ILIGAN CITY: The former mayor of battle-ravaged Marawi City in Lanao del Sur was arrested Wednesday evening at a police checkpoint in Villanueva town, Misamis Oriental, two days after an arrest order was issued against him and more than 180 others for rebellion.
Fahad “Pre” Salic is among 184 individuals charged for violating Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code pertaining to rebellion, under Arrest Order 2 issued on June 5 by the Department of National Defense pursuant to Proclamation 216 that placed the who orities said.
Also charged was his brother, Omar Ali Solitario, likewise a former mayor of Marawi City, the PDP-Laban provincial chairman, and a commander of the Moro National Liberation Front. He remains at large.
Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesman of the Northern Mindanao regional police office, said operatives arrested Salic at around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in San Martin village.
Salic was aboard a white Ford Ranger pick-up truck with plate number AFA 1151. He was en route to Cagayan de Oro City when he was flagged by members of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Public Safety Company.
The ex-mayor immediately denied involvement in the May 22 attack on Marawi by the Islamic State (IS)-linked Maute terrorist group. He was temporarily locked up at Villanueva town jail.
Salic is related to the Maute terrorist leaders, brothers Omar and Abdullah, who lead the so-called IS Ranao. Salic’s wife, Rasmia, is a niece of Farhana Romato Maute, mother of the radical siblings.
Salic was previously married to actress-turned-politician Alma Moreno. The former mayor ran for governor of Lanao del Sur under Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan or PDP-Laban last year, but lost.
Solitario also attempted to get back the post of mayor but lost.
In December, the two former mayors were said to have acted as government missionaries to the Maute bandits who took over Butig, Lanao del Sur, for ceasefire talks. They were also said to be among a group of influential relatives of the Mautes who met with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City in November last year on the latter’s invitation.
Duterte had tagged the two as among “narco-politicians” in the province.
On Tuesday, authorities arrested Cayamora Maute, father of Omar and Abdullah, along with his third wife Kongan Alfonso Balawag and two other family members in Davao City, all indicted under Arrest Order 2.