DOJ junks rebellion raps vs. Maute leader’s wife

MANILA The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed the criminal complaint filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the wife of one of the slain leaders of the Maute terror group.

In an eight-page resolution signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter L. Ong, who chairs the DOJ Task Force Marawi, the department dismissed the rebellion complaint filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines-The Judge Advocate General (AFP-TJAG) against Najiya Dilangalen Karon-Maute for lack of probable cause.

Najiaya, wife of Mohammad Maute, who died in a battle with government forces in Marawi City, was arrested last Jan. 23 in Cotabato City.

The complaint was based on the testimony of a certain Martino Elyana, who was abducted in Padian, Marawi City.

Elyana said he saw Najiya and her husband Mohammadhayan "Otto" Maute bringing food to members of the group at the Bato Mosque in June 2017.

Elyana said he managed to escape the Maute lair in July 2017.

Najiya was subject of an arrest order issued by the Department of National Defense, which is in charge of implementing martial law in Mindanao.

The DOJ said in a resolution that during the preliminary investigation last Jan. 31, Najiya did not file a counter-affidavit against the rebellion complaint after the PNP-CIDG manifested that they will no longer submit additional evidence while AFP-TJAG chose not to appear during the hearing dates set for preliminary investigation despite notice.

We already ruled that the evidence adduced by the PNP-CIDG and AFP-TJAG during the inquest was insufficient to establish probable cause that respondent committed rebellion. It is precisely for this reason that a preliminary investigation was scheduled so that complainants can adduce additional evidence in support of their complaint for rebellion against respondent Najiya Maute, read the resolution.

We find that there is no probable cause to indict respondent Najiya Maute for rebellion. Her act of bringing food with her husband are not overt acts of rebellion, it added.

The DOJ, however, lauded the efforts of the PNP and the AFP in apprehending the people responsible for the public uprising and the taking of arms against the government in Marawi City.

We cannot agree with their position that respondent Najiya Maute should be indicted for rebellion on the basis of the evidence they have presented, the DOJ said.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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