawner said.
Salic said he was not aware of any warrant of arrest issued against him.
“Pero pinakita namin iyong arrest order from the Department of National Defense, he said first time niyang nakita iyon,” Brawner said. (But we showed him the arrest order from the DND and he said it was his first time to see it.)
Brawner said Salic did not resist arrest.
Salic was accompanied by relatives and supporters in a convoy of eight cars. All were checked including their vehicles but no firearms, contrabands or drugs were found.
The vice mayor was finally arrested after almost two years in hiding through a joint law enforcement operations of the Army’s 82nd Infantry Battalion and the PNP based on several warrants of arrest.
Salic is included in the list of Martial Law Administrator Arrest Order dated September 4, 2017 for the case of rebellion.
According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Salic has pending cases with PDEA but is out on bail and also with the Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) for murder.
Salic underwent custodial debriefing and medical check-up at the 103rd Infantry (Haribon) brigade after which he will be turned over to the PNP.
“We are prepared and ready to receive him and he will be provided with proper security,” P/SSupt. Madzgani Mukaram, Lanao del Sur police provincial director, said.