Ex-Marawi mayor faces arrest

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Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has ordered the cancelation of the “clearance to travel” of former Marawi City Mayor Omar Solitario and his two sons, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said on Tuesday.

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The ex-mayor and his sons face arrest, according to Dureza.

“After a speedy review made by the Department of National Defense on the basis of the inclusion of former Marawi Mayor Omar Solitario and his two sons in the list to be arrested pursuant to the declaration of martial law, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana found basis for their being retained in the arrest list and ordered the cancelation of their temporary clearance,” he said in a statement.

Dureza explained that the clearance was intended in line with the government efforts to facilitate their planned meeting with Lorenzana and be allowed safe passage through martial law checkpoints.

“The message I received today from Secretary Lorenzana said: ‘Based on the vehement objections of the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines], PNP [Philippine National Police] and local leaders in Marawi and Lanao Sur, I have recalled/canceled the clearance I gave to Solitario and his two sons effective today. They are now subject to arrest,’” he said.

“We submit to the judgment call of Defense Secretary Lorenzana,” Dureza added.
Solitario’s name is on the “narco” list of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He had fled Marawi City even before the conflict in the capital city of Lanao del Sur erupted last May 23.
Last June 23, police authorities recovered shabu worth P10 million from a house of Solitario, who is allegedly a financier of Islamic State-inspired Maute Group in Marawi City.

Solitario, through Dureza, had attempted to talk with Duterte by phone but the President suggested that the mayor should talk with Dureza instead.

The request for a clearance was earlier granted, and Dureza said that he obtained a copy of the clearance signed by Lorenzana and he will have it sent to Solitario so the latter could arrange a meeting with the Defense chief.

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